I just came back from the most refreshing, revitalizing lunch hour I've had in a long time. I didn't spend it shopping around town, running errands or visiting with friends. Instead, I took my lunch hour and spent it by myself.
For the past few weeks its felt like my life has constantly been running on fast forward. I've had dinner to cook, a house to clean, a dog who has not been on her best behavior lately, a husband who has been doing a bit of traveling for work and all in all things have been a little crazy.
Well, when my lunch hour came the other day, all I could think of were the millions of things I should be doing during that 60-minute period. I had some household shopping that needed to get done, letters that needed to be mailed and a birthday present to buy.
As I pulled out of the parking lot here at the office I had no idea what I was going to do for lunch. If I did the shopping, I wouldn't get to the post office, and visa versa. Instead, I opted to do what I figured would be the most fun. I shirked a majority of my duties, figuring I could do them after work, and decided to take on shopping for that darn birthday present and making time to actually sit down and eat lunch.
As I wheeled my cart around the store I suddenly realized just how tired and frazzled I was. As I was standing in line to pay I could feel my eyelids start to droop.
When I finally made it out of the store I drove through a local fast food restaurant and then set about deciding where I was going to eat my lunch. First I simply parked in the parking lot, but the hot sun beating down at me wasn't very relaxing.
Then the light bulb turned on above my head. I would go to Central Park and park my little car under the big shade trees to eat my lunch.
That was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I found a nice place to park my car, rolled down my windows and turned the radio on so it was just a suggestion. The breeze rolled through my car windows as I looked out over the green park and slowly, but surely ate my lunch.
It's been a long time since I've taken half-an-hour to eat chicken strips and a salad, but that's how long it ended up taking me.
One of the things that struck me as I sat near the top of Central Park is just what a great park it is. There were children running around on the playground equipment, friends who had met at the picnic tables under the shade trees to enjoy lunch together and people swimming in the city pool.
Sometimes, I suppose, we just have to take a few minutes to slow down, enjoy ourselves and be thankful for the little things.