15 Days of Happiness :: Make Time Your Friend


We’re all busy, with more to do than time to do it in.  One of the greatest drains on my happiness is the feeling that time is my enemy.  When I feel like I don’t have time to do what I should, I end up feeling helpless.  The garage I don’t have time to clean becomes a source of guilt, the project I don’t have time to finish becomes mere clutter, the laundry I don’t have time to fold sits in a pile, the dream I don’t have time to chase taunts me as my day-to-day life holds no promise of improvement.

I think we’re all like that.  We feel like we don’t have time to finish so we never start.  There isn’t time to do it right so we don’t do it at all.  We don’t have time to be thoughtful so we aren’t.  We don’t have time to organize our whole life so we just give up and keep on as we have been.  The list goes on and on.

I’ve learned that it’s not really time that robs me of happiness.  It’s my perception of time.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day.  In this life is 100% fair.  Sure, we all have different constraints on our time, and we have different stages of life that govern how most of our time is spent. But we all have time.  In order to have time be a source of happiness instead of a drain on happiness, we have to make it our ally.

Enter my kitchen timer.

I may not be able to work for several hours on a project and see it to completion all at once, but I have fifteen minutes.  Somewhere in my day I can find 15 minutes to invest in the life I want to live.

This morning I took the timer in my closet and set it for 15 minutes.  I quickly cleared the floor of clutter, then briefly went through my hanging clothes.  Every time I found something I haven’t worn in a year, I tossed in a bag.  Then I quickly got a couple of boxes down from my top shelf to see what was in them.  To my surprise I found some maternity clothes I had forgotten about.  Two minutes later I had 4 empty boxes and 5 bags of clothing to get rid of this afternoon.  Yes!

My closet isn’t finished.  There is more to go through, but I started something I’ve been avoiding and did far more in 15 minutes than I thought I could.

Right now my timer is ticking away for a 15 minute blogging break.

Yesterday the timer was there when I weeded one of the flower beds outside.

In a few minutes I’ll use it to tackle a pile of clutter on the kitchen counter.

Using 15 minutes to work on something I don’t have time to do makes me feel like I’m in control of time.  It reminds me that I don’t need long segments of time to make improvements in my life.  I can do something small right now, in the next 15 minutes!  When these few minutes become valuable simply by changing my perception of them, time becomes my friend.  It is my tool, given to me by a loving God to make good use of.  He knows that he’s given me more to do than I can possibly accomplish, and he wants to see what kind of decisions I’m going to make with my time.

Some decisions I made a long time ago; when I decided to have a large family I chose to have more cooking, cleaning, housework and driving to do than many other mothers.    It eats up most of my time, but not every single minute.  I have 15 minutes, and a steady 15 minutes each day can work miracles.

Today, set a timer for 15 minutes and do something awesome.    It doesn’t matter that you finish, only that you do it.   Do it every day.   It will make you happy.

I promise!

Good luck, and happy living, Jennifer


  • Our family had a traumatic event on Tuesday and it was one of the hardest days of my life. I cleared as much I my schedule as I could yesterday, so I could just be with my kids to help them process their emotions. What has happened is incredibly private, so I haven’t been able to share it with anyone other than my absolute closest local friends. Yet I needed more emotional support. I ended up reaching out to a select group of friends throughout the country and shared what was happening. The support and encouragement they provided was amazing. From helping me explain what was happening to my youngest children without frightening them to doing research on information that I’ve been too tired to do on my own, they have come through for me. One even surprised me with a pizza delivery, so I wouldn’t have to cook last night. There wasn’t much happiness yesterday, just a lot of pain. But knowing I have a support network that will come together for me at a moments notice is priceless and I feel very grateful to have woman that love me and my children in our lives.

  • Bonnie Ellsworth

    Dearest friend,
    Where oh where did you find that most adorable timer? I think I need–yes, that was NEED–one!

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