A couple of years ago when the movie "Julie and Julia" came out in theatres, I knew I had to see it. Not only do I absolutely love cooking, but *obviously* have some interest in blogging as well, so I figured it would be right up my alley. Actually, it turns out I was rather disappointed with the movie - the plot line was a little boring and I really did not find the "Julie" character to be at all endearing ... she whined way too much for my liking and I often found myself wishing the director would just stick with the story of Julia Child's life and leave the flashbacks to "Julie's" life in the ditch. However, there is one line of the movie that has stuck with me. It resonated in my head as soon as I heard it. For some reason, it was one of those lines that you can instantly recognize for it's literal and metaphoric truth. So ... after that great build up ... here's the line in question:
Don't crowd the mushrooms!
It really does make a difference! Put too many mushrooms in the frying pan, and they just seem to get all mushy and gushy and don't saute properly. But, if you just scatter them in their sparsely, they brown up in such a delicious manner! The problem is, though, that I really don't want to take so much time when I'm preparing a meal. I want the maximum result for the minimum time investment. I want my mushrooms nicely browned, but I want to crowd them all together in the pan so I don't have to cook them in batches.
The same is so true of my life. I want results but I often don't want to slow down and invest enough time in a project, a relationship, even in myself sometimes (!) to get the results that I desire. I want to make a success of all that I attempt, but I don't want to spend time perfecting my craft so that I will be a success. I want my relationships to be deep and meaningful, but can't we just text meaningfully back and forth a couple of times a day and make a go of it? I want to manage stress better, but I don't always want to take the time to breathe deep, centre myself, and let go of the bad energy. I want short cuts, recipes that involve nothing more than 3 steps, 5 ingredients and one pan, and problems that can be resolved in the same length of time it takes to play a few rounds of Bejeweled.
Since "Julie and Julia," I find myself periodically taking a deep breath and reminding myself not to "crowd the mushrooms." With all the emphasis on "quality" vs. "quantity" that seems to pervade our culture, I need a constant reminder that there is no replacement for investing large amounts of time into the areas of my life that really count. Whether it is my own physical and emotional fitness, my relationships, or my work, the measure of my success will in a large way be accounted for by how much time I have invested. And the bottom line is that I am worth the investment. We are given 24 hours in each day. I'm determined in 2011 that I won't get caught up in "crowding the mushrooms" and racing around in those 24 hours, trying to fit so much in that nothing gets done properly. Instead, I'm going to invest enough time into my own well-being to ensure success.