Three Minutes


This post is sponsored by Clorox. That means Clorox is paying me some money to write this post. I’m pretty excited about that, so go buy some Clorox products today! I think I’m going to use the money Clorox is paying me to build a chicken house, and I can tell you for sure that if that chicken house gets dirty, I’m gonna tell those hens to go get them some Clorox, because, like, I’m not cleaning it! I’m gonna call it the Clorox Chicken Coop! With that name, it might even be self-cleaning. Do you think?

Okay, back to Clorox. Actually, back to the topic Clorox asked me to write about. Because I don’t actually have to write about Clorox. I don’t even have to say Clorox ten times, like I am, but I’m pretty happy with Clorox at the moment, so I’m giving them a bonus.

Clorox asked me to write a post for moms (which I think could include you dads! not to mention pet-parents! I’m all about being all-inclusive!) about how you spend your precious few “free” minutes. Say three. Three minutes. What can you do for yourself in three minutes? (After you disinfect something with Clorox, of course. Because that only takes three seconds. Then you’re ready to move on.)

You can take over the world.

Really! Or at least, the part of the world over which you want to take. I’ve never had huge stretches of uninterrupted time in which to pursue my dreams. I started writing when Ross was a baby. Remember that I had two more babies after Ross was born. Books aren’t written in giant leaps. They’re written one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page at a time–and that is the same way any goal is accomplished. I could hold a baby with one hand and make plot notes with the other. I’d write down snatches of dialogue, descriptions, whatever. If I needed two hands, I could still think my notes. By the time I had a few minutes free to sit down at the computer, I could write the next scene of the book pretty quickly–then jump up and go find whoever was crying.

Some people might say that if you’re home alone with three babies all day, there’s no way you can write a book–but of course you can. If you can dream it, you can do it. You aren’t going to dream about something that isn’t, in some form, realistic for you. Nature takes care of that for us–we dream of things for which we have natural inclinations, talents, or drives. This gives us a great boost in our chances of success in our goals. We are guided in our dreams by our inner instincts. Sometimes it’s simply our outer expectations we have to shape. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer. I may never be an NYT bestseller, but I’m still a writer. You may never be a movie star, but if you dream of being involved with the stage, you can do it–in local plays, community shows, teaching theater, or throwing your church holiday production. You may never plow 500 acres, but if you dream of being a farmer, you can plant a backyard garden, put up preserves in your suburban kitchen, grow starts in your basement under lights and sell them at the farmers market, or set up a vertical garden on your apartment patio. You can pursue whatever you dream a little at a time, in just a few minutes stolen from your other daily obligations to plan, practice, and prepare. Time isn’t an excuse, it’s just part of the challenge. There are other challenges beyond time for any dream, of course, but they can be confronted the same way–with persistence. Pursue your dream whenever you can, and however you can, in whatever venue or level is open to you–or that you can pry open. The greatest challenge of all, for many people, is owning their achievements, holding themselves to an impossible bar of perfection or pinnacle. Pursuing a dream is about the journey. Own every success, however seemingly small. Own every three minutes.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

I believe that with all my heart, and I also believe that believing is the first step. Decide today that you believe it, too–and take three minutes to pursue your dream.

If you feel comfortable sharing, tell me what you can do in three minutes to take a step toward your dream! (Me, I can carry another box out of the studio to get ready for my health department-approved kitchen remodel!)

This post is sponsored by Clorox. Help stop the spread of germs with Cloroxยฎ disinfecting products.


  1. willsahna says:

    I already use Clorox and Clorox wipes so you know I will always be buying more of them! In three minutes I can fill out some more paperwork to get our new future daughter from Russia. This is the dream we are working on now. I adopted my son from Moldova in 1999. Last fall my cousin adopted two children from Russia and on her last trip found out that they have an older sister she was not told about. That is the child we are trying to get. She’s 9.

