This morning, getting up only took one snooze button! And Jackson joined me as soon as I got up meaning he is totally on board with our endeavor. Little victories, people.
As I stumbled into the living room this morning, I realized I had no inkling of what I felt like doing for an hour. Obviously I defaulted to my favorite hobby: cooking. I pulled ingredients out of the fridge to put together a fairly healthy breakfast and spent 40 minutes chopping, sautéing, stirring and frying red onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach to make a tasty bed for two fried eggs.
Generally, I cook dinner every weeknight for myself. It’s a routine I cherish – I spend Saturday or Sunday mornings mapping out my meals for the week, accounting for lunch since I usually cook 2 portions of dinner and use half for lunch the next day. Sometimes I watch Food Network while browsing blogs, sometimes I dig through my old printed (sorry, environment) recipes, sometimes I just rely on standby recipes like pork chops and potatoes or roast in the crock pot. Always, though, I use a pen and a notebook to write out a grocery list and meal list. Typically, when I cook dinner, I usually have the TV on in the background (Extra or SVU reruns), and my cell on speakerphone with Kate. This morning, I had no noise and I felt like I was in a therapy session based on sound – which may not exist, but felt very real at 6:10 a.m. today.
I could hear the crisp reaction of the red onion as I sliced, the sizzle when I knew the butter was ready in the pan. I noticed the sound tomatoes made as juice came out from the horizontal slice, the sizzle as spinach quickly wilted, as egg yolks firmed. Also, I thought Food Network should definitely be filming this and I talked to Jackson as if he could hear me and/or respond.
I ended up with this plate of delight and a little insight. And a new rhyming habit?
As for the insight: When I see a sunset or a baby or a puppy or an old couple holding hands, I clearly stop and pay attention. And my heart melts, I think “how great and wonderful this thing is” and I say thanks for the thing. But there are a million things throughout my day I should probably have the same reaction to, and I don’t. Things like walking, breathing, cooking, having food in my fridge, safe commutes to work, co-workers and friends, intelligent conversations, insightful blogs I read. Things like butter sizzling in a pan and crisp wind at 6 a.m. before the sun rises.
I need to pay more attention to the small good things, not just the biggies. The big things are easy to spot – stop signs encouraging you to slow down, notice. The little things slip by unnoticed but these tiny items – these fried eggs, laughs in the elevator, walks down the block – these make your life, a life. They compile, minute over minute, to turn into the days and months which have passed and the moments you didn’t notice until they were gone.
Anyway, it was a good hour.
Pay attention this afternoon or evening. See how many tiny things you can stockpile into a heap of gratitude for this life.
This is the third post in a series, 31 Days of 6 a.m. To see a list of all posts, updated everyday in the month of October, click here. If you would like to have these posts delivered directly to you, enter your email address in the form located at the top right of the home page.