I generally like to think of myself as a good multitasker: I can walk Tracker while talking on the phone. I can watch a show while working on homework. I can write my posts while hanging out with Dan.
However, I’m becoming less and less sure that my ability to multitask is a good thing. Instead, I think that I am really just short-changing myself on some valuable experiences.
This is because, even though I am able to get dozens of things done, I am never truly present while doing them. My mind is always 10 steps ahead, worrying about what else there is to do — and, this comes at the detriment of my relationships, lessons and own ability to reflect.
I first acknowledged that about one year ago. Since that time, I’ve made a concerted effort to be more present in my day-to-day life. When I do something, I try to really do it and nothing else. In the more eloquent words of Ralph Waldo Emerson…
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”
For example, if I’m talking with someone, I really try to listen to what they’re saying. I know that may make it sound pathetic. I mean, what was I doing before? Not listening? But, the answer is yes. Many times, I was hearing and responding, but not really listening.
Still, it is a process and I can’t say that I am always successful. But, in the time that I’ve been working on it, I’ve been rewarded with even better relationships with my friends and family.
That’s worth it to me.
It’s also worth it to me to be present while eating my meals so I can savor all the flavors — especially when the flavors are as delicious as they were in tonight’s dinner.
Apple and Brie Panini
- 8 slices whole-grain bread
- 2 T buttery spread, melted
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- 2 T all-natural jelly
- 4 oz. brie cheese, sliced
- Spread a thin layer of butter on both sides of all the bread.
- Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Places two slices of bread down. Press down for 1-2 minutes, until grill marks appear. Flip and repeat.
- Spread ~1/2 T jelly on one of the slices of toast. Top with 1/4 of the apple slices. In the opposite direction, add 1 oz. sliced brie. Top with other piece of toast.
- Place sandwich back on the grill press and press down for another 1-2 minutes per side, until cheese is melted.
- Repeat until four sandwiches are complete.
I’m just going to say it: This sandwich is incredible. With the toasty bread, the melty cheese and sweet apple slices, it’s basically perfect in my book.
Plus, it makes a great, easy dinner to serve up and share with Dan.
Less time in the kitchen for me = More time on the balcony with Dan. It’s a good equation.
And, it’s even more enjoyable when I don’t divide my time worrying about what else there is to do. That all works itself out later.
Questions: Would you say that you are good at being present? What tips help you “be present?”