  2. princessvanessa says:

    I am going to stretch and get the range of motion back in my right arm/shoulder that I broke last year. Three minutes is probably the best I can do after welding 8 hours each day.
    By the way, I love Clorox wipes and keep them in each bathroom and the kitchen…I wouldn’t be without them! How wonderful that Clorox is sponsoring your post. They get an “A” in my book.

  3. silentgoddess says:

    As silly as it may sound, I am taking my days step by step, moment by moment. After having some health worries I found out today that I have iron-deficiency anemia. My iron count is REALLY low. Scary low. And that means I will take those three minutes, two times a day, to take my iron supplements and drink lots and lots of water. My wish is that my health is back on track in a few weeks so I can get to feeling better and living a long life full of other dreams. Right now, good health is what I am dreaming about.

  4. kathy says:

    8) I love Clorox too, like everyone. I have used it always I suppose. My grandmother always had it by her old ringer style washer. My mom always had a qt. under the kitchen sink and in the laundry. It’s the best disinfectant. I am allergic to chlorine, but I still use it. I look like something out of a science fiction movie when I do, yellow gloves, face shield, long sleeves. But there is nothing that cleans like clorox. Greasy things, porches, lots of stuff. Will have to think about the 3 minute thing. Great post, one of my favorites.

  5. Janis says:

    I am so glad Clorox is sponsoring you some. My mother was the world’s biggest believer in clorox. Everything in her life got cloroxed. Nothing was spared from underwear and dishes rinsed in it to surfaces getting wiped clean with it.

    You do have to watch for Clorox tragedies. When it gets sloshed on clothing, the bleached dots remain forever. If you try to clean a toilet with it, you can have a ring forever. However for good old basic germ prevention, it can’t be beat!

  6. mschrief says:

    My dream is retirement. I suppose MY three minutes would be eye-balling my alarm clock for three minutes, from 4:12 to 4:15 am, just waiting for it to go off. Then I get up!

    You couldn’t have a better sponsor! Everyone loves Clorox!!!

  7. CATRAY44 says:

    I love Clorox and if they will keep sponsoring you, I will never buy off brand again! (Clorox wipes are the best wipes, IMO. I can’t believe how many uses I find for them, and no worry about ruining my clothes!)

  8. GA_in_GA says:

    I love Clorox products, too. The wipes rock! I can wipe down the bathroom sink and then have those 3 minutes available to dream of a perfect farm.

  9. rurification says:

    I’m a huge believer in ‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’ I want to go to Europe someday. In three minutes I can do a Google search for tours in Corwall, or a local travel agent, or cheap overseas flights. When I’m at the library, I can spend three minutes looking for travel dvds. When I’m at the post office, I can spend three minutes picking up the paperwork for a passport, then another three minutes filling it out. It’ll only take one minute to mail it, then I can spend the other two minutes happily imagining my trip. There will be harder and longer things to do in between, but three minute activities are the glue that holds my dreams together.

  10. BethanyJean says:

    My dream is to be a writer and I am home all day with too little babes (4 years and 4 months) so finding time for just me is hard (we have a small farm with goats, dogs and cats and chickens & ducks coming in less than 2 weeks, yay!).
    However, the next time I am nursing my littlest babe I can jot down some words or ideas for my book in a journal. My other dream I am luckily living & thats being a small “hobby” farmer, but of course a farmers work or dreams are NEVER done so maybe the next time i am nursing (which will be an hour from the last time I did it) I can write in my journal about my dreams for this piece of land we are blessed with having. that always gives me piece of mind that there is so much to be done but so much more to look forward too!
    -You inspire me Suzanne and I look forward to reading your blog, just like so many others do! You have an energy that is addicting.

  11. pensiero says:

    Since my dream is to travel I would spend my three minutes planning my iterinerary and packing my suitcase. Then I’ll just grab the grandkids and spend the night camping in the driveway!
    P.S. Who doesn’t like Clorox Wipes… thing ever!

