15 minutes and 30 seconds

An Interesting Challenge for you for today.

For a child: Sit with her or him for 15 minutes a day and allow that child to direct your play. Or direct the conversation. Time it. Give them the power for a whole fifteen minutes.  No television. No music.  No interruptions.  No phone. Fifteen minutes of uninterrupted play – one on one. (Try it then get back to me. )

For the adults and grown children in your life: Tell them something positive about themselves for 30 seconds. Thirty WHOLE seconds.  Time it. (Do it before you comment).  They do NOT have to reciprocate.  Over the phone or over coffee. It will work the same.  But it must be your voice – your beautiful voice. girl and dogs

The people we love are worth that.


No phones. No television. No computers. No music. Just you and me. Play with them.  Fifteen minutes and Thirty seconds.

I am saying this because we are slowly evolving as a society into millisecond bites of information and comment. Where has the love gone.

We are worth that. Try it before you comment here. Then tell me what you think.  Take the time.

What do you think?

Love celi



66 Comments on “15 minutes and 30 seconds

        • (Sitting here on my computer!) I do so agree. And when my helpers and I are all in the kitchen cooking or doing dishes it such a wonderful time. Farming and gardening make these kinds of discussions so much easier. I can tell someone how they did as we pull weeds together. And it would be incredibly weird to tell someone to “.. put that damn phone down – I am going to tell you all the great things you did today for thirty seconds so pay attention!” Yes this is a good Point Mad. If we have everything turned off First then these conversations will come more naturally.. c

  1. I do this with my 20 mo old granddaughter when she comes every week. I have a bucket of pennies and we play with them. I line them up on her legs while she sits still and then she wiggles until they all fall off. She fills containers with them and dumps them out. We do this for long periods of time. I enjoy doing things with her, one on one.

    • I don’t think this is a new problem – when i was young my father spent the whole evening reading the paper.. now my husband spends all his time reading the IPad. It is similar. But I do wish it did not make one feel so invisible. c

  2. Adults stop nurturing each other because it’s seen as unnecessary. We’re supposed to know how the other feels without saying anything. What a pile of crap. Instead I tell my friends they are amazing, that I love them, and I hug freely. They so often respond, “I really needed that.” It’s such a small thing but means so much. 🙂

    • That is such a wonderful thing. Especially when you hear that surprised “gosh I needed that”.. Especially when you add what you actually love about that person today. For example when a child shows us a painting often we say “Wow, that is great!” Though if we were to say “Wow that is great I love how you coloured the mans hat blue. that is my favourite blue. You are a good painter I think.” Then the child herself looks again at the painting and gets a real sense of pride in her blue hat. Do you see what I mean?

      • I love this! Yes, it is the exactness of your words! “I love the way you…..” It makes kids, people stand a little taller! Thanks for the reminder! Be someone’s bucket filler!

  3. I tell the Husband I love him several times each day. It’s a phrase that never wears out and never gets old. He knows, but I think it’s important to let him know that it’s fresh in my mind and heart.
    Sadly, I have no child handy to devote attention to, so I must reach out to the Fellowship. You are all brilliant, wonderful and caring people, and the Farmy and the world at large are better for having you around.

    • We will be your children Kate! Happily. The challenge is more than saying I love you. It is more of a “You do the dishes with such thoroughness that in the morning I can begin with a shiny new kitchen. This is really great. Thank you. and on and on for thirty whole seconds ” The thirty seconds of positive talk has to be new each time. That is the challenge. It makes us look for the best things in the people around us. Am I explaining this well? c

    • Thank you very much, Kate! As you belong to the Fellowship too, I want to give it back to you as well. I love your loving heart and your bringing the things to a very point by choosing the loveliest words. You’ve got a special softness and warmth like a loving mom. It always makes my heart smile and does me so good. Thank you.

      • Dear Irmi, I love that you always appreciate people’s ideas and have some contribution to make. You do so well to express yourself in a language which isn’t your mother tongue, and what you have to say is always completely clear and understandable, which must be hard work. Your comments are always kind and sensitive to the subject, and one of the nicest things is how much you appreciate the beauty of the natural world, particularly Celi’s window onto the Farmy and her creatures. Hug, Irmi! xxxx

        • Big hugs back to you, dear Kate!
          Sometimes I think I talk too much though… That’s maybe why I love this blog so much…

    • Great sentence Marla. As farmers we find this kind of focus a little easier. Often we will lean on a gate and give an animal our undivided attention. But to speak out loud for 30 WHOLE seconds saying only positive things to someone without it sounding like a bad script gets better with practice. c

