some of the best parts of life occur. Today was an interesting contrast between what happened over food and away from food.
I had lunch with two friends. I call them friends now because for a semester they taught me what they knew about a subject that I was very interested in learning about and at the time thought I had to learn about to better at what I do. They taught me new ways to look at a piece of paper and new ways to think about fonts, colors, and in a round about way life. At the time I got to know them, but if you are teaching me something you and I are not friends. I have always been this way. Now that they are no longer teaching me I think of them as friends. Over lunch we got back together after an extended break. It was nice seeing both of them and as a bonus I got stickers. This lunch as brief as it was, a half-hour is hardly enough time to eat and converse, was long enough to put my mood into a better place than it was. I arrived feeling angry at the next task I had to do. I left feeling better about the world.
That feeling was quickly picked out of me and smashed to the floor by someone in a position of authority abusing their power. I don’t like people who abuse their power there is no need and there definitely was no need this time either. I left angry.
I arrived to someone who wanted to eat in front of me because they were on the go. Over their food I learned, I laughed, I shared, I listened, I talked, I was heard, and my spirit was uplifted. I went from being angry to feeling hope. To feeling like I could take a problem and turn that problem into a solution.
Dinner was with my family and a valued friend. Over food we caught up on the past weeks. We talked. We shared. We did a lot of laughing. We connected and even the kids had a good time. That was when they could keep their butts on their chairs. Dinner was long, not the act of eating, but the act of being in one place and social. There was no scarfing down the food, grabbing the phone and texting, while half-assed talking to someone in front of you, while bolting out the door. If there had been a bottle of wine and better food I might have thought we were having dinner in another country. There was no worrying about the time, just talking and enjoying the company.
What am I getting at? I am getting at that for me and my immediate family most of the best parts of life, those parts of life that are important, that are often discarded today happen over food. Meals for us are not grab and go. We may not take our time eating, but we do take our time at the dinner table. We make a lot of our own food. A lot of time is spent teaching our children how to STOP and take the time to connect socially with us, each other, and people who we are having dinner with. They may not appreciate that now, but one day when their friends are texting at the table over food, while barely making eye contact, talking half-assedly, and in generally being a ghost at the table the children will look back upon these times. My hope is that they will carry these moments forward and pass them onto their family and people they know.
There is plenty of time to rush. Over food, especially with company, stop, take a moment, and enjoy the people more than the food.