If there’s one thing I have learned to appreciate as I’ve gotten older, it’s a good, solitary lunch. Growing up, I used to get genuine anxiety thinking about going to lunch by myself. I’d plan my meals around the schedules of others. I’d sometimes skip a meal completely just so I wouldn’t have to eat alone. These days, though, I look forward to the rare opportunity to take myself on a nice date.
There’s something wonderful about going to a restaurant with delicious food, sipping on a sweet tea, and not worrying about anybody else’s schedule. I love turning off my phone, opening a good book, and watching people interact. For me, no lunch date is complete without chips and queso.
So, as we run into 2018 and you’re living your “New Year, New Me” thing, consider taking some time to date yourself. Here’s what I suggest:
Clear time for yourself. If you’re married, leave your spouse at home. If you’re a parent, find a way to get away from your kids for a little bit. Go to a comfortable restaurant, somewhere with good food with affordable wine (or in my case, margaritas.) Order yourself that glass of wine if you want. Indulge yourself. Bring a good book and enjoy it.
Don’t worry if people are looking at you; they’re not. If they are, it’s out of sheer jealousy. The look of contentment on your face will be enviable.
Order your favorite meal. Or dessert. Or whatever you love at this restaurant you’ve chosen. And enjoy it. Savor it. Eat it slowly. Watch the world speed by you. Spend an hour in this happy space, because you and I both know you don’t spend enough time there. Let the worries of the day disappear, just for the hour. They’ll still be there when you’re done.
Something we don’t do enough is take time for ourselves. This world is busy. Things move quickly. We’re constantly caught in the hustle and bustle of the day to day. And then we realize howe exhausted we are. And how anxious. And how depressed. And we wonder what we can do to combat it.
Maybe this is a first step. Maybe you need to take time and schedule a date with quite possibly the most ignored person in your own life.
The Plucky Reader