Inspiring Moment: Hotel Room 2

Written by Braiden


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What Is Time Worth?

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on March 29, 2012

This is another one of those Internet nuggets of wisdom that cross my desk from time to time that I wanted to share with Five More Minutes With readers.

To realize

The value of a sister/brother:

Ask someone

Who doesn’t have one.


To realize

The value of ten years:

Ask a newly

Divorced couple.


To realize

The value of four years:

Ask a graduate.


To realize

The value of one year:

Ask a student who

Has failed a final exam.


To realize

The value of nine months:

Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.


To realize

The value of one month:

Ask a mother

Who has given birth to

A premature baby.


To realize

The value of one week:

Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.


To realize

The value of one minute:

Ask a person

Who has missed the train, bus, or plane.


To realize

The value of one second:

Ask a person

Who has survived an accident.


Time waits for no one.


Treasure every moment you have.


You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.


To realize the value of a friend or family member: LOSE ONE.


Remember…hold on tight to the ones you love!

Inspiring Moment: Purple Potato Chips

Written by Braiden


Inspiring Moment: Bathroom Tiles

Written by Braiden


Top-10 Tips to Better Communication with Your Loved One

Written by Pamela Jett on March 26, 2012

Have you ever thought about how much your simple choice of words really matters?

In a keynote speech by Certified Speaking Professional Pamela Jett, a spellbound audience discovered that simple tweaks we make in our everyday way of communicating can lead to better relationships in the workplace and with colleagues.

Today, in the Five More Minutes With vein, I propose we also try these same tweaks with the ones we love.

“The words you choose to use can either make or break your career success,” the acclaimed speaker, trainer, coach, and author of multiple audio and video programs, said. “Eighty percent of problems in the workplace are due to poor communication. . . .Words have power beyond measure and make up the currency of our lives.”

Making just one or two of the changes suggested below could help all of us to communicate better. And perhaps even enjoy precious time with our loved ones, and maybe even life, a lot more!

As for me? I’ll be trying to “avoid toxic people” whenever possible. . .

Pamela Jett’s Top-10 tips to becoming a better communicator included the following worthwhile ideas:

1. Get up every morning and choose to be happy. Don’t stay neutral and don’t opt for misery.

2. Ditch the word “don’t.” Instead of “Don’t forget” say, “Please remember.”

3. Avoid toxic people.

4. Stop saying “I’m sorry.” Better choices include “I apologize” or “I empathize with you.”

5. Stop using qualifiers such as “This might be a dumb question,” as they are signs of weakness.

6. Don’t pitch an idea or a suggestion; pitch solutions. “I have the (or an) answer/solution/new approach/new system” communicates strength.

7. Stop ending statements with questions that beg for approval such as “don’t you think?”

8. Give clear instructions. Ask for them, too!

9. Nix the word ASAP. Instead, set and ask for definite deadlines.

10. Stop saying, “Does anybody have any questions?” Substitute the sentence: “Is there anything I can clarify?”

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Inspiring Moment: Sinister Orchids

Written by Braiden

My Orchid

Written by Braiden Rex-Johnson on March 22, 2012

I keep a fresh orchid in plain view in my office, strategically positioned on a granite wing wall in front of my computer, as a calming influence and also for inspiration as I think and write.

It’s a cheapie from Trader Joe’s that usually costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $7.99 to $10.99. I figure these orchids last several months. So, compared to cut flowers, especially during the winter months when they are so expensive, the orchids are actually very cost-effective alternative since they last a lot longer.

This week, as invariably happens, my current orchid–a purple beauty–began to drop its blossoms. It happens slowly and stealthily at first, one blossom here, another one there.

Finding a withered blossom always causes me a twinge of pain.

And once the orchid goes into free fall during its death march, I might find two or three blossoms in the course of the day. They turn up on the floor, on the blood-red granite slab, or the Asian-inspired wooden pedestal upon which my orchid sits.

The other day, about the same time as I noticed my orchid was down to one surviving blossom, I received an e-mail from my 89-year-old father.

My father has been battling bladder cancer for over a year. Lately it’s been an unsettling pattern of catheter in, catheter out; catheter in, catheter out.

Now, it seems, my father’s whole world revolves around whether or not he can urinate.

As I stared at my orchid stubbornly clinging to life with one single blossom dangling tenuously, it occurred to me that, in so many ways, my father’s aging process parallels that of one of my orchids.

Over the years, his body has weakened, his glory days long gone.

First the eyes began to go when he went through a series of contact lenses and glasses and finally could no longer see well enough to operate on the inner ear.

Much later came the hearing aids, a particularly difficult solution for him to stomach since he was once a renowned ear, nose, and throat doctor.

Then his legs began acting up with restless-leg syndrome and edema. He went through went several degrees of walkers, ultimately ending up with a very expensive model he fondly referred to as “the Bentley.” His caregivers even ordered him one of those motorized scooters so widely advertised on television, but he never did learn how to maneuver it very well, so it sat mostly unused in the hallway.

And now the final indignity. . .having to rely on a bag for something as elemental and basic as peeing.

After the latest catheter in/catheter out episode, I remarked at how brave Dad was to have faced so much medical adversity.

He responded with a thought-provoking quote from a Civil-War prisoner that says, “Live in hope if I die in despair.”

Ultimately, with every one of my orchids, the last blossom falls to earth. And I am left with only a slender green stalk rising toward the sky, a few bright-green leaves at the plant’s base, and memories of a brilliant bunch of blossoms that once was.

When it’s my father’s time, I will treasure my memories of him much like I remember the beautiful blossoms on my orchids—memories of a life well lived.


Inspiring Moment: Amaryllis

Written by Braiden

Inspiring Moment: Reflections

Written by Braiden


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A Poem About Life. . .and Death

Written by Barbara Crocker on March 19, 2012

I just loved this poem by multi-award-winning poet Barbara Crocker, especially the line, “sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up in love, running out of time. . . .”

Do you feel like you are running out of time? Have you told the people around you you love them? Have you hugged your wife, or husband, or significant other, or child, or pet today?


of a life that’s as complicated as everyone else’s,

struggling for balance, juggling time.

The mantle clock that was my grandfather’s

has stopped at 9:20; we haven’t had time

to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,

the chimes don’t ring. One day you look out the window,

green summer, the next, and the leaves have already fallen,

and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,

our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn

again how to love, between morning’s quick coffee

and evening’s slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,

mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies

twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;

his tail is a metronome, 3/4 time. We’ll never get there,

Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging

us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,

sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh

of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up

in love, running out of time.

~ Barbara Crooker ~

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