A few weeks ago I read a wonderful book I want to tell you about. Its called “For ten minutes” by Chiara Gambareale (unfortunately I don’t think it’s been translated to other languages). But it doesn’t matter because it’s the idea of the book I want to talk about. The main character is a girl who has lost herself and her interest in life after being left by her husband and lost her job.
After months of useless therapy sessions the psychologist is getting nowhere and decides to ask her to do something she has never done for ten minutes every day for a month.
“Would you like to play a game?”
“Which one, Doctor?”
“For a month, for ten minutes a day, do something that you have never done before. Anything.”
“What does it mean?”
“Just do something, whatever you want. But it must be something you have never done”
“And then, Doctor, what happens in the end? Will I be normal again?”
I love that question: will I be normal again? Will I have my life back? While initially skeptical the girl starts trying many things from putting on bright nail varnish to hip hop dancing, cross stitching, cooking or playing the violin. Little by little she starts seeing some light and a life besides her ex: she starts seeing a new world because she is new.
I can see a lot of me in her. Being left by the love of your life or losing your job, like childlessness (when we desire a child), can lead us to feel too far from the life we pictured in our heads. I don’t know how feasible it is to do something new every day for ten minutes but I wish I had had this idea when I was in a very dark place. It may have helped getting out of it sooner.