Jul 14, 2011

Tasks: Being in the Moment

I read this recently:

If you resolve to do a task to the best of your ability, you will find that you enjoy it more. This is true even when doing something well requires more time... Some hope the task will go quickly so they can move on to "fun" activities; when the job takes longer than planned they become frustrated... I approach the same task knowing that it will be time consuming... But ultimately, it's satisfying [to do a difficult task well].
~ Amy Dacyczyn, The Tightwad Gazette

Amy's words have been rolling around in my spirit ever since. I am particularly bad about "enduring" a task to get to the "good stuff" faster. In the back of my mind I know that that isn't the best attitude, but I generally just ignore it. Reading that quote, however, reminded me that I need to pay attention to what I'm doing in the moment.

I was making supper the other night and ended up making a mess because I was in a hurry. I wasn't hurrying because things were late or we had to be somewhere. I was hurrying because I felt that what I was doing (combining chopped chicken with mayo for chicken salad) was just a means to an end--and I wasn't paying it attention. Next thing I knew, a huge scoop of chicken salad flopped out onto the counter. As soon as it happened, the quote came back to mind and I realized something.

I wasn't enjoying the journey as I should.

In the picture below I saw several examples of potential for "enjoying the journey." (I know it's an ad, but that's not important.) The stove top is clean, as well as the interior of the oven. Sometimes cleaning those areas is time consuming. I rush through them. Another area is how she's dressed. Seeing that reminded me that I have wanted to change my day-to-day wardrobe to something far less dumpy. I wouldn't sport a suit and pumps, but my current dress code of sweat pants and fleece shirt in the winter, and ill-fitting tops and shorts in the summer leaves a lot to be desired. Finely, she's pulling yummy homemade items out of that sparkling oven.

Just sayin'.


Stephanie said...

I too have slopped my fair share of salad onto the counter this week. Thanks for the post. It reminds me to take a deep breath and just be present.

Roxanne said...

Stephanie--So simple, eh?

Packrat said...

Oh, You! Make me feel the guilt burn, why don't you. LOL

It is not impossible but rather unrealistic to have the kitchen be completely spotless when you are fixing a meal. But, that is one thing that I've always tried to do when cooking is clean up some of the mess as I go. It takes a little longer, but it makes life so much nicer after dinner.

Sort of random: My parents built a house when I was in second grade. The kitchen appliances were turquoise and the walls were yellow. The cabinets in the ad appear to be metal; Mom's were stained and varnished wood (birch? maple?). On Sundays, my female relatives and their friends would have been dressed like this woman, but they would have had on aprons to protect their clothes.

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