Home > Family, Reflections > Nine minutes

Nine minutes

I peeked at the Starbucks drive-through line. There were only three cars in queue, yes! How convenient!

I pulled in and prepared to order myself a latte.

A couple minutes passed. No big deal.

But by the five-minute mark, I’d only moved up one car length. I was starting to question my definition of convenience.

Those five minutes were five minutes I could have spent on the clock.

Worse, they were five minutes I could have spent snuggling with my five-year-old instead of dropping him off in a hurry.

I’d reached the front of the line by eight minutes. I was already itching to leave, but I was invested. I’d already waited eight minutes, dagnabit!

After I spent another minute trying to catch the–any–barristas’ attention, I pulled away without my coffee.

I do so enjoy my Starbucks lattes. But more than that, I value my time. Beyond one or two minutes, the wait for a latte makes the latte no longer convenient to me. I enjoy coffee with a splash of milk almost as much as I enjoy a latte … and can make that myself in a matter of seconds!

I’m glad for that nine-minute wait. Without it, I’d have had a latte … but I’d still be defining “convenience” in someone else’s terms.


Better than convenient

Categories: Family, Reflections Tags: , , ,
  1. July 6, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I found my definition of a reasonable wait changed drastically when I had my daughter. Traffic delays and red lights take on a whole new meaning if you have a screaming newborn in the back seat. And I’m with youβ€”when juggling work and family and everything else, some (many) things just aren’t worth the wait.

    • July 6, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      I think mine probably changed then, too, but it took me a little while to catch on!

      I can’t quite figure out what made such waits convenient to me before. Saving 30 fooststeps? Not having to spend 45 seconds making the coffee myself? No matter, though! I’m pointed the right direction now. πŸ™‚

  2. July 6, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I run into this same issue when I stop at my local quickie mart to start my day with a 44 ounce fountain drink of Diet Dr. Pepper. then I get stuck behind some lottery asshole who takes all frigging day!

  3. July 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Such a good point!!!!

    • July 6, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      I often discover things and forget them just as promptly, but this one’s actually sticking! I almost went for a cafe coffee over the weekend, then decided I’d enjoy my coffee more if made by my favorite 5yo. πŸ™‚

  4. July 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    What a great life lesson learned in the driveway.

  5. July 6, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I got a bit of ADHD…and my speech sounds like I’ve got a mouth full of cotton…when by myself I generally walk-in and do the counter…lots of times it’s just better that way…besides it’s fun to talk to a pretty face …even if she’s still in 10th or 11th grade…I ain’t looking for a fling anyway…a 9min wait??? plz kill me!!!

    • July 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Once in a while I’ll get in a longer line if I have my older boy or friends in the car, which makes the wait an expereince … but it’s usually a lot longer line and I go in knowing it will be a wait! Now, the prospect of a nine-minute wait (and everything else I could have done with those nine minutes) is enough to keep me truckin’ right on by!

      • July 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        yep…I totally understand…having kids speeds things up rather quickly…lol

  6. July 6, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Realizing this is a drive-through situation, I have actually walked out of restaurants where no one waited on me or greeted me.

    Time is precious and limited. Always make the best use of it you can.

    • July 9, 2015 at 4:41 am

      I’ve walked out as well! This experience made me realize I’ve come to think of the drive-through line as the default, but then … it only became that way when Littler J was very little and shuffling two kids out of the car was a bit challenging. Without that shuffle, there’s no added benefit to the drive-through. I don’t mind walking the extra 30 yards. (I like stretching my legs!)

      Then again, right now I’m feeling like drive-throughs are (mostly) a thing of the past for me, save perhaps if/when traveling. πŸ™‚

      • July 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

        I don’t have children but I can understand those challenges you speak of.

        A little bit of a tangent, but I try to take a drink with me from home and even snacks so I don’t stop to waste time and money. On road trips, I pack a cooler.

  7. July 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I’ve been beginning to have realizations like these, and find these little lessons so valuable much like you do! Very nice post.

    • July 9, 2015 at 4:43 am

      Thank you! Since that realization, I feel so different about the drive-through. I really did see it as a shining light of convenience. Now, it seems so perplexing that I did.

      I’m happy to save those nine minutes to make connections, including simply with quiet if that’s what I need at the moment.

  8. July 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t think I could have walked (driven) away at that point! By the time I finally made it to the head of the line I’d want that latte! You have strong resolve. πŸ™‚

    • July 9, 2015 at 4:46 am

      There were a lot of additional considerations floating around outside these ones, so driving away felt both right and great! Then when I got to work and poured a little cream into a cup of coffee, I relished how the entire process took less than a minute. YES! πŸ˜€

  9. July 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    Great post! My husband has said something similar when dining out during the week to “save time” and between the wait and drive, things taking longer than if we had cooked at home. LM only has so much free time during the afternoons/evenings (when school’s in session), and we definitely don’t want to waste it.

    • July 9, 2015 at 4:56 am

      That’s exactly it! Seldom is any time actually saved. Effort can be saved, and that can be valuable sometimes … but, man, is time precious, especially when the moments awake with kids at home barely number in the double-digits!

  10. July 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I love this! And it’s so true. I find myself so much more impatient now that I have kids. On our many drives down to Eugene and back, Nick often says, “We could just stop for coffee!” and my reply is always the same: “That’s a five minute drive in the opposite direction, so a total of 10 minutes out of our way, not counting the waiting in line, so make that a minimum of 20 minutes, with screaming kids in the car….” So, we take the two minutes to make coffee from now on! It was a lesson I had to learn the hard way – no amount of optimism will make kids wait for YOU to get your yummy flavored coffee. Plus, it’s probably healthier the way we make it at home, because I’m too impatient to put all that caramel and shit in my own coffee. πŸ˜€

  11. July 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I might suggest you never venture to San Juan Island off from the state of Washington….everyone’s on “island time” and getting service (quickly) is not something you can depend on…and don’t get me started on their ferry service….it’s a story and a half!!! πŸ™‚

  12. July 9, 2015 at 3:29 am

    I think these small life lessons are important. My patience has been tried more than once lately in situations like this, I find as I get older the bright line of my endurance, well it is dimming.

    • July 9, 2015 at 4:32 am

      As my time grows scarcer, I become less willing to part with it for experiences that … aren’t. After that nine-minute experience, I find I no longer have that pull toward Starbucks. Someday I might visit with friends, making it an experience instead of a time-sink, but for now? It’s a time-sink, and I have such better uses of these sweet little blocks of time. (Nine minutes of blogging, for example! That’s nine minutes of connection. ♥)

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