One Second


In my nuclear family, all four of us struggle with everyday transitions. In our differences, however, we share one annoying expression.   Whether it is getting out the door in the morning or going to bed, we  all say the same two words to alert the other three that we simply are not ready to transition. We say “one second.”

“One second”-I am not ready to stop reading. “One second” more with my game. “One second” and I will get off the phone. “One second” and I will come upstairs. “One second.” I am not ready yet. “One second” is no predictor of actual duration. 

I am considering instituting a new rule in my home that will carry over to my work if need be.  When I hear a random estimate of time-one second or one minute–I am going to insist upon a more accurate prediction .  How about thirty seconds or five minutes or never?   I have a hunch that frequent and forceful articulations of  true duration might set us all free.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “One Second

  1. Jay Coke

    Oh Julia, Exactly the opposite! Placing the almighty requirement of accuracy on our language simply binds us to think out our words and actions. Free those who spout out the “just one second” from having to stop and calculate the duration of the task of finishing the job. Most of us did not complete that level of calculus anyway. Thank you for your humble consideration.

  2. julia

    Of the options you suggest, I like “never.” It imposes such minimal obligation.

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