Even though it would be more cost-effective, I enjoy purchasing food at work rather than bringing it.
Part of my morning routine that I enjoy is tempering the blah feeling I have of getting up early and then walking into my office by making a “pit stop” of sorts at the nearby cafeteria. I’m at work, in a sense, but still not at work yet. Smelling the brewing coffee and pastries helps start my day.
Lunch is a far better example, however, because it’s a big 30-45 minute break of bliss. Temporarily mitigating the adverse effect of staring at a screen for 5 hours straight is just the beginning of what’s great about it. Currently, lunch consists of walking for about 5 minutes to a nearby cafeteria (not the one for breakfast), talking to the guy running the register for about 10 seconds while I order food, waiting for a few minutes, grabbing my food from a counter and then quietly sitting inside (or something outside) while I eat and read my iPhone or a weekly news publication. I don’t talk to anyone and I can do what I want without any guilt or real distraction. A lot of people would see this as anti-social (“why doesn’t he ever talk to anyone?”) or sad (“awww, he’s all alone”), but in reality it’s just me being me. That is, enjoying a peaceful, contented period of time by myself, not needing to interact and efficiently consuming nourishment. It’s the best part of the day, really.
Of course, this all means I spend about $10 a day, 5/7 days a week. The food isn’t very healthy, either (although I could be better about what I choose). I have mixed feelings about “letting go” like this, both health-wise and money-wise. Part of me just enjoys it because it’s enjoyable, doesn’t require me to think about food before leaving for work, and is a tradition of sorts I’ve developed. Part of me feels guilty because it’s not good for me and I could save money by taking my lunch, which is what I’d probably have to do if we had a child to support.
As usual there is no conclusion or lesson learned, and I’ll go on forever feeling conflicted. Most things in life are like this for me. The observation has now been made, though. And for that, there is some solace.