  12. Peggy in KY says:

    I am so glad Clorox inspired you to write this poat. It is a great one and I am a true believer in 3 minutes. I design quilts for a fabric company. It takes me 3 minutes to write to my contact to check to see if they have a fabric line I can design a quilt or other item. I need to also use my three minutes to expand to creating patterns for my own company!

  13. maryellen51 says:

    I want to learn how to take great photos. Last night on the way home from work, I stopped at a wide place in the road and took pictures of the sun setting over the Ohio River. Probably took all of three minutes.

  14. mrnglry says:

    I’m a firm believer in using those spare minutes. A lot can be accomplished, just minutes at a time. When I had my quilt and needlework shop, all of the samples I and my daughter made and hung on the wall were done in a few minutes, here and there. When a customer came in and admired the work but said she didn’t have enough time, I told her how most of those she saw were done in the shop, between all the other work that goes on during the day. That usually inspired them to get going on their project.

    I love Clorox too and use Clorox Cleanup in my bathrooms and kitchen. Haven’t tried the wipes yet, but now I am going to. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. lattelady says:

    LOVE your post and your new sponsor. Way to go Clorox!
    3 minutes are precious and can mean the difference in your life. In 1985 I reached my goal wgt with a loss of 92.5#. So many “3 minutes” were involved in my food and exercise decisions.I kept that wgt off for 20 years, using that 3 minutes to get out of a bad food situation or to find something healthy almost daily.
    Then I got sick, dh got sick (and passed on). Weight came back. So, back to slogging through it again. Now I use that 3 minutes to knit or crochet something (one really shouldn’t eat/drink while doing either… looks bad ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I am down 33.5# and going strong.
    You can get a LOT done in 3 minutes. Go for it! The world is made up of 3 minutes!

  16. shirley T says:

    I love clorox. I’ve always used it in my towels, dishtowels, sheets and white socks. They just don’t smell the same without it. When I sit around for three minutes~~ not doing anything~ I start looking around the house and take notice of all the things that I am not able to do anymore~Getting old and full of osteo sucks. Then I look all around for three more minutes and realize how blessed I am to still have all my children still alive and most of my faculties about me~~ and for this I give thanks to Father God in Heaven. I’m so happy for you and Clorox. :ladybug:

  17. Karen H says:

    Three minutes. Three minutes isn’t very long, it passes very quickly. I can pray for others for three minutes as I wash my dishes and do my daily chores using Clorox.

  18. Hengal says:

    My dream is to use the 3 acres that God has blessed us with for the enjoyment,education and “country” experience of young children and senior citizens. I would like to provide classes on gourd growing and crafting and have “make it/take it” projects they can take home. Would also like to include seed starting demonstrations, cut flowers, etc – again, something they can take with them. I envision a large gourd garden with large walk through arbors. (I used to grow and craft gourds all the time). For the youngs ones, I think they would really enjoy the animals too (chickens, ducks, goats, cats).
    In three minutes – which I will do today on my lunch hour – I can draw out plans for the gourd garden and arbors and a couple of new cutting gardens. I actually typed up an outline of these ideas a couple of years ago – and then life happened – and I just put other things first. This is an excellent post Suzanne – thank you for prodding us all to remember the dreams we have – and really facing the “why haven’t I done it?” You are right – we need to have BELIEF in ourselves. ๐Ÿ˜€ If you can dream it you can do it…. I love this!!! You are an inspiration to me and others to follow our dreams – THANK YOU! Oh – I and just received my copy of “Farm Fresh Promotions” in the mail yesterday! – thanks for recommending it!
    And finally – I will agree with everyone else – I too LOVE Clorox products!! Wouldn’t be without them around here that’s for sure.

  19. Wannabea... says:

    Oh Clorox…I used to love you! But I can’t use you now as my skin can’t take it. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I can’t use many cleaning chemicals these days, I must make my own (which I love too! ๐Ÿ˜€ ) But what a great message! I never thought about it this way before, what an eye opener this post has been, Thank you!

