Thursday, December 2, 2010

Contextually Based Mindfulness

I just finished my lunch (leftovers) and it was one of the best meals I've had in awhile. Let me explain.

Yesterday my group at work had a holiday lunch at Perry's Steakhouse. We had a private room and were given free aim at anything on the menu. So I scratched my chin and order appetizers, apple-smoked bacon chopped salad, butternut squash puree w/ Brocollini, a bone-in ribeye steak and dessert, with a capuccino to top it all off. Walking out of the restaurant, I couldn't help to think the entire meal was mediocre but the ambiance was fantastic. I ordered so much, I had to take part of my steak home and left it in the fridge to eat for lunch the next day. I remember distinctly the caption under the steaks very boldly stated "Dry Aged".

I'm also in the midst of moving out of my apartment so I threw together all of the remaining vegetables in my fridge and put it on the steak. My expectations were low, but I never remember enjoying a piece of steak so much as I did for lunch today. I forgot about the whole lucious environment at Perry's and the Dry Aged caption. It was microwaved and a day old, but only after I separated myself from those expectations was I allowed to appreciate the quality of the steak. Walking into a place like Perry's, you're not allowed room to anticipate anything but a stellar meal. Their to-go bags have rope handles for crying out loud.

Rather than being completely present and mindful of the food we're eating, there's always a basis for comparison, making us more critical. Today's day old steak taught me a profound lesson: we're never satisifed. We get off from the hunt and anticipation, not necessarily the discovery. Not only until we're deprived of having our comforts (such as being away from home for awhile) do we learn to appreciate the craving in question, usually for lower quality substitues like Whataburger, not necessarily the best option. Only when we have low grade equivalent at our 24 hour disposal do we shun it for hunting down its superior counterparts.