One of my favorite times of the day lies between the hours of 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. That’s usually around the time when I take my lunch. I’ll grab my purse and quietly slip out of the office for an hour.
Sometimes I know where I’m going and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I call in an order and bring it back to my office, but for the most part, I ask for a table of one and enjoy my meal alone. I play Candy Crush, respond to texts, and scroll my social feeds. I might bring my notepad and jot some ideas down for the blog.
For that hour, I get to enjoy the company of myself.
I used to be opposed to eating by myself. I thought that it reeked of desperation. For twenty-something years, I was ignorant. And then I started my first job out of college and found solace in the local Frontera Mex-Mex Grill. I became one of the many 60%+ of Americans that eat alone.
The other 30ish% concern me, though.
I have so many friends that constantly put themselves last. Some of those friends are the ones I invited to the color party. They’re mothers, wives, girlfriends, aunts, sisters, and confidantes on top of being business women with side-gigs just trying to make the next day better than the last.
This isn’t just a gender thing, either. I think of the guys I know that are always trying to provide for their loved ones. They might eat once a day and that meal could’ve come through the end of a drive-thru line between errands and work.
Maybe they keep busy to keep their mind off of fears and frustrations. Or maybe they’ve gotten so lost that they don’t recognize the person that stands before them in the mirror. Being by yourself, albeit briefly, can be frightening for some. I get it.
But all I really want is for everyone to take some time for themselves.
We can’t do for others if we don’t do for ourselves first. We have to recharge. If you can’t disconnect for the weekend or finally plan that vacation, then eat alone with me. Take yourself to lunch or eat that fast-food meal in the parking lot and not on the road. Enjoy a few minutes of peace before you throw yourself back in the bustle of it all. You deserve it. You really do.