  20. tinamanley says:

    I use Clorox and Clorox products every day to clean almost everything! I will use my three minutes to take photos of everyday life around the farm, post the photos on my website and with several agencies to lease to textbooks and magazines to support my photography business which has supported me for over 30 years!

  21. CarrieJ says:

    #1 I love Clorox products and use them all the time from bleach to the wipes to the sprays.

    #2 I REALLY want to have chickens. So, if I don’t win the chicken book (which I need to go check out right now) then I am going to buy a chicken book and start reading it. That is my biggest fear. I can get a coop, get it setup, then what????

    What is the best book I can get for a person who has never had a chicken in her life but loves their eggs and personalities? Chickens for Dummies, if you will….

  22. pdelainey says:

    My free time right now is spent cleaning and getting ready for my third child (due March 21). When I have time over that, or don’t feel up to cleaning at the moment, I spend time making lists on the computer of what my husband and I need to do to have a self-sufficient farm. :clover:

  23. B1ueDogsMom says:

    I’m thinking your next white baby goat or lamb or *** should be named….wait for it…. “Clorox”! Then we can all watch Clorox grow up and have little bleachlettes.

  24. wildcat says:

    My big dream is to one day have a completely clean, orderly house. With a place for everything, and everything in its place. It’s a long way away, but I’m taking baby steps. So if I had a spare three minutes, I could clear the mail pile off the kitchen counter. File what needs to be filed, and toss the rest. I could load or unload the dishwasher. A clean house would make me happy!

  25. mamacarpenter says:

    :fairy: I like the idea of taking 3 minutes to say a prayer…think about someone you know who is in need and pray for them. then when you have another 3 minutes, act on that prayer and think about what you can DO to help them. A phone call, a short note, some home canned or baked goods left “anonomously” by their back door…anything to brighten their day.

    :hug: I also like the idea of using those 3 minutes to do a small task, like cleaning off your kitchen counter or desktop.

    This post really is a good reminder of ways to use those small snippets of time! Thanks, Clorox, for the great idea! (and thanks to Suzanne for putting that idea into words so well!) :snoopy:

  26. VAfarmer says:

    What an excellent post, and timely! I have been in a bit of a ‘mood’ lately, thinking I’ll be stuck at a desk job forever and never achieve my dream of having a truly self-sufficient farm. BUT, in my three minutes (snuck in on my lunch break), I will read another few pages in one of my books about farming/self-sufficient living, form a few more ideas, and write down another step in my plan toward my goal.

    Thank you, Suzanne, for reminding me to take a minute and focus on what it is I love and am dreaming of! Doesn’t hurt that the weather is beautiful here today too! :clover:

  27. FujiQ says:

    I’m living my dream so now I try to spend my spare time with God.

    And since Clorox is doing such a nice thing for you, I will add that I never used bleach until I started milking my goat. You just can’t mess around with raw milk. All my equipment gets a bleach/hot water rinse each time its used. Of course, I use Clorox! I buy the big three pack from Sam’s Club.

  28. quietstorm says:

    Really needed this post today….Thanks Suzanne & Clorox! Today, with my three minutes for me, I’m signing up for cheesemaking classes at a local farm!

  29. TW says:

    Your post made me smile. First because you kept talking about Clorox. Next, because you wrote about fulfilling your dreams. And lastly, because you did such a good job writing about it. I was smiling all the way through. Clorox definitely helps us keep things clean. And our dreams help us keep going each day. Thanks for writing about how you’re fulfilling your dreams. I LOVE hearing all about your wonderful farm!

