In my life, I have found that NOT taking the extra second leads to having more work to do in the long run than if I had just taken the extra second in the first place. For example, today as I was putting away the crockpot from last night’s dinner (okay, so TWO examples, because I should’ve taken the extra second last night to put it away), I noticed that there was some crusted schmutz on the cord. Now here is the truly sad statement about me, I saw it and thought “ew, gross” and then started to wrap the cord around the crockpot and put it away as though I hadn’t seen the crusty splash of sauce! Then I thought, “STOP RIGHT THERE LADYFACE! Take the extra second and clean the outside and cord of the crockpot now and then in 6 months you won’t be complaining about how nasty the crockpot looks.” And guess what? It really didn’t take me that much longer to do it the right way, but it has saved me from having a nasty looking crockpot in 6 months and was probably easier to clean now than in 6 months. (And yes, during internal dialogs, I sometimes call myself Ladyface).
Then I started thinking about the habits of people with really clean, organized homes and I realized that the majority of those people take the time to “do it right” the first time. They all take the extra second to put items where they belong and to clean things properly the first time. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that as a result, it probably doesn’t take them nearly as long to clean up and organize their homes, because they’ve been maintaining them all along.
Taking the extra second is a goal that transcends just cleaning and organizing. I think about how I can take the extra second in parenting Little Man and Duckie. All too often I find myself cutting Little Man off at the pass and barking some order (“STOP!” “DON’T DO THAT!” “PUT THAT DOWN!”), without pausing to ask WHAT he is doing or WHY he is doing it. Taking the extra second to hear him out might give me insight into what he’s thinking or trying to do. I have found that when I do take that extra second to say “Bubba, why are you doing that?” and really hear him out, we can usually find a good alternative to, say, using my kitchen spatula to flatten down the dirt race track he’s making in the backyard for his cars .
It tells my kids that I want to hear what they have to say (most of the time), even if I don’t let them have their way. I want home to be a safe space where my kids can ask for what they want, be who they are, and know they are acknowledged and loved. Taking the extra second aids in this goal.Taking the extra second will help to bolster my spiritual life. I’m trying to remember to take the extra second and say thank you to God for all that I have. To reflect on how I am living and how I portray myself as a Christian woman. It means turning off Long Island Medium during the kids’ naptime and opening my Bible or devotional book. Taking a moment of peace and calm to feed my spirit.
Taking the extra second seems like such a simple goal, but much like a pebble thrown in a pond, it makes ripples and reaches out beyond just that moment. It is a small, but mighty goal for my life.
What is one of your small, but mighty, goals this year?