First grader: What’s your favorite subject?
Third grader: Lunch!
An old joke, for sure, but it has some truth to it. Most of us look forward to our lunch break whether we are employed full time, are a student, or work from home. Its a much-needed break in the midst of a busy day. Its a time to socialize with peers or coworkers, a time to run an errand, or it’s “alone” time…time to regroup and prepare for the rest of the day.
When I retired six years ago, it took me a while to find an at-home schedule. I was no longer working outside of the home, but my work at home was still there and it was difficult to get into a routine without waiting for the bell to ring to signal for the next class.
I soon discovered that I needed to schedule a lunch break for myself, even if I spent the entire day alone, which happened frequently. If I didn’t take a break, I found myself starving in the middle of the afternoon and getting grumpy and sleepy. So I pulled out my old school lunch tray (we won’t discuss how I happened to have that in my possession) and began to fix myself an easy lunch each day.
I sit on the loveseat recliner, balancing the tray on my lap and settle in for a leisurely moment. Timing was a problem though. I couldn’t sit still for very long, so I found myself gobbling my food and heading back to the kitchen to clean up and start the next project. Ten minutes is not enough of a break!
If I watched a TV show, that would be equal to a 30-40 minute lunch and that continues to be my routine, on many days. I have watched Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Dexter, Downton Abbey, and most recently The Handmaid’s Tale. Granted, some of these series are not necessarily “shows to eat lunch by”, but I have enjoyed some downtime in the middle of the day, which was my goal.
My meals are not fancy. Leftovers work well, microwaveable meals, soup and sandwiches, and salads are my favorites. I do enjoy my vintage cafeteria tray because it takes me back to lunch at the elementary level, where my favorites were Grilled Cheese with Tomato or Chicken Noodle Soup or maybe Cornbread with ham and beans with lots of syrup! And of course, don’t forget the chocolate milk and sitting next to your best friend.
What is your favorite lunchtime habit?