Five For Friday: How I Fill My Empty Minutes

Friday, March 6, 2015

Someone clearly in tune with the universe the other day sent me this link, at a time I *really* needed it. (Love to you, Cindy!)

by Carmella Rayone on The Art of the Simple blog

She opens with this quote from her own journal:

 "And in between, my mind kept wandering to those creative projects that keep calling to me, hopping along with me from moment to moment throughout my day, waving. Not nagging, not impatient, but simply there and smiling, not wanting me to forget.
I won’t forget. I’ll make room and time. If only for a few minutes here, 
a few minutes there …”

It's a short little meditation, and it is lovely, for it is something I am always trying to re-teach myself: That we don't need grand chunks of time to make progress... even doing a little bit at a time, in the empty minutes, will eventually yield results. And in the meantime, the mindfulness of letting myself do work I love, even just a few stitches, pages, photos at a time, is something that fills my well throughout the day.... the week... the years of being a mama here at home. 

Take a minute to click the link and go read. Then give yourself permission to begin (get back to?) a project that may only get worked on a few minutes at a time. And then let that project NOT nag, but make you smile when you think of it waiting for you to visit it, here and there. 

My Five For Friday this week (after missing two Fridays in a row, due to end-of-winter-life-is-grey-blah-why-bother-maybe-I'll-just-nap-or-stitch-or-watch-Dr.-Phil-February-ennui. Forgive me. forgive yourself if you were/are there, too.) is a set of cell phone snaps of the five things I am most likely to turn to these days when I have some empty minutes.

1. Recently revisiting cross-stitch, after not doing anything with it since THIS project. Cross-stitch is something I will do, then take several years off, then do again, then stop... Except this time it's taken hold and has become a REAL addiction. I blame The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery for their insanely darling stitch-along samplers that cry out to be created.

2. Taking a scrapbooking pen and writing captions into my personal photo books. Years ago I gave myself permission, after a long and arduous book-creating ordeal, to NOT tediously type in captions to my photo books, and instead hand-write them at my leisure another day. Serves two purposes: A. It keeps me coming back to make more books because I don't have to type captions. B. My posterity gets some of my handwriting to enjoy. It's, like, historical, or something. 

3. Kindle books. I am a bibliophile, I promise, and I will never stop loving paper books. Ever. But for now, in a life where reading in the dark and portability trump couch/quilt/actual page turning moments, I am in love with devouring books on my phone when I can grab some minutes. It's been a renaissance of reading for almost a year now, and I am giddy about it. Thank you, Bree and Michelle/Allison and Meghan for all having a hand in ushering in this reading era in my life again. 

4. Ever the personal photo backlog. Always. If I get some time, I try to remind myself that even working for 15 minutes here and there, the work WILL get done. Shown below, thumbnails from March 2014.

5. I am an unapologetic napper. Lifelong member. SARK gave me official permission years ago (though I was already in the practice of it before reading her book), and I am a disciple. Not daily, sadly... But at least 2-4 times a week. Well-filling, healing, lovely naps. Pictured, a photo of a photo of a nap long ago, before I ever had kids. Taken by Joe. Mmm.... Wish I was napping right now. 


What are your treats/indulgences/minute-fillers? I'd love to know! Blog yours, list a few in the comments, something. I would love to hear from you!

And it's not too late to do a Five For Friday today! I mean, *I* managed it!! Woot! Let me know in the comments or via FB that you did it, and a link to yours, and I'll add it to this post, right here ---->


  1. I love this. Thank you for reminding me to love simple. I've been striving lately - which is awesome too. But simple is for good for the soul, striving is for growth & strength. Gentle is a nessicary counterpart.
    Lately I've been reading the book series Lex's class is along side him at home. It's a 5th grade book, deliciously easy (which I need to balance my excessive textbook reading requirements at the moment) & it feels like such a treat to be alongside him in this fiction world.

  2. I love reading your blog posts, they always seem to at once center & re-inspire me :-). I have woefully neglected my reading, last summer when the kids were in swim, soccer & art "camps" almost everyday I burned through 4 books gleefully but now the 5th that I started is still only half-finished (almost 8 months later eek!). And I've all but given up on editing pictures, I haven't touched a single one from Dillon's lifetime :-/. There is always something (or someone) else calling my attention and as long as I have *something* to do and my time is productively filled then I'm happy with the endless listed of half-finished projects :-).


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