Readers of Slow Love know that I have a thing about eggs. I love everything about them. My day isn't right if I don't start it with two soft-boiled eggs. My son Alex now has the same ritual, and has worked out the perfect timing (water brought to a boil; eggs spooned in gently; pot covered; flame off; six minutes in the bath.)
But then there is the problem of multi-tasking, something I am all too good at. There are days when six minutes of waiting seems interminably long. I think of all the things I can get done, and I start doing. The timer rings, I shut it off absent-mindedly, having forgotten all about that mysteriously encased deliciousness.
Fifteen minutes later I remember the eggs. I do not like hard-boiled eggs unless they are deviled and accompanied by whiskey sours. I realize: I have gotten a few things done, but I have not gotten my eggs the way I want them. That multi-tasking comes at a price. How many times do I get the same lesson? I see now that it is one thing to hear the lesson, another to learn it, and yet another to live by the lesson...
Can't I afford six minutes of staring out the window, letting my mind wander, gazing in wonder at the intensity of early morning light prying its way through the skyline? There's more sustenance in doing one thing at a time, and doing it well. Call it mono-tasking. Or call it a healthy, soul-nourishing way to start the day.