What I learned from a dislike of cooking

I don’t much like cooking.

I like cooked food, mind you. And I like the sweet smell of food that’s cooking. It’s just the act of actually doing the cooking that I struggle with.

I mean, think about it. You spend thirty minutes—sometimes even all of an hour or more—making this thing, only to devour it in five minutes. Also, because I’m the kind of person who reads while eating, I sometimes finish the food only to realise I didn’t exactly taste it.

Most times I’d rather just buy the food I need, instead of what feels like the time-suck of actually making it.

But I know, of course, that the real issue is that I don’t like cooking. Because everything we do that matters is like this, isn’t it?

I spend an hour, sometimes days, putting all these words together for an article like this, and who knows if you’ll simply skim through it?

A photographer spends a couple hours taking photos and a couple days editing them, for people to devour in three minutes over a photo album.

A novelist works for a year on a bestseller that you read (and hopefully actually finish) in an hour.

A musician works for months on an album that you will (if you don’t skip through the songs) listen to in an hour.

And so on. You can think of a few more yourself.

In most cases of these, the products are consumed once, never to be returned to. Yeah, I know, most of them can be consumed more than once (well, except food, hopefully), but how often does that happen? How many novels of the many you read will you reread? How many of the songs and albums you’ve listened to will earn the coveted regular play medal?

It would appear to be the nature — and paradox — of making that it requires tons of effort and its products can be consumed unbelievably quickly.

And yet we keep making more, because, well — it’s in our own nature to create.

Like this one, which (according to Medium) you just read in two minutes.

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