Quite Continental Charm School: Day 20 — A Proper Lunch

20/02/2012 § Leave a comment

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

Women workers from the assembly line at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in Long Beach, California in October 1942. FSA/OWI photo via the Library of Congress.

I haven’t trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour.  I’ve never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.
–Erma Bombeck

Day 20: Eat A Proper Lunch
Years ago, lunch was a defining element of the day. We had the Ladies Who Lunched, the “3 martini lunch” and well-known lunchtime seating hierarchies in dining rooms across the country.  In the professional world, lunch was a deliberate event: it was planned, it was enjoyed and it wasn’t crammed into 60 paltry minutes (or less).  It was an oasis in the middle of the day, even if a good amount of business was done over lunch.  It was a way to break up the monotony of the day, leave the confines of one’s desk, and breathe a bit of fresh air.

Why do we seem to not value our midday repast as much as we once did? So many working lunches in dreary conference rooms and sandwiches held with one hand whilst the other is on the mouse!  Is it just me, or have you noticed this can cause the day to take on a tinge of drudgery?  The fix?  Make the time in your workday to have a proper lunch.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you must have a white tablecloth present when you sit down to lunch, or even a reservation.  All you need to do is make the time you have for your lunch deliberate.  Step away from your desk.  Better yet, leave the office.  Try local cafes and restaurants.  Bring your lunch and sit outside (weather permitting).  At bare minimum, even if you only have time for a brief walk around the block, any way that will hit the reset button on your “desk time” will do wonders for your mood and frame of mind.  Even if you work from home or are a stay at home parent, a small break in the middle of the day can be vital in maintaining your focus and your spirits through the rest of the day, allowing you to work smarter and harder.

I must confess, this is something that I can be downright horrible at.  The frequency which I eat a little sad bit of sushi or soup whilst parked in front of my monitors at work is much higher than I’d like (and is definitely not charming).  While work is important and keeps me busy, there is no reason I can’t simply remove myself for a few minutes of every day to clear my head.  Let’s give it a try, shall we?

The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life

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