Friday, January 11, 2008

Timing Love

What do you use your timed minutes for? People all over America are setting their timers. What are we timing?
*Time-outs for naughty boys who painted the dog purple.
*Hair dyes that promise instant modelific beauty.
*A batch of guilty cookies to eat before the kids come home from school (We'll bake a batch for them too... later).
*The workout that promises harder abs in just 30 minutes.
*A daughter's shower, to insure that she leaves a little hot water for you.
*Organizing your home, writing that novel, or learning a new language, because we all know that with just 15 minutes a day anything is possible.
I wonder though, how many people use their timer the way that I do? I'm using my timer to save my marriage. I'm not sure when it started, or who first coined the term, "two minutes." All I know is that every time my husband or I calls, "Two minutes!" I feel grateful that we have it. The one answer I have is why we do it. As a young bride I was so in love, I wanted to spend every waking minute with my new possession, my husband. However, as poor married students I soon learned that time together would be rare and precious. I soon learned what many women learn in life: to be alone is one thing, but to have the love of your life sitting in the same room and not be allowed to talk to him because he is busy and has to work... well it is the loneliest feeling in the world. My husband would be right there yet I would feel miles away from him. If I tried to get his attention I would either feel guilty for taking him away from his work or I would feel rejected if he asked me to leave him alone. After the student years were over it was my husband's turn to feel the loneliness as I was often too busy, with a baby, cooking dinner, or completing some special project, to give him my full attention. Luckily I was smart enough to realize early on that wanting my husband to notice me didn't make me needy, unempowered, immature, or any of the other things I worried about being if I asked for his time. I recognized that we each had work to do and I couldn't expect my husband to graduate on time, with good grades, if I was monopolizing his time. And I certainly couldn't neglect my babies when they needed me. So we started doing "two minutes." When one of us calls this out we both drop what we are doing (move the pan off the burner, lay the baby in the crib, hit save on a file, etc), find a place to be alone, and hold each other. In that two minutes we aren't allowed to think of anything but the person we are holding and who we've promised to love for eternity. Then, who ever needs to get back to what they were doing can pull away after 2 minutes and the other person can't feel hurt or needy. We have both honored this as a sacred duty and blessing in our marriage. All the kids have learned to run off and leave us alone when we tell them we are having two minutes. I've even heard my oldest daughter tell her father, "I think mom needs her two minutes, dad," when I've had a really bad day. There have also been times when those two minutes have turned into a wonderful 15 or 30, as we find it hard to tear away from each other. It is hard to imagine a couple of minutes doing so much, but I know that my eternal companionship is being built, two minutes at a time.
Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.
-Mary Parrish

18 comments:

Sea Star said...

What a wonderful use of two minutes. I love that your daughter realizes how important those two minutes are too.

Jen said...

I can really relate, since DH is going back for his PhD. Its our third round of grad school, and its exactly as I remember it-he's super busy, and I'm bordering on "super-bored" because keeping everything else up fills my time but leaves me with little interaction...

I like the idea of the 2 minutes.

Misty said...

Inspiring.

mom huebert said...

That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Cocoa said...

I really like this idea. Whoever came up with it is GENIUS!

Maria said...

Hey that's a great idea. If you have more ideas like this you could write a book!

Tirzah said...

That is a great idea. It can be so hard, sometimes!

Mountain Dweller said...

I loved this post and what a wonderful idea!
Unfortunately my timer only gets used for eggs!

Lei said...

What a sweet idea, and just in time for Valentine's Day.

Sonja said...

So absolutely fantastic! It reminds me of, "By small and simple things, great things shall come to pass." I agree with Cocoa, though, GENIUS.

I'm going to go get my timer right now.

Family Adventure said...

That is the *best* use of a timer I have ever heard about!

Heidi :)

Amber said...

I have never heard of anything like this. And what a powerful 2-minute reminder of what really matters!!!

Kim said...

A wonderful idea. This is something to think about and adapt a version of our own perhaps.

Kim @ TheBitterBall

Lisa said...

I think we need to start this! I know that I don't always give enough time when I am in the middle of things, and Don has a computer permanently attached to his lap. Love it! Thanks!

Cecily R said...

First of all, I came here from Misty's site.

Secondly, what a great writer you are!

And third, your two minutes is a wonderful idea and a you really have wonderful way of putting it into words (okay, that goes along with my number two, but you get the idea...)!

Liz said...

I'm making your version of stock tonight, using the carcass from the chicken I roasted last night!

Childlife said...

This is just lovely! What a brilliant idea... and a great use of time : )

Corrine said...

what a wonderful thing to do! I think it would be even great to use with kids, to stop and give them a time out for mommy time rather than a time out on the stoop for being bad....thanks for sharing and for the floods of ideas i just got!