    • It is. I was working with a 4 year old child who had a stutter once and introduced a fifteen minute playtime with him. Each parent had to do it (they were very busy – in fact it was hard to teach them to allow the child to be the boss of the play and to NOT answer the phone during that time) They always wanted to show him that they knew more and that he should listen while they taught him but the child just needed to learn to trust his parents enough to tell them where to sit and what game to play. And trust that his voice would come. One on One for a whole 15 minutes is actually rarer than you think in a big busy family. c

  4. It’s a wonderful idea. When my adult children are close at hand, we can be quite effusive and playful about how much we care for each other. But since very often they are not close by and I am mostly alone, I rely on technology to remind them daily that I’m their cheering section. I told my daughter (via text) that she made me smile and I adore her when she told me how she effectively handled what could have been a difficult day for someone else. I often tell her I want to grow up and be just like her. Both children are remarkable and they tell me quite often they are glad I’m their mother. It can’t get any better. We do get to go play and be silly every once in a while. You are correct. The dishes might not get done right now or the bed not made, but I always have time for friends and family.

      • They know so many other mothers that they are glad they don’t have. They make me look better. 🙂 My sister in law wants every time she sees my children to trade for hers. Not a chance. I tell mine how lucky I am to be their mother. They have such good hearts and I feel so blessed by them. Maybe it’s about always treating your children with the respect you want? I’m sure yours adore you as well. How could they not?

        • My children are incredible – but remember we all kind of grew up together – i was a very young divorced Mum with children from 14 months old to 6- Four of them. So we have always been a very tight unit.. I do miss them but the phones and txts and all those things make life so much easier! c

          • That’s where tech is so wonderful. I was technically married but we were always just the 3 of us. It does make you a tighter group but it could have gone the other way for you. You chose to stay close and I’m sure you still are. I’ll bet they adore you too. 🙂

  5. Love this! I actually did this with Miss A last night. I ended up wearing a bridesmaids dress and presenting a tiara for her coronation. Then we waltzed. A blast! Can’t remember the last time I spun around like a little girl twirling my skirt! Brilliant C!

  6. Lovely lovely lovely!!! How many times have I been in a place and saw children doing something so sweet (or not so sweet) and look over to see Mom & Dad with their noses to their phone. If they are “SMART” phone, they are turning us into DUMB HUMANS!!!

    My husband does the same to me. We were in a beautiful B&B this spring. They included breakfast and dinner with the room. It was a 5 star check cooking us meals. For dinner – yup – his nose was on his phone the whole time. The next morning at breakfast – he picked the phone up again. I picked up my plate of food, moved myself outside, found a lovely young couple who where there considering the B&B for their wedding – so I sat with them and talked about marriage and respect. They were so sweet! Hubby – never came out to find me. He just thought I had got up to go through the buffet line again.

    Boy – your posts make me spill my guts….. Anyway, PLEASE put the phones away when you are with a loved one – no matter the age. GIVE THE PERSON YOU ARE WITH your 100% attention!!! Especially at meal time.

    (BTW: he still does this too me no matter how many times I have cried or ranted about it…. you can dump the bucket of water on his head, but you can’t make him take his lunch….)

    • Mine has an IPad – I know exactly what you are saying – to solve this I have insisted gently on him helping me milk – no matter how late he comes home Lady and i wait. He simply cannot help milk with an IPad in his hands.. it gives me my 15 minutes of attention and has made World of difference. I wonder if we can come up with something daily you two could do together that only takes a few minutes.. I also insist we eat dinner at the table and no IPad there.. that might be a tough one though.. phones are such sneaky pesky things.. c

      • You are so great, Celi – in every way! Hope this milking time you have together lasts a very long time!

      • Mine has the tv and the blasted 24 hour news stations. I mean really, how many times do you have to hear the same information just phrased differently? At present he is away on a hunting trip, left Wed. and will be back Tues. and I have had the tv on for approx. 20 min. a day to catch the local news and weather. BTW did I mention that today is our 17th wedding anniversary? Hmmmph!

    • As Chris (below) says it: He is not worth you. So sad. I can feel what you mean. I had two of that sort of husbands…. Oh my. – I once accepted an invitation from a stranger for having a coffee together when being in Italy. We just had ordered our drinks his mobile phone rang. He was talking and talking and talking. Our coffees had arrived meanwhile. I was stupid enough not to leave. But when he finally stopped talking into his phone I dared to tell him that there was nothing more unpolite in the world what he has been doing right now. He did not like my words of course, but did not appologize. Maybe you can imagine that there was not much left to tell to each other. We silently drank our coffee and departed soon. I refused a further Invitation.

  7. Excellent idea. I love just “our” time. Every night when mom puts all of us anipals to bed, she gives each one of us just ‘our’ time. She tucks me into bed, sits with me and tells me how much she loves me or sings to me. She does the same with Houdini and the purr things in their ways. It’s *our* time and is special. XOXO – Bacon

  8. Focusing on the ones in front of you (in person hopefully) is such a lost art. It’s the solution and the only hope for so much.
    (Every time 1 negative/criticism has to be spoken, make sure 2 positive messages are given as reinforcement, too. Not flattery, but something real)
    15 minutes seems so little to ask.

