Let’s Use Our Minutes

from Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, January, 1952:

By Mildred Cathcart

A New Year is a good time to begin doing something that you may have wanted to do for many, many months. Perhaps you have wanted to piece a quilt, crochet a tablecloth, read a number of books, or do some other interesting thing. If you are one of the many persons who insist they do not have time for these projects, stop and think for a moment–don’t be too sure it’s lack of time.

I can remember the days when I would say, “Now tomorrow I will sew” and tomorrow I would do exactly that with little or no interference whatsoever. Finally the children, extra housework and innumerable added activities made it impossible for me to set aside even one carefree hour for my desired projects. I missed doing the things I had enjoyed, and the only consoling thought I could drum up was the idea that when the children were grown I could once again pick up my former interests.

One day, however, I came across the thought that an hour is nothing more than sixty minutes, so right then and there I decided that if I could not have one free hour I could at least utilize my minutes.

For months I had wanted to knit an all-around useful shawl or afghan type piece, so I secured the yarn and knitted while a cake was baking, while I played house with Kerry Lee–just any odd moments to be had. By the end of four months I had it completed. It has served every purpose from a chair cover to a car blanket, so I feel we have all had much good from those odd moments.

Of course, I had taken four months to finish a project that could have been done in a fraction of the time at an earlier period, but nevertheless I KNEW I could pursue some of my favorite hobbies.

Another favorite hobby of mine has been to memorize poetry and Scriptures, but again I found no time to sit down and concentrate. One day I determined to learn the 121st Psalm, so I propped up the Bible on a table near the ironing board and memorized the verses while I ironed. You may be sure that ironing was not tedious that day, and how I have enjoyed the comfort of that particular Psalm since then! One of my Sunday School teachers who is especially busy told me that she has learned many verses while washing dishes. A nearby shelf holds her books, so she can glance at these during each session with the dishes.

Utilizing minutes has become such a hobby with us that when I pick up Jean Marie and her bottle, Kerry Lee says, “Well, we might as well kill two birds with one stone!” and runs for a favorite book. Now I read while the baby eats, and instead of feeling that I do not have as much time for her as I once did, Kerry Lee thinks it great fun to have this kind of family reading.

Next summer I hope that my two daughters will have smocked dresses. I don’t know when I will find time to make them, but I am going to get started right away. A minute here and a minute there will soon add up, so don’t be surprised if you see the Cathcart sisters all dressed up in fancy smocked dresses when June rolls around.

Resolve during 1952 to begin working at your favorite hobby even if you are very busy. Use your minutes and your hours will take care of themselves.

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