Monday, June 15, 2009

A Reforming Multi-tasker

My name is Strange Attractor and I am a multi-tasker.

I always have been a multi-tasker and have been a little bit overly proud to be one. Focusing on multiple things has always felt as natural as breathing to me. The refraction of attention became even more intense upon becoming a mother. If the mothers of small children didn't multi-task they would never get anything done or have an adult conversion. I would never say it out-loud, but I really felt that people who couldn't multi-task just weren't as clever as those of us who could.

When I first attracted to aspects of Buddhism, the whole doing only one thing at a time really threw me. It wasn't that I thought it was impossible, I just couldn't see it as a worthwhile goal. It seemed both boring and inefficient.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am reforming. I've know intellectually for a while that I should focus more on doing one thing at a time, but it still didn't sit right with me. I had a tiny revelation tonight while cooking dinner. We had breakfast for dinner which included pancakes, chicken sausage, and eggs cooked two different ways. Now I know how to cook all of these items rather well, but tonight they just didn't quite turn out right. The pancakes were lackluster and the scrambled eggs insufficiently fluffy. Nothing was ruined and it was all edible, and amazing still warm and ready all at the same time, but half of the dishes were just not quite how I wanted them to be. I realized while staring at the blah pancakes they both they and the eggs would have been better had they been the only thing I was cooking.

I don't think I'm going to start cooking only one dish dinner every night, but it brought home the idea that really paying attention might not be such a bad idea. I'm sure I will fall off the mono-focused wagon and slip back into old habits, but now it feels like I am pursuing a goal that I have decided is good for me, instead of one zen masters say is good for me.

1 comment:

  1. It is hard to focus on one thing! I feel like I am always trying to do more then I should - often with results like your dinner - ok, but not spectacular.