Sometimes a piece of hot buttered toast is the perfect food. This morning was one of those times. I overslept and woke up with a headache. Within 5 minutes I was on e-mail responding to multiple work demands. My dog sat next to me whimpering to go out. An index card scrawled with all my to-do's before going out of town tomorrow was on the desk in front of me. Too much. I've found that the "one thing" principle can be an antidote to "too much." A piece of hot buttered toast is a simple and calming "one thing."
I get the "one thing" principle from the story of Martha and Mary. A story I struggle with every time I hear it. Maybe it's because sometimes I see myself as the peaceful and attentive Mary, other times I see myself as the busy Martha resentful of the peaceful Marys. But what I always remember from that story is that Jesus said to Martha that only one thing was necessary. To be honest, I'm not sure I could tell you with certainty what the "one thing" was that he was referring to, but as a general principle I think it makes sense. When I'm crazed with "too much" I sometimes have to verbally remind myself over and over again to do just one thing--forget multitasking--do one thing at a time. Plan one thing. Cook one thing. Choose one thing. Finish one thing.
Back to hot buttered toast. M. F. K. Fisher offers another perspective on its simple pleasure in her book
Right now, I'm tempted to interupt this post and get up and quickly move my laundry from the washer to the dryer. To continue, however, with the "one thing" plan started with the toast this morning I'll send this off first and then go move the laundry.... But the phone just rang and a fuse just blew [I am not making this up]..... Sometimes the "one thing" plan is hard to put into reality but it's always easy to choose a piece of buttered toast for breakfast.