There is so much advice around today. How to be happier, how to be healthier and how to live longer. We've all read about the benefits of spending time with family and friends and sharing activities. One of the things often advocated is to eat with other people, rather than alone. Many social activities involve food but sometimes I relish eating alone.
I had a stressful 88 minutes on the phone this morning. That's almost an hour and a half. I was transferred from person to person but eventually got my two questions answered. I felt exhausted and it wasn't even 11am. On a whim, I gathered up my bag and keys and caught the 11.03am bus to a nearby town.
There were a couple of things I had been planning to do there for some time and I decided to actually do them so I could cross them off my 'to do' list. Oh, my gosh, I don't remember putting on any lipstick. Did I go out without lipstick? I'm not sure, perhaps I did, perhaps I didn't. I only remember wondering if I would get to the bus on time.
I enjoyed gazing out the window at the countryside and felt myself unwinding. Once at my destination I did what I had come for.
Then I headed to a cafe to get some lunch. I really wanted a homemade burger with chips, something I don't eat very often, because you know, it's loaded in fat, salt and kilojoules. And taste, flavour and enjoyment.
I was eating alone and it occurred to me, how much more I was concentrating on what I was eating because I wasn't involved in conversation. By the way, I wasn't reading a magazine or looking at Pinterest on my phone either. (It didn't occur to me to take a photo of my food so I had to use a Pixabay image of a burger and chips for this article.) I was truly mindful of the food I was eating.
You can be mindful of your food when you eat alone Courtesy of Pixabay
Now, don't get me wrong, I love to catch up with a friend for coffee or lunch. But, the truth is, my attention will be on the conversation, not the food. I may comment that my meal was lovely but I won't be able to tell you much about it.
Interestingly, I have read people tend to rate their food as more enjoyable when they eat with others. I don't think that is the case for me. Alright, sometimes I probably say I really enjoyed something I thought was only 'okay' just to agree with others or because I don't want to appear fussy. However if I am being honest, I think I enjoy food I eat alone more. Is that weird? Who cares if it is. That burger with chips was delicious.