I started taking lunch at work.
Let me explain. See, at my old job, which I loved, I was on a part-time schedule so sometimes I'd work like five hours a day. I'd come in around lunchtime and leave before dinnertime, so it seemed like a goofy thing to do to take lunch. I got used to just working the five or six hours and sometimes eating at my desk if I was hungry, working through whatever I was doing. It seemed reasonable.
So I wasn't quite sure how I was gonna handle it when it became clear my new job wants me to be there at 8-ish in the morning and leave at 5-ish in the evening. I wasn't used to taking lunch and was initially reluctant to do it. I wanted to just eat at my desk and go home after 8 hours, not 9. And I did that my first day. The second day a co-worker took me out to eat. The third day I worked through lunch again and left around 4. And then Thursday and Friday, I took lunch.
Thursday I wandered down the street and found a cute French café that served breakfast and lunch. I had a breakfast plate and a glass of juice, and just relaxed.
It was REALLY nice.
Going back to work after a break, it just . . . it was nice. Good.
I didn't want to develop a habit of eating out for lunch every day, so Friday I went behind the building and found a picnic table. After eating my lunch I did some drawing and reading and enjoying the outdoors.
Again, REALLY nice.
I thought I wasn't going to like having to take lunch because it forces me to be out of the house and "at work" longer, but having a break is way better than I thought. In the morning you're getting stuff done and working up to lunch, motivated by knowing a breather is coming (not that my work has been unpleasant--it's just, you know, it's work!). And then you come back with only a few hours left (I like to take lunch around 1 PM), and you're relaxed and chillin'.
I've been sort of spoiled by working part time, so eight-hour workdays were definitely a whammy for me. It probably sounds really silly to people who are used to working eight hours and more and they're thinking "of course you take lunch, you goof!" but for me it is definitely a lifestyle change and a perspective shift. The last time I had a lunch break was more than ten years ago working at the bookstore, and our breaks there were not only only half an hour but were strictly monitored and you had to rush back onto the floor to cover so someone else could get their break. This is just . . . I think it's what I need.
I wonder what I'll do on my break today? Hopefully it's dry enough outside for me to chill at the picnic tables again.