  30. SanAntonioSue says:

    My Mamaw, Grandma,and Mama would always tell me from the time I was old enough to help with chores:”You dont need any fancy cleanser. Just a bottle of Clorox. It does everything!!”. My Mamaw(who was born in 1903, God rest her soul) would even put a capful in my bathwater to “kill them redbugs and ticks that might be hiding” after a day of running through the woods playing and picking wild berries. Must’ve worked cause I dont ever remember being itchy!! My dream is to have a small home-based personalized jewelry business. So I spend my 3 minutes looking at supply catalogues and studying business plans.One day…sigh…. ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. rileysmom says:

    Ah, the smell of Clorox means clean to me! Never without a bottle, nor the wipes now.
    Those free minutes are spent gazing out the window, being thankful for the beauty surrounding us.

  32. Bev in CA says:

    My Mom used it and all these many years later I am still using Cloxox. Always in the bathroom and especially my kitchen counter tops, cutting boards, etc. Also cleaning out the horse trough. Yes, I do have some jeans that have spots on them. Remember it can also be used for clorinating water for drinking. Needed a little jolt this morning. Just taking three minutes to reflect on what you want in life made me realize how often I don’t do this. Thank you Suzanne.

  33. Cindy H says:

    My three minutes are spent each day reading chickensintheroad! I have learned so much from you…cheesemaking, animal husbandry (I have chickens ordered), cooking, crafting…so much. I love your humor and the way you find grace in everyday happenings. Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  34. Ewenique says:

    I love this post, it got me thinking as I read it about this song from Etta James. “I Believe I Can Fly”
    so I went to YouTube and this was the video that I found to share with you.
    At the beginning of the song she says If I can see it, I can do it!
    Sometimes I need to be reminded of the baby steps it takes to accomplish some of my dreams, instead of being so overwhelmed by the magnitude of the end result. That’s what I got from this post. I’m sure Clorox had no idea when they asked you to write a post that they would get such a varied amount of responses! Oh! and in my 3 mins. I went and listened to this song!

  35. tlbcasey8 says:

    You are such a wonderful writer…and such an inspiration to us all…kudos !

  36. tlbcasey8 says:

    ….And I must not forget, Clorox is a godsend as well…Thanks Clorox !!

  37. CarrieJ says:

    People say such funny things here. I wish I could “like” their posts ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. twoturkey says:

    :snoopy: CLOROX: I never left home without it…..especially on trips. The wipes came in handy wiping every important thing in ladies restrooms. ha ha Plus I couldn’t keep house without it in kitchen and bathrooms…it is a very good disinfectant! Wouldn’t do a load of whites without my jug of COLOROX!!
    I always check CITR each morning and that is my three minutes of enjoyment. Love this site!!

    Mrs. Turkey

  39. Murphala says:

    Ha! I just bought a case of Clorox from Sam’s…three big gallons worth! I adore it. So I can take three minutes and actually OPEN that case of Clorox and do something with it, like soak my dish towels until they are snowy white again. And disinfect my cheesemaking tools and kitchen area so I can make another cheese this weekend! But there’s more to life than cleaning. I’m going to spend three minutes daily THINKING and focusing on what exactly it is I want to do for the rest of my life,and then listing the steps I need to take to get there. Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Andrea.tat says:

    You seem to have such good timing with your posts (or Clorox does in this case? haha) I’ve really been struggling recently with time. Including driving my current job occupies almost 12 hours of my day, and I hate my current job which makes it that much worse. I realized a bit before Christmas that I had messed up the time line to my novel and, well been feeling a bit discouraged and like I would never have the time to fix my dratted story (never mind that I will probably be leaving the job soon, this is all a very mental thing) and your post reminded me that I don’t need to have huge blocks of time to rewrite my story. So from now on I just want to recognize that even a small amount of time, such as three minutes, is enough time to make a difference. By dwelling like I have been on not having enough time I am actually losing time!

    Also clorox wipes ftw.

  41. Miss Judy says:

    My 3 minutes or 180 seconds will be used for physical therapy 2x daily…I want to be in good shape for the CitR 2012 Retreat!

