In the interest of keeping to an absolute minimum the time the oven would be turned on, I got started on a baking session this evening. I needed a batch of blueberry muffins for tomorrow morning's Secular Franciscan retreat, and I also wanted to make a pan of brownies for Middle Sister. She's leaving for a week at the beach with a friend's family, and I thought it would be nice if she brought along a little treat to share.
So I got out my two big batter bowls and got started on the ingredients. Right off the bat I made my first mistake by putting the wet ingredients for the muffins in the big batter bowl (dry's supposed to go in there first!) But I figured I could make it work. And then I took the Hershey's syrup out of the fridge--it's the secret ingredient in my box-mix brownies. I poured a generous shot of syrup into the wrong batter bowl: the one meant for the blueberry muffins.
I'd finished off the carton of eggs in the kitchen, so I went to our spare fridge and retrieved the carton I had out there. Note to self: that was the last of the eggs. After dumping out the ruined batter, I went to crack an egg and discovered that those eggs were frozen.
My kind neighbor talked me down from the ledge, handed me two eggs to borrow, and told me that while she completely understood my reasons for attempting to bake two things at once, I shouldn't try it again this evening. Gratefully, I accepted the eggs and the advice.
There are things that just require your full attention. Fortunately, tonight, all that was lost was a couple of eggs, some milk and some vegetable oil. But multitasking can have its price. Just ask a parent who has lost a teenage child who texted while driving.
And what about the spiritual cost? Our attention is divided enough these days. I know that when I'm trying to pray, I struggle with intruding thoughts of shopping lists, chore charts, and what I'll be making for dinner tonight. Multitasking in other areas will only make us less and less able to lend our full attention to what really matters.