I don’t know why but it has become the standard unit of additional time – the amount we ask for from the time we can talk until our final days. Five more minutes to play; 5 more minutes to sleep; 5 more minutes to spend with the ones we love. Oh the things we could do, if we just had 5 more minutes. But in the grand scheme of things can 5 minutes make that much of a difference?
Of course 5 more minutes is rarely just 5 minutes. Once granted, we regularly take advantage of 5 more minutes by stretching it into 10 minutes or more, especially when the parents or the significant others or any of the other authorities in our lives aren’t paying full attention. 5 more minutes can be re-invested and parlayed into an even greater yield: it can be the difference between catching a flight and spending 3 additional hours at home in pursuits of our choosing versus watching the airport channel on sticky seats while our phones run out of juice. 5 minutes can be a priceless commodity, hence the enduring popularity.
I earned 5 more minutes this past Sunday at the United NYC Half Marathon by running it in 1:48:09 – a full 5 minutes (plus a bit more) faster than I ran it last year. I used my five minutes to get to brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda on Lafayette just before the huge crowds arrived, so instead of killing an hour and a half waiting for a table like last year we were already seated when the silver blanketed hordes arrived for their celebratory post race meals. We then spent that extra hour and a half visiting family that we didn’t have enough time for last year. And finally I was able to get to bed much earlier than last year, waking up feeling refreshed and ready for the ordeal that Laguardia has become. Unfortunately i had to spend all of that extra time returning my car to Hertz, but all in all I’d say I got a pretty good return on my 5 minute gain.