Last night, I made coq au vin for the second time, and for the second time, I did it “the Mark Gudgel way”, meaning I let nothing set overnight in the fridge the way I’m supposed to, and instead devised a manner by which to cook it over the course of around and hour and some change. I enjoy cooking, of course, but I rarely use a recipe, favoring the most efficacious means of doing things and the ingredients I have on hand. A dish that takes two days to make, no matter how good, I haven’t got time for, but I was told my insta-coq au vin was delicious, and I enjoyed it myself.
I’ve been giving the concept of time a lot of thought lately, and I’ve concluded several things. They are as follows:
- Time is the most valuable resource on the planet. Like land, it is finite. Unlike land, we don’t know how much of it there is.
- Young people do not value time, because, unlike money, they feel as if they have it in abundance. It is difficult to transition mindsets from not valuing time to valuing it highly as one ages. (This is a personal struggle.)
- Other people, and society at large, do not value the time of others. We must value our own time for ourselves, and we must be the ones to protect it.
- One cannot “make” time. This is a misnomer. However, one can, if crafty, steal it back from the world that demanded it from you to begin with.
- What a person values is evident in how he or she spends the time they have.
All of these things are, at the surface, rather obvious. And yet if they are in fact that, then it is perhaps even more strange that so few people live as if they are true. I have been trying to live this way, doing little things like deleting my personal social media accounts to spend less time with my nose in my phone, and more time with the humans I live in the real world with. To the fifth point, I’ve always highly valued people, and I like to show them that with my time.
How we spend our time is a choice we make, yet we constantly plan to do important things like taking walks with our family or reading to our kids “later” or “tomorrow” in order to complete menial, career-related tasks today. I’m trying to get out of that mindset. I’m trying to figure out how to live differently.
Great wine reminds me to slow down and enjoy the finite resource of time that we do possess. The 2013 Chateau d’Angles Grand Vin Rouge was what I paired with my coq au vin, and it was absolutely stunning. Immediately, it struck me as a big left-banker, something out of Pauillac perhaps, with a robustness and balance to be envied, and gorgeous notes of overripe plum, blackberry, cigar box, and licorice. Full in body, it has a warm, almost delicate, bordering-on-velvety mouthfeel. Elegant from start to finish, it is composed of 55% Mourvedre, 30% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Carignan, and is 100% wonderful wine. The third wine I’ve had from Chateau d’Angles which hails from La Clape in the Languedoc, I’m growing increasingly fond of this producer and will certainly be seeking out more of their wines in the future — to share with friends, of course.
In addition to the wine of course, the best part of the evening was that I got to share it with my beautiful wife, our children, and our friend Rebecca who stopped by for dinner. We chatted for hours, using our time to relax and learn about someone else’s life, unwinding at the end of a long day, and doing the things in life that make memories, rather than those that make only money.
This morning I’m going to go for a run, and then after my meetings today, I’m going to go drop a class I was going to take this fall, freeing up my Tuesday nights to spend with family. I would like to take the class, of course, but if I’m being completely honest, I’d rather eat dinner with my wife, hold my daughter, and read Dr. Seuss books to my son. After all, I can’t “make” more time, but I can steal some back.