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For some, the idea of dining alone may not sound appealing, but it can provide a few moments of quiet solitude on life’s busiest days.
My grandmother used to go to lunch by herself frequently, and I remember feeling sorry for her when I was younger–that is, until I realized it wasn’t because she didn’t have any friends, it was because she wanted to spend time alone. I understand that now.
I also remember several of my colleagues at hospitals and nursing homes going to the parking lot to eat lunch in their car. For many, it was the only way they could finish their meal without interruption, and it was certainly the only quiet place they could find to enjoy a much-needed break.
During my visit to Austin I was excited to have an afternoon to myself, and I ventured into one of my old standby’s: Le Madeleine’s. When I used to live in the area, I spent many hours enjoying coffee or lunch (or a divine lemon tart) while I worked away on various projects. I loved the atmosphere: a few clinking dishes here and there, the aroma of coffee, hints of conversations from other tables and a warm fireplace. Distractions were minimal. The food was good. And I got a lot done.
Dining alone gives us a chance to slow down and enjoy a meal without the obligation of engaging in conversation or feeling rushed to get to our next task. Spending time in quiet, especially for those who value solitude, can be easily incorporated into any self-care practice.
What has been your experience dining alone?