    And you know,3 min or 180 seconds is such a small amt of time…I am going to carve out some more time spots …3 min to address and stamp some of these cards I make and send them to old friends.

    And 3 more min to pray…maybe pray for a different thing each day of the week.Sunday…my church, Monday…my co-workers,Tues…family …etc

    Thanks for a good post.
    Oh Yes, I have used Clorox since I was a teenager. I also use Clorox wipes in my classroom at school!

  42. Katharina says:

    Three minutes-I can write in my journal or do stretches to elleviate pain, I can take the puppy outdoors, I can make an omelette! (see the Suzanne and Julia post!). I can dream a dream, I can pray for a friend. I can start a sketch, put some stitches in the quilt, whip up a smoothie. We can live whole lives by using our 3 minutes here and 3 minutes there. Thank you Suzanne for pointing that out to us. A friend of mine said she always waits for the “perfect time” to do some things and don’t you know that “perfect time” never comes. So take 3 minutes and start living now.

    BTW, I love Clorox Clean Up in the spray bottle.

  43. holstein woman says:

    Clorox, also the best thing for the milking equipment in the barn. Great for nesting box disinfecting and milk bottles for the calves. Even the barn critters deserve to have clean and sterile.
    Right now my life is just about in 3 minute intervals, I am working on getting over shingles and thinking about the move we have coming up to our 56 acres of flat land in Clatskanie, Oregon. Yeah and PRAISE GOD.

  44. enjay says:

    Thanks Suzanne (and Clorox) for this thought provoking post. I do have dreams and goals, but I sat and thought for a few minutes about things I want to spend my 3 minutes on and decided that they are best spent with my old dog. She’s valiant, but she’s faltering and won’t be with us much longer. She gets plenty of attention already, more than she wants actually because she now preferrs to hang out in the background of my active household when it gets cranking, but I want to take the time to sprawl on the floor with her and appreciate her. To wrap my arms around her like I used to when she would sneak into the bed after my husband went to work, before arthritis took that ability away from her. No checking her ears, or her nails, or picking at her, just be with her as much as I can before she’s gone. I think I’m going to enjoy my peaceful time with my old girl as much, if not more, than she will.

  45. enjay says:

    Oh, and I’ve already been stocking up on Clorox bleach and wipes because we have a new puppy that will be here in a few weeks that will need house training. Vinegar is cheaper but I think Clorox does a better job and I feel better letting the kids get down and play on it.

  46. Lajoda says:

    Someone else said it, but I wish I could “Like” posts too. Some are so funny. ๐Ÿ˜† Todays favorite………. A Lamb named Clorox! Love it.
    But…. you could name a white chicken Clorox too, particularly since it will be the Clorox coop, and instead of roosts you could install bleachers! :snoopy:

  47. NancyL says:

    Well written, Suzanne! Of course it was. I don’t have just 3 minutes, I have all day – I am retired, and have only my cat to worry about. However, I am overwhelmed at the moment – not only with a kitchen to clean, laundry, and stuff that fallen to the floor that I don’t pick up because it hurts, but by the chronic lower back and knee pain that prevents me from doing these things. Yep – have pain pills. Yep – have been through physical therapy. My 3 minutes? Grab my cane and pull something close to me; grab my reacher and pick up a few things; make it to the washer and throw in one load; stand up long enough to get a couple of dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher; and do some of those exercises the therapists taught me! Thanks for waking me up. And – I keep clorox wipes easy to reach.

  48. acwash says:

    Just know that you are loved 50750885740570345790435 times more than it shows online! We love you and enjoy the site. Please don’t let one sorry, stove stealing apple ruin the bunch.

  49. karen608 says:

    I use Clorox too, so hope they consider having you post for them again. Glad for you, and yes I like their products So much for keeping my world a little cleaner.

    Let’s see: dream. Kind of hard to do when not encouraged at all but I want to start drawing zentangles and the books just came today. Lots of chores to do but I can do three minutes…to gather supplies to draw.

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