Jun 162012

Train from Utrecht to Groningen, Netherlands.

Home sweet home! With shops where I know what they sell and where to get it. With a kitchen where I know my way.

Back at home but I’m still couchsurfing. Staying with a lot of friends and family so that I have time to really spend time together. But my first couch in the Netherlands was a surprising one: My own! Got back to my house. But two of my friends are living there, to live, pay my mortgage, take care of the plants (or at least they were supposed to. Eight months. That’s how long it apparently took them to kill off all my plants. But apart from being plant-murderers they are lovely people). And of course the bedroom is theirs now. So I spent a great night on the (sleeping) couch….
Time to indulge myself (and my house mates) in some seriously good home-cooked food (I cooked a bit while traveling, but hostels don’t usually have a lot of facilities, you can never get exactly the ingredients you want and there are more interesting things to do than spend a lot of time in the kitchen).

Shopping was quickly done (yay for my own supermarket!). Then it was time to cook.

But I found that as I was chopping stuff, adding it to the pans, stirring, moving ingredients around, my attention was on completely other things:
“Shouldn’t forget to make an appointment with the dentist”
“Maybe I have mail?”
“Will my housemates be on time?”
“I should call that friend to see if we can reschedule our appointment.”
“So happy to be seeing my friends again tonight!”

And I realized that this was not the only time when I was doing one thing but thinking about a hundred others.

With two results:
1) Not paying as much attention to the cooking as I should (the eggplant got only slightly burned).
2) Wanting to do all the other things that popped into my mind. Right then.

Yet making dentist appointments or checking your E-mail whilst cooking do not make for very good combinations (it was the E-mail that did the eggplant in). I always want to do everything at the same time.


Because I’m afraid to miss out.

To miss out on the fun. To miss out on an opportunity. To miss out on friends. Too miss out.

This is not what dinner looked like. But it’s got eggplant!

But I’m always missing out. Even if I manage to cook and check my mail and call my dentist and read and fold my laundry and more, all at the same time, there are hundreds, thousands (hundreds of thousands!) of things I’m not doing. I’m not walking in the woods. I’m not talking with my best friend. I’m not busy inventing a personal teleportation device (that also makes ice-cream).

Trying to do things at the same time doesn’t solve the problem of missing out in any way. And perhaps I’m missing out on something very important: The enjoyment of making a great meal. Without burned eggplant.

I quit having strict goals. There is nothing to strive for. I don’t need to do anything by any fixed time. That E-mail will still be there in an hour. I can call my dentist tomorrow. I’ll be seeing my best friend soon enough. Don’t really know about the personal teleportation device yet though…

It’s the path that is important, every step should be savored in it’s own right. So I’m going to try to just enjoy the things I’m doing. Without trying to do other things at the same time.

Enjoy your dinner!

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