There aren’t very many things that I miss about going to work, except the coworkers I liked and the abundance of books/movies and the fact that (aside from slowly sliding into serious exhaustion) I found the work enjoyable if not always fulfilling. I honestly think that I would have been a really happy library paraprofessional, I just couldn’t do it and have a writing career.
But one of the things I really, really miss about going to work every day is bringing my lunch. I really love packing lunches. And my bento lunches for myself aren’t even particularly time-intensive or beautiful. In fact, a lot of the time they were just leftover pizza cut into strips with some vegetables in another compartment and some yogurt or something.1 I just liked opening my lunch box and being excited for whatever I’d packed, which usually was completely random.
Part of that is that I have a few really, really cool lunchboxes that I love. One is this tower Totoro lunch box that is probably made of a plastic that gives you cancer. I also have a red Takenaka lunchbox that snaps closed, that very annoyingly appears to be no longer made. I have a Zojirushi Mr. Bento from when I worked at CUA and was packing my dinner every night. (I do NOT miss that closing shift.) It’s way too much food for lunch, but for dinner it’s a full hot meal and I really got a kick out of making awesome dinners that were that portable.
Now, I was usually starving because I ate my lunch at my desk after using my lunch break to swim. So I might be recollecting my lunches as being better than they were. And I do love making those fun lunches full of cat faces and panda bread too, when I’m showing off. For other people, I can make beautiful sandwiches and octopus hotdogs and heart-shaped onigiri. But, like, those things don’t usually taste as good as pizza or a cucumber sandwich.
In some ways it seems silly to pack a lunch in the morning because I work from home. But I think when I get back from Greece 2 I’m going to at least try to make a habit of leaving my house. Even if it means packing a lunch to take it to the gym I just joined. Because even if it’s silly, even if it’s a small thing, I think you should try to keep up small traditions you enjoy. Life is a meaningless soul-sucking mire most of the time and you should take joy from the little things. Like bento.