I’ve decided Friday, July 15, should join the list of holidays we celebrate this month. Friday is National Make Lunch Count Day, and it was begun six years ago to encourage folks to pause, get away from their work, and enjoy lunch. Yep, this deserves a real holiday.
When I was growing up on a farm, our big meal in the middle of the day was always a treat. Lots of fresh vegetables, tangy lemonade, laughter, and fellowship, and then a time of rest so the sun wouldn’t bear down on our heads so much. By the time I was a teen, I had earned the privilege of staying in the house and creating the masterpiece that would be enjoyed at noon by everyone who was doing real work.
My mother was so efficient that she could whip up a meal in no time flat, no matter how many people showed up, but I rarely ever had everything done by the time the hungry hordes arrived. She’d come in like a whirlwind and in no time flat we’d be ready to fuel up for the afternoon’s work.
Nowadays I’m not going to cotton fields or okra patches, but I still absolutely, positively love this midday meal and yes, I will walk a mile for it.
A few years after I wrote my first book, I’d have people ask how I did it and if I had advice for them. I created “Give me lunch and I’ll tell you everything I know,” and over gallons of sweet tea and whatever they fed me, I shared everything I knew about writing a book or anything else that came up. I had a ball every time though I’m not sure how many books got written as a result of these spirited conversations.
Whether lunch is girlie salads and cute little sandwiches or a buffet, complete with peach cobbler, there’s something special about sharing a meal with people you love or are just getting to know. Unfortunately, too many of us have gotten used to skipping lunch or grabbing a bag of chips or something less nourishing at our desks.
For heaven’s sake, stop shortchanging your mind, body, and spirit—lunch is soul food. It’s fuel for whatever ails you. Even if you don’t go out for lunch, or formally recognize you need a minute away from your desk, this time in the middle of the day is important to get you refreshed and fortified for the rest of the day.
In many instances lunch is an attempt to do what someone somewhere said about mealtimes: eat like a king at breakfast, like a prince at lunch, and like a peasant at dinner, meaning eat less and less as the day goes on. I have discovered that if I work things right at lunch, I am happy with a light meal or snack at dinner time.
Either way you run it; lunch may be almost as important as breakfast. Sharing lunch with a friend or favorite colleague is a wonderful way to make the world better—we get to share, make connections, and be seen and heard.
With that said, we must pray and be more interested and invested in our world. The children of the world are starving because of food insecurity, the ravages of war, inflation, confusion, conflict, changing climates and politics—pick one. We can’t fix everything, but we must pay attention and do what we can. Nightly News anchor Lester Holt concludes the newscast with “Take care of yourselves and one another.” Please do.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.