It’s a work day. You usually eat lunch with your colleagues. But today, do something different. Take a walk. Find a place where you can have a quiet lunch alone.
If you haven’t been looking, maybe you’d be surprised at the number of places where you could do that. Of course, usually, such “alone places” do not serve cheap Chinese food. Such “alone places” are commonly cafes. For me, my favourite alone place during my work week is Moomba Tuckshop. I like having pasta salads and a coffee, sometimes at the outdoor seat, under a tree.
If you don’t have something like Boat Quay (lucky me!) to take a walk at, just walk anyway. You know the health benefits of not sitting down. Walk, walk along the street, browse the shops that might come your way. Walk, look up at the sky; walk, and observe what people are wearing – apart from the usual formal attire, try to find something that distinguishes the person from another; walk, see what’s littering the sidewalk.
It sounds like I am asking you to do nothing useful. But why would I do that?
I am advocating time and space alone because we increasingly live in a very crowded space, whether in terms of physical constraints or within our heads.
I would not want time away from my other half, so the only logical gap I can use is my lunch time. And besides, it is sometimes nice to break away from the usual gossip and complaints that characterize most lunches spent with colleagues.
Another reason I advocate lunch alone is because we hardly go out into open space, have a bit of sun, and breathe in non-conditioned air. Taking a walk solves that. And if you haven’t tried it before, emptying your head is a great way to nurture ideas. It sounds like something you have done before. But have you taken the time to sit back, empty your head, and do no thinking at all? If you have, you will know what happens when you do that. (Try it!)
The final and last reason I advocate having lunch alone is to present you with a bit of a challenge. Come on, most people find eating alone a socially awkward exercise. But doing things out of the ordinary is, I believe, good for your soul.
Remember to smile brightly when you tell the waiter who had just asked you if you are taking your meal away, “No, I am having it here.”