Friday, July 25, 2008

Rollover Minutes

My cell phone plan provides me with rollover minutes. Any minutes that I’ve paid for and don’t use this month can be rolled over to next month, when I may feel the urge to talk more. A good plan, I think. Awfully handy sometimes.

But I can’t help thinking, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had rollover minutes in real life? All those minutes wasted in check-out lines, sitting at stop lights, or waiting in a doctor’s office could be rolled over, claimed when we have to work late and wonder how we’ll have time to prepare supper, or when we need to clean house on Saturday but would really like some me-time, too.

I’m sure all teachers would like to roll over some minutes from the first of the semester to the end of it, when grading research papers and final exams and figuring and posting grades overwhelm us.

Many parents would probably like to roll over minutes from their children’s infancy to the teenage years, for just a moment or two to regain the calmness of rocking that sweet baby in the midst of angry confrontations and power struggles with teenagers growing into adulthood. Or they’d like to rollover as many minutes as possible from those overtime hours worked at the expense of a little league game or a piano recital.

Spouses might want to rollover minutes spent on the boss’s special project to the missed anniversary dinner or from at least one business trip to that constantly-put-off weekend getaway, a second honeymoon, maybe.

And in the final years of life, alone in an empty house or tucked away in a “retirement village,” I imagine a lot of people would like to claim those squandered minutes to talk to a friend long gone, to once more squeeze a loved one’s hand, to plant a garden, to take a brisk walk, or just to wake to the coming day with purpose and energy.

There are no rollover minutes in life. I hope I never forget it.

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