    • Yes very good advice Mouse – we call that the sandwich! But not in your 30 seconds or the 15 minutes, these are just for calm postiives.. Of course also we need to be prepared for knock backs – butt thats ok there is always the next 30 seconds.. c

  9. I came back from a supermarket right now. Queuing up there was a mom with a little boy behind me. He was about 5 yo. He looked so lovely, had such a nice face. I couldn’t resist to tell his mother what a beautiful child she has, that he is looking so lovely. Her face brightened up and she smiled at me, saying thank you. This, in return, made me happy of course too. – I often do things like that very spontaneously. Living and being alone I choose that way to spend some love to others. And mostly it’s good.
    But sometimes it happend that people could not take it. Maybe they’re afraid of being talked to in general or they just can’t take nice or lovely words from a stranger. E.g. I once got a bad look from a lady sitting beside me (I was working as a taxi driver then), when saying what a beautiful dress she wears and how well it suits her. Her expression froze in the same moment as if I had hurt her. After she’s arrived and paid me, she hurried out of the car without a word, as if she had to flee. Poor her. But I did not feel very well at all too. Maybe it’s not allowed ot say such things to unknown people?
    Anyway it’s my my character, so I will continue to be spontaneous in that way as I did today…. 🙂
    Have a nice day, Celi! Let all the good things shine into your heart!

    • This reminds me of a story my brother told of when he was a young NZ man. He got offf a bus and saw an old lady carrying a number of shopping bags. He stopped beside her and offered to carry her shopping home for her – reaching for the bags as he spoke. The poor old lady got such a fright, she screamed, dropped the bags and ran as fast as she could away down the street. Naturally Tim picked up the bags and hurried after her trying to give them to her but she screamed louder and tried to run faster. In the end Tim had to give up and placed the bags on a step and walked back to the bus stop. Maybe the lady in the taxi was just having a really bad day and was thinking about something else.. hope so.. c

      • Oh, that’s not a nice adventure that your brother had. The old lady might have been deaf and did not understand him. Thought he’s a thief maybe? Or was just afraid of young men…. – “My” lady was a beautiful one, relatively young and even more beautiful in her gorgeous dress. She had been quite friendly at the beginning of our tour. Until that bad sentence of mine… 😦 Maybe she thought I wanted her… 😉

  10. I do this too as often as I can and like irmi, with complete strangers sometimes….and then we are no longer strangers…I volunteer in our local elementary school with children that just need a little extra tlc and what a difference it makes in their self esteem, performance in school, etc. I felt sad when I read Pat R.’s story about her husband…that she actually had to cry for his attention, which still did no good. Chris

  11. Ok, I did as asked. I phoned my son-in-law in Dublin, and talked to him for 34 minutes. Like me he needed it. Elly left at 08:00 on Wednesday morning on a business trip. Four airports and three flights later she arrived in China at 02:40 (my time) the following morning. a quick shower and she was driven to the office in time to work a full day. Oh to be young and have her energy! She will be away for al least a few weeks. I love to sit, watch, talk and play with a young child, alas there are none around where I live, the neighbourhood has grown older like me.

  12. What a great exchange here! I stopped in the middle of reading and called my daughter. Told her I just was wondering how she was doing. She opened up and told me more of her plans. I gave her positivity, saying that I knew she was under a lot of stress and that I thought she was doing very well with it, and she opened further. I’m going to be doing this more often as usually when I call I’m asking for a ride to thus and so. This is going to make a difference!!!

    On another facet of this subject, I was talking to a cousin (Dad’s first cousin) and telling her about my kids. She responded saying that gratitude in children is like mouse milk. You know there’s some, but it’s not much and whenever you get some you should appreciate it. I’ve never forgotten. Mouse milk…who’da thunk? Love, Gayle

  13. A few weeks ago, we started a Family Fun Time. Every evening after dinner, baths, chores, we end the night by playing card games the kids choose. Even my teenage son cannot resist the lure of games. We get to see them in a whole new light, and it’s refreshing for the kids to have a time when they aren’t being directed to take care of responsibilities. We laugh together. It’s wonderful!

  14. Just spent an Hour and Thirty minutes on the phone with my daughter – and we both wished it was longer as we always have so much to say! But her four kids were getting antsy about her not being available to them LOL.

