I am cross-legged on top of a tie-dyed blanket, my bike leaning against the tree behind me. The sound of the lapping waterfall churning through the pond enfolds into the whistling of the birds and the distant train.

The breeze chatters its way through my loose curls, tossing it away from my face. The grease stain on my inner right calf left from the chain of my bike combines with my crazy hair and isolated geography to make me feel like a wild woman.

To my immediate left rests a glass bottle of kombucha; to my right rests God’s most perfectly ripened avocado and a generous hunk of Radina’s sourdough Pain Ordinaire.

In front of me, staring eagerly with it’s simplistic white cover, perches Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Issue one: I really want to read it. Right now. I picked the book up this morning at the Emporia Library and the fifteen minute window before my next class had resulted in too tantalizingly a teaser.

Issue two: I am starving. Not literally, obviously, because one never seems to be anything but liberal with that kind of adjective in this day and age.

I had had an episode with my beautiful steadfast companion of a bike after my last class ended at 2, which lead me to spend a good hour leaning over the aluminum counter of the local bike shop watching the front derailleur get it’s act together, prolonging caloric intake.

So now I find myself almost literally growling at the food in front of me, the peanut-butter-oatmeal from the morning having made an executive decision to fully vacate the stomach and leave me in a lurch.

These two issues combine to lead me to:

Problem one: I am the worst sorts of multitasker.

Part of this is because I have declared to myself that no one truly is a multitasker, leaving my “get better at this!” life-goal permanently obliterated. Part of this is because I believe the most joy and pleasure in life is reaped by being fully 100%* aware of each and every moment.

*I would normally write “1000%” in that situation, except that my magical introverted computer-science flatmate in Austria would absolutely abhor it when I used “obscure and completely ridiculous” statements like saying something is “1000% of anything”. This edit is for you, V.

This problem then leads me to:

Dilemma one: which do I do first?

This dilemma then leads me to:

Blog Post one-hundred-and-one: “On Eating and Reading: Perfection of a Simultaneous Sort”.

First, I split open the avocado with my spoon, reveling in the perfection of it’s flesh. I tear off a hunk of pain ordinaire and generously lather it in avocado. I take a breath and my taste-buds explode in fresh-sourdough-creamy ecstasy. Slowly, very slowly, I chew: letting my teeth work their way over each and every crevasse in the little sandwhich.

Once I have swallowed, I take a sip of kombucha, letting the bubbly chia seeds act as refreshment.

I exchange the spoon for Outliers, and I read four pages or so.

Then, I slowly set the book down, and reach for another hunk of bread and sliver of avocado. Again, my mouth floods with saliva, ready to escort the magic to a safe resting place.

Chew, chew, cheeeeeeeeewwwwwwww. Swallow. Set down. Pick up book. Read five pages. Set down. Pick up spoon. Chew, chew, cheeeeeeeeewwwwwwww. Swallow. Set down.

And the cycle repeats, covering about forty pages of Outliers and thirty minutes of slow, mindful eating.

When I do it this way instead of just shoveling in the food so I can go on to do some thing else, I find that I am so much more satisfied gastronimically. After eating in this manner, I am so aware of the fullness of my own stomach and that the needs of my body have been met on a gastronomical basis, that I am completely 1000%* satisfied.

*Can’t win them all, sorry.

I also find that I have absorbed my reading material better because it is untethered to doing any other kind of activity. Simultaneously, I find that the avocado and crispy sourdough tastes infinitely better because I am aware of each and every sensation.

One might argue: I just don’t have time to do that! I got places to be and things to do so ergo let’s do everything at once at the same time at a breakneck speed at the speed of light if we can manage it!

I might respond: that doesn’t sound very enjoyable. Or effective.

Total time of meal: forty-five minutes. An episode of Orphan Black.

Level of satisfaction (both on an appetite and an intellectual level): 100%

 

Peace and Blessings,

Josie

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