The unforgiving minute

“If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run”

I read this poem long ago, and took these lines

To heart, to find my place under the sun

I needed to be industrious, fill each minute available to me

With 60 seconds’ worth of work performed diligently

Thus began my journey on the hamster wheel

Of never-ending “work”, I would always feel

Disappointed with myself if I did procrastinate

If I did not fill each minute, I felt inadequate

The message was reinforced by everyone around

You should use your time wisely- this advice seemed quite sound


I filled minute after minute with work but could not

Fill my cup with the wins I had thought

Would be mine if I worked industriously

I was stretched too thin, I could not see

That I was tiring myself out inexorably..


As I spiraled downwards each day

I knew I had to find a way-

To loosen up a little, waste minutes few

Spend some sixty seconds on leisure too


Kipling had for his readers sage advice

I tried to follow it, but it was unwise

To treat time as a pit that needed to be filled

With work, as if my life’s worth could be distilled

In what I did, minute after minute every day

My value did not lie in my industriousness anyway..


I can still accomplish quite a bit in a minute

When I do decide to put my mind to it

But I no longer try to fill each minute, it’s true

I take time to pause, let my mind wander too

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

One thought on “The unforgiving minute

  1. I don’t condone fast food at all, but I found myself thinking of that McDonald’s commercial: “You deserve a break today…” 🎶🎵 This makes me see where ‘quiet quitting’ became a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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