My mum was vaccinated today. It took a couple of minutes. Her life is changed.
I wrote a letter on Sunday to the ICU nurses at St George’s Hospital, thanking them for their dedication and sacrifice. That took me around 120 seconds too. I put it in with the muffins I’d made for them.
Since 21 December 2020 I’ve been rather obsessed with the concept of two minutes because that’s how much extra daylight we get each day. In these difficult times, this has been making me happy.
But then I thought – what to do with those two minutes of light? How to use them for the good of others and for our own benefit. Of course, for me, the answer was communication (it being the most important of all life skills).
The note to the ‘overwhelmed and broken’ (their words) medical staff at St George’s (and the weekly delivery of home-made treats, baked and packaged with love by my neighbours) has brought a little light to them in their darkest hour. And, truthfully, it helped me pull myself out of a very unattractive bout of third lockdown self-pity.
For others the #TwoMinutesOfLight might be spent tweeting/emailing/Zooming/calling/WhatsApping a colleague, teacher, team member, friend, relative, boss (light can shine upwards too). At a time when many of us are struggling, how welcome is that simple word of praise for a job well done, a project completed on time, a meeting well managed. Or maybe it’s a Linkedin recommendation, an introduction, a testimonial. Perhaps it’s asking the customer service lady on the end of the ‘phone how her day has been? Listening to someone without distraction. Or maybe it’s knocking on a lonely neighbour’s door to say Happy Birthday.
You might even use two minutes for yourself, taking control of your own happiness. Somehow, I’ve only just come across the incredible Mo Gawdat, ex Chief Business Officer at Google X. His life’s mission now, prompted by a personal tragedy, is to show people that happiness is an equation, that we can choose to be happy, and that we can achieve it through simple, practical behaviours. I urge you to watch this. It’s so relevant right now – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3mdCGTxI6Q&mc_cid=533f443c70&mc_eid=dcd5370ea2
Meanwhile I’m going to spend two minutes setting up #TwoMinutesOfLight in the hope that you might share how you’re using your 120 seconds per day. And then I’m going to make my 16 year old, GCSE-less daughter a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Time very well spent!