I read an interesting quote last week:
“The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.”
On one level it seems a little harsh; we can’t be perfect all the time… But looked at another way it’s an invitation to find meaning in the mundane.
Historically, I have sought to rush through as many daily tasks as possible. Always seeking ‘a solid roster of achievement’; hoping for pleasure in the sheer volume of tasks completed.
But there’s a good insight from endurance sports: sometimes doing something fractionally less energetically costs you little on time, but everything in energy depletion.
So, rather than rushing through packing and unpacking my old friend the dishwasher – why not savour the daily puzzle of getting as much as possible in?
Why not admire the gleam and sparkle of every item coming out, and enjoy placing them a little more carefully in their rightful place?
It turns out the cost in time is almost identical, but the cost in ‘huff and puff’ is much much less. And remarkably a routine task becomes a thing to notice and pay attention to; five minutes of being alive, not dead set on just getting it done.
It’s the same with brushing my teeth, putting away clothes and more. Taking a moment longer and doing it with a fraction more care brings more pleasure than rattling off task after task.
Maybe the dashing jockey on my screensaver is learning to enjoy the ride.