1.21.2013

A LESSON FROM THE EGG


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. 

12 comments:

JSBB said...

I couldn't agree more. Too often I find myself making sloppy, silly, boneheaded errors when I try to "do it all." I often tell astonished, overachieving friends that multitasking is overrated. How better to give full attention and respect -- and ultimately gratitude -- to the task at hand.

Joseph the Butler said...

I like hard boiled eggs, with a little mayo and pepper. I enjoy my first cup of coffee while they boil.

lindab said...

Mono-tasking. I like that!

warrensly said...

Gonna try this secret recipe right now, (of course while I make a fire, start the grill, prepare dinner). Thanks for the tip. Just found a terrible alternative solution that puts the egg in a holder in the microwave... yucky but what are ya gonna do when you don't even have 6 minutes???

Jill said...

Yummmm - Now I cannot wait to have my soft boiled eggs in the morning. Will definitely try your son's tried and true method. Nothing ... nothing ... tastes better than eggs and toast to start the day. ,, I remember your last egg post and had the same reaction.



And yes, it is high time we discard multitasking in exchange for one thing at a time, done well and enjoyed. So satisfying and rewarding.

Jill

Mia said...

Yes, soft boiled eggs (that sometimes end up hard boiled) are a big part of my breakfasts,and sometimes lunches and dinners!!!! Recently i bought a green Cuisinart fry pan, now I just heat it and crack two eggs into it, about 5 min later I slide them on plate.

On multitasking, this is something I have been doing since I was young (much to my parents chagrin), always in motion, even when watching TV. I drive people crazy even now, unable to sit too long, always in the "got things to do and places to go" mode.

Recently I read an article on how it was not good too multitask, better to "mono task" your brain will be better for it. So, I try but so far I am unable to accomplish my goal of slowing down, savoring life ect. Is this a need for accomplishment, or just simple ADD, I'm not sure, but old patterns die hard. I am a work in progress, everyday i wake up with a clean slate, today is the day to, slow down, start a diet, clean out closets and the basement and attic, get a new lease on life, exercise more, get a new hairstyle, and change my cosmetics. I go and get books and magazines that tell me the efficient way to do these tasks, read them and take notes while watching TV, and the next day dawns and I start over.

Mia said...

Oh, how I remember this, of course your absolutely correct, I remember those estrogen rich days of being able to sit and be calm, falling asleep at 8 and even if the baby woke me, I was able to get back to sleep.

William said...

Dominique, praise Jesus and Baby Jesus for people who still eat eggs every morning and aren't afraid to admit it! For me it"s a poached egg over whatever starch I have leftover from the night before. Tomorrow it will be a poached egg atop roasted rosemary garlic potatoes. As for your 6 minutes of staring out the window it's a great way to start any day. I don't recognize the view. Where did you end up after all your mysterious wanderlust, I'm guessing somewhere on the Upper UWS from the view?

Lana said...

I totally agree - a little time in the morning, even just 6 minutes, will start the day off right. It is so much more zen than trying to get several things done. That photo of the eggs is making me want some soft boiled ones tomorrow morning!

warrensly said...

Well, my six minute eggs were still pretty undercooked. Any suggestions?

Sharen said...

Not sure how you do it, Domnique, but you capture the thoughts we are all thinking so perfectly. "How many times do I get the same lesson?" Many, many times for me!Once saw a quote that went something like "Before you try to change someone else, just think how hard it is to change yourself." um.... there's an interesting thought. Sometimes recognize the lesson coming - and alter course, so maybe there's hope?

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