Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lunch Break

I stopped taking a lunch break from the time J started going to daycare. It gave me an extra hour of work and I could head home sooner. Among the many things in life that I have had to adapt and abbreviate to make room for the demands on my time, eating lunch at my desk while working is a terribly insignificant change - or so I thought.

After almost four years, I ate lunch at my desk without a single distraction - no emails flying back and forth, no status reports being prepared, so phone calls - nothing except complete silence. I could hear myself eat, I could tell the difference between the fruit, vegetables and bread. They were not the composite lump of "lunch" that I go through along with green tea. Lunch was not an interruption to the main event today but the event itself.

The twenty minutes of silence was at once magnificent and frightening. I think the Sanskrit word that comes closest to describing the ambiguity of that feeling is Vibhatsya. My mind having nothing to focus on and being unaccustomed to focusing on eating, started to wander in ways that I was not prepared for. Like a wild horse it refused to be reined in or controlled.

It took me back to happier times when silence did not connote alone, when it was the desirable pause between events, the tiny synapse joining threads of frenetic activity. Today silence is more onminous -it forces me to look back, revaluate and worse think of the road ahead. Suddenly, it is no longer possible to live in the moment - the past and the future jostle for room and consideration that they have been denied.

I realized how unacquainted I have grown with myself - I could as well have met a stranger at lunch today.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the way you write. And some of your previous posts (Cold Attic) are incredibly moving--I felt like I was there.
Best of luck with *everything*

The Jongleur said...

I do lunch within the confines of my cubicle too, only the noises of people munching away in their own cubicles takes away any potential to reflect and reason. But my dinner has the description of your lunch written all over it. The silence is deafening, and myriad emotions zig zag across my fatigued soul.

SFGary said...

Hope it works for you. I used to do that till I found I was becoming less productive and more stressed than usual. The time away helped me recharge.

Heartcrossings said...

Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by !

Jongleur - Silence can be such a terrible thing if it reminds you of loss and emptiness. I have J at the dinner table and am so grateful for that.

SFG - Working through lunch is a necessity. I would rather do that than stay late at work when I could be home with J. The to-do is to get reacquainted with myself :)