Sit Down to Eat

“But, don’t you love yourself enough to sit down to eat?”

A question my sister-in-law posed to my brother as we were comparing habits of daily living. The discussion sprouted from my choice to sleep on the floor in the guest room and my brother and I both agreeing a little austerity is good for the soul.

The haunting thing about staying several weeks with a sibling you haven’t lived with for 20 years is seeing how much your daily lives have evolved in parallel, despite all those efforts in our early years to each be our “own person.”

One of the lifestyle habits my brother and I now share is carrying around a bowl in one hand, eating with the other, and leaning on a counter or wandering about the house. For myself, as a single person whose table dressing includes old mail, sunglasses, used transit tickets and the unidentifiable remains of pocket contents, and any free chair is heaped with backpacks, windpants and books, I’ve practically made eating on the couch with chopsticks an art form. Really. You try eating fried eggs with chopsticks.

My sister-in–law, with her self-proclaimed princess tendencies, does admittedly have a point. Sometimes simplicity and pragmatism don’t win out over treating yourself right: slowing down, savouring the food you took the time to prepare, enjoying and living in the moment. Do I love myself enough to make a meal an event for myself and not just for the gathering of my friends?

After my Grandmother had a stroke and lost the ability to move, speak, or swallow, her long uneventful routine in the hospital was highlighted by meals. The sound of a can of Ensure being cracked open would light up her eyes with a wordless Wahoo! pie_for_breakfastSomething that went straight into a feeding tube and she would never taste, was a “Wahoo!” all the same in her books. When was the last time any of us got that excited about lunch – at least one that didn’t cost $22.95?

So from now on, in honour of my own inner princess, I’m going to make a point of having a party for one. Date night with myself. Sitting down, a little dinner music, maybe even light a candle or two, use the good dishes. Make my meal an event – even if it’s just fried eggs. I may have to relearn that whole knife and fork thing, but I’m worth it! I can love myself enough to sit down to eat, that backpack can get tossed to the floor.

4 thoughts on “Sit Down to Eat

  1. Hmmm.. what is it with you and sleeping on the floor, when there are perfectly good beds right beside you? It must be a Valerie-ism.


    1. Pragmatics my dear! Comfy beds aren’t always available, and strange beds take some getting used to. I’ve never not been able to find a floor to sleep on, and they all pretty much feel the same. The path to true happiness lies in lower expectations.


  2. I think that as long as you focus on the act of eating, however you choose to fulfill that basic need is okay. If, for instance, you find yourself wandering around jamming random foodstuffs into your cakehole, you may wish to stop for a moment, focus on what you’re doing, put the Doritos down, and go fry yerself an egg!


    1. Ah… Kari,

      A truly inspirational commentary on mindfulness and nourishing yourself.

      -I’m gonna go cram something wholesome in my cake-hole now!


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