Far from it, actually.
Once upon a time my mother would implore me to grab something – a Pop Tart, a Toaster Strudel, a cereal bar, ANYTHING – before I scampered down the stairs, out the door, and down the street with just enough time to play a round of hacky sack and catch the bus to school. On occasion, I would reluctantly pocket a pre-packaged meal, but more often than not I’d decline. I simply wasn’t hungry, and if I was, there were more pressing issues at hand.
Like hacky sack…ing.
I’m not quite sure when the switch flipped, but by junior year of college my buddies and I were ceremoniously indulging in, “Big Breakfast” daily, a morning ritual during which we feasted and consumed between one-third and one-half of our daily calories. Not in junk food, but in well-thought out, well-prepared, well-rounded meals.
Each morning, I savored my bacon frying, listening to it pop and sizzle in its own fat. I relished thinking through my morning egg preparation: scrambled? Over easy? Poached if I was really feeling fancy? Sometimes, on those bitter cold mornings in Ann Arbor, a carefully prepared bowl of steel cut oats with fruits, jams and nuts was just the ticket.
No matter the dish, the morning was mine.
When I started my real-person job in Mountain View, that routine was put on hold and I fell back into old habits. With a desire to get an early jump on traffic, and no real kitchen in which to cook at work, I was confined to a life of preparing a four-serving frittata on Sunday and relying on the microwave to salvage the portions throughout the week. A slightly elevated version of my former “grab-and-go” days.
Next, I purchased an electric, flattop griddle for my office, so that I had some flexibility to create. While I had part of my morning back, the time no longer seemed mine. Hastily throwing together a French press of coffee, rushed to cook, eat and begin the workday made the peaceful act of starting my day just another box to tick.
Don’t get me wrong, I still made some fabulous meals (if I do say so myself): breakfast tacos, pumpkin pancakes, toad-in-the-hole, and even some epic granola and yogurt bowls.
If the want is valuable enough, the minutes will always reveal themselves to make it come to fruition.
Some people meditate, others exercise. I choose to make my coffee in a Chemex, slowly pouring my 202F water atop coarsely ground beans over the course of precisely three minutes and fifteen seconds. The aroma wafts upward as the grinds bloom; liquid drips downward like grains of sand in an hourglass, counting down the minutes until “me” time is over, and I’m at the mercy of the rest of the world.