As the saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Personally, I believe it’s true—eating a hearty first meal provides the calories needed to power you through a long day, and, for anyone who might be counting, eating those calories early in the day allows you to burn them off well before bedtime. Plus, breakfast is just plain fun, especially when you share it with good friends. Since I enjoy the luxury of no morning classes this semester, I’ve been taking my time to indulge in the breakfast ritual.
A simple cooked breakfast for me usually entails: a few scrambled eggs with maybe some pepperoni slices tossed in, two slices of toast and whatever fruit I might have had the forethought to buy. I spray the pan, crack the eggs, scramble them with my spatula, shake on some salt and pepper and cook them to my heart’s content. Meanwhile, I’ve already handed the sliced bread off to my brave little toaster compadre to work its magic. Once I hear that delightful pop and see the crispy slices leap with joy, then I lather them in butter and jam. Add some grapes to the plate. And presto-chango, in only a few minutes of amateur culinary artistry, I have created a breakfast to remember.
After these labors, each morsel of the meal is somehow tastier, especially when I don’t gobble it down too quickly. Savoring each bite—the melted butter, the tangy jam and the spicy eggs—how could I not also slow down my mind to appreciate the day and the smorgasbord before me?
It’s cliché of me to say we live “life in the fast lane,” but that doesn’t mean that it’s not true. Too often we Americans—college students especially—rush from one thing to the next, or multitask, and never bother to appreciate some things step-by-step. Life is a series of moments. Have you ever wondered how long a moment is? According to factualfacts.com, a moment is 90 seconds. Take a moment to digest that. Here’s another question: When was the last time you devoted a full moment or two to enjoy anything with absolutely no distractions at all? Can you even focus your thoughts for that long? I can’t…but I wish I could.
When I slow down my thoughts and concentrate on the matter at hand, whatever joy or task it may be: strolling a forest trail, writing an essay or even scrubbing a toilet, I find satisfaction in just knowing I enjoyed it fully or I did my best. Besides, toilet scrubbing only lasts for a moment, right? To me, life is like a flower or a fine wine—take the time to sniff the bouquet, but don’t sniff the toilet.
Author Henry David Thoreau famously retreated from civilization to write his book, “Walden.” Of his quiet adventures Thoreau explained, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Now if you ask me, I’d say Thoreau was a guy who enjoyed his breakfast. We don’t all have to run off into the trees and commune with the squirrels, but we should devote a little time each day to relax, decompress from stresses of life—like politics and all that garbage—and just remember to live, and to live life fully.
As the movie character Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” So let’s all do our darnedest to stop and look, at least for a moment, or maybe two.