In our modern, fast-paced world, it is the goal of many enlightened individuals to become more mindful, more present in the present. There is article after article, book after book, podcast after podcast telling us how to focus on the moment we’re in, release the past and not worry about the future. To truly enjoy life, to have the most meaningful life, we are to follow these steps and reap the benefits. Give up the distractions, they tell us, and you will be successful in this endeavor. An admirable and worthy endeavor indeed. However, I wonder if it is one that is truly plausible for the writer (or possibly anyone who deals in a creative line of work). For it seems, to be a successful writer, you must escape the moment you are in so that you may access the world you are trying to create and interact with the characters that you are attempting to develop. Can you truly be present in the here and now if you are working on producing a there and other? This is something I struggle with as a writer in trying to also lead a meaningful, present life.
In addition to this, I now have another reason to want to stay in this moment. I am now raising a child. A child who is growing, moving, living, changing with each passing moment. Parents of children who are grown and gone will tell you to “enjoy every moment” and remind you that “these days will be gone before you know it”. So, I want to be here, stay here, appreciate who he is right now before that version of him is gone. This makes the work of writing all the more difficult (on top of the fact that he is now crawling and is therefore either all over me and my keyboard or getting into something that necessitates my leaving the work to stop some form of impending trouble). So that leaves me with nap time, the only still time, as my time to escape into the world of writing. But should these also be my moments to focus on that mindfulness that is suggested in order for me to achieve the ideal presence in this life? When can I find time to escape in order to do the work? It is a question I continue to ponder. For now, I need to cut this short…the present needs my attention.
The Baking Challenge: March Madness is upon us and, if your household is anything like mine, that means this past weekend was completely filled with basketball. And all that game watching requires some good snacks. I decided to take this opportunity to continue the expansion of my baking repertoire with soft pretzels. The recipe was quite simple and fairly quick to put together (it was nice only having to wait minutes rather than hours for things to rise). And after twisting the little guys into their iconic shape and a quick boil in the baking soda bath, into the oven they went. The house smelled increasingly delicious and the pretzels emerged perfectly browned. And to top it all off, they tasted amazing! It was the perfect treat to eat during what turned out to be a rather nail-biting game. So, I ended the weekend with a new favorite quick bake and a not-too-terribly-injured bracket.