15 Minutes a Day


A friend and I were talking about ourselves. Well really, she was talking about me. Very kindly. Very very kindly. What started as a passing comment about my lack of self confidence in middle school, she quickly turned into an opportunity to make sure I understand how beautiful I am, internally and externally.

(Don’t worry, this post isn’t only about how awesome I am, though according to my friends, I am quite the catch!)

From there, we wandered into conversation about what fulfills us, inspires us so much that we no longer see the world through the filters of “I am not enough,” but finally begin to understand what we put out there is real and beautiful and a product of our souls, something so perfectly us, it’s selfish to hold onto it. You know the thing. Your thoughts, your sewing, your amazing, lilting voice. The meals you bake for your family, your business sense, your ability to make others feel encouraged and worthy.

For my friend, it is her art. The world comes to life when she draws. She didn’t set out to become an artist, didn’t study art in college because, practically speaking, she needed a career that paid money. It wasn’t until she was firmly established that she recognized her ability and started dabbling in it. More and more and more. Then she had children. Ya know, those darling little never-stop-talkers, the need-to-be-fed-everydayers, the can-they-even-do-one-thing-without-making-a-messers. And her time was gone.

Enter Jerry Seinfeld.

Ah, wouldn’t that be a gas! But, I’m not budgeted for the big guns, so in his absence we have his advice. Apparently, when he understood his own talent and wanted to really get his career off the ground, he committed to 15 minutes a day. Fifteen minutes of writing, practicing, or whatever a genius like J.S. needed to craft his perfect humor. And guess what happened? Of course I wouldn’t have brought this up if he got bored and quit. His career took off is what happened. And the world is still laughing!

I don’t know details beyond that because, honestly, I was so captivated by my friend’s own beauty and gift, we moved on to more important topics, like ourselves. And her 15 minutes a day. She finds time to quiet the kids, quiet the house, quiet her mind, and she draws. She improves. She creates her art to be shared with the world. Because what good is that gift if it’s bottled up inside her head, no matter how pretty her hair is?

I’ve spent all summer chasing my never-stop-movers, driving my we-need-another-activitiers, and cleaning after my own can-they-even-do-one-thing-without-making-a-messers, but NOT writing. So this fall, with my friends’ encouragement and Jerry’s advice, I’m going to commit (a.k.a. try my best) to 15 minutes a day. Because I believe that for this season of my life, God has given me a talent, a gift, a “thing,” just as I’ve been asking Him to do since I was a talks-too-much with a bad-perm-despite-the-Aquanet middle schooler. It’s only as an adult I see the inherent beauty in it, in myself, and have the courage to share both my writing and myself.

What is your talent, strength, gift to the world? What can you spend 15 minutes a day creating to bring beauty to those you encounter? No matter how tangible, artistic, or earth-shattering, you are here and you have a purpose. Don’t keep it inside; share it!

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