  15. Oh the stories I’m sure we could all tell about people …people we know and love, not strangers….. and their phones. You’re right, Celi, it does make you feel invisible and unimportant. I’ve travelled all the way from Oz to Ohio to visit my daughter, only to find she spends more time on the phone and texting than being with me, even her kids telling her to get off the phone and be with me/us doesn’t make any difference, or even giving her positives…..” I enjoy being with you so much when we talk/walk/share without your phone between us” , but she just says thanks and agrees and then goes back to her phone anyway, so I don’t go anymore….and have told her why. I talk to strangers and often comment positively about them, especially the young mums who cope with tantrums from their littlies in the shops, and always tell them how well they handled a difficult time, and am always telling my friends the wonderful things I love about them, but until recently didn’t really have it happen to me, but now I have a new friend I met dog walking, and she’s great at giving out these impromptu positives….I recently told her about my planned day, and as I was heading up the coast, a drive of a couple of hours, I planned to combine a number of errands so I only had one trip…..she immediately said she was always impressed how I creatively use my time to accomplish a lot…..such a little thing, but I really felt “seen” . Great conversation everybody, thanks all for sharing

  16. I read aloud to my children every night until the youngest was seventeen… we had such fun, laughing and crying together.
    A few weeks ago I wrote to my grandson who I don’t often see how he’s so busy with his studies. I told him all that he had meant to me ever since he was born.
    He wrote back with the most exquisite thing he’d written last year when he woke in the middle of the night, about what it was like staying with his grannie… to have it spontaneously back and two-way was a miracle !!!

  17. I really enjoyed this thoughtful post and comments. Makes me appreciate what I have, and vow not to lose. No kids, but a wonderful G.O. who even if we’re watching TV, looking at a computer screen, book or magazine talk and interact; interrupting and sharing. A life and appreciation hard won though… But it also is a reminder for me to be in the moment and take my time when chatting to family and to look outside my own bubble to say hello, pay a compliment or chat to people I don’t know well or yet 🙂

  18. My spouse and I usually eat together at least three or four evenings a week, no phone, no computer, no television, no radio, just us and the dog, frequently on the screened porch in the nice weather, or the kitchen otherwise. The kids all know to turn off their phones if they come to visit, they have all been told, unless it’s important, there is no need to be texting someone else if theyr’e visiting here.
    It’s wonderful having everyone here in the Fellowship. You all are loved and appreciated. It lifts my day reading Celi’s post and all the comments. The unconditional positive regard shared amongst everyone makes this a place of calm, acceptance and friendship. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when people will just be kind to each other?

  19. Somehow this post slipped under the wire. I’m so glad I searched back and found it – so much wisdom, love and good sense from you, Celie, and from the entire Fellowship. This is what keeps me cheerful through pain and problems. I love you all!

  20. Celie, perhaps get another milking cow – or two – could extend the “together time” no end. A few areas around us are mobile black spots and some people are not sorry about that. Rick and I only have ancient mobile phones and only switch them on when we are driving on our own. Fortunately our youngest daughter appreciates our feelings and the phone is switched off during meals. However, both daughters have smart phones for work so we have to appreciate their need to be heard – the phones and the girls. It is a 21st Century problem unfortunately. Joy

  21. While I value my ability to converse via email and blog chat immensely, I know too that face-to-face commitment is essential—even for an introvert like me with spasmodic dysphonia! So I have had many 4-5 hour lunches with friends, when we decompress and deconstruct the world as much as we can. Two such lunches, this week, it turns out. I often do it for younger friends who seem a little at sea or lonesome, but always, always, find that I am comforted and renewed at least as much as they are by the experience.

    This week it’s been one of combining the two forms of communication intensely, too, as another dear friend had a family tragedy and we’re both trying to find the time this coming week to sit down for such a lunch and comfort each other, and trying to put into words via email how we’re feeling and what we need in the meantime. As much as digital communication can put distance between us, I find that in times of need like this it has tremendous power to close the gap: a quick text to say “I’ve heard the news. I’m here when you’re ready to talk,” an email to say “when there’s time, let’s sit down and cry together,” and then the ability to go back and forth quickly to find a day and time when the latter can really happen. All part of the survival of grief and finding our way toward equilibrium again.

    What a beautiful post, and obviously one that touched us all, C.

    Love you.

  22. Spent 15 minutes with The Boyfriend this morning over a cup of coffee before work. It’s so important to pause in life and appreciate the right now, and how wonderful life is, regardless of what is happening in it.
    I wish you a wonderful day.
    Your blog is the one I often turn to for inspiration on how to write well.

    GG x

  23. Reblogged this on Dana L. Daggett and commented:
    This caught my attention and I finally decided that you might enjoy reading it, too.

    I don’t normally do this sort of this but today I’m reblogging a post from another site. Yes, reblogging is a real thing. I read Celi’s blog daily and enjoy her insight and the tales of life on her farm. This post from 9/26 stuck with me so I decided to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


  24. Pingback: Reblog - I don't usually do this... - HUMAN CHOW

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