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  • Dora Nudelman

The Value of Eating at the Table


When it comes to eating our meals, I think as a society it has become far too common for us to adopt a grab and go lifestyle. And whether it’s grabbing something from a drive-through, or everybody just doing their own thing at dinner time, too many of us are missing out on the true value that comes from dining together at the table.


In the generations that came before us, no one was bogged down with technological devices, and while they were busy with other things, they all seemed to make the time to come together around the dinner table as a family and share a meal with one another as they discussed the events of the day. It seems that dinner back then had more meaning than just its primal purpose of filling our bellies with something to eat.


Maybe we think that as a society we are far too sophisticated and busy to give any credence to these types of prehistoric customs from yesteryear. But what if it would actually be worth our while to make the time? We complain about our relationships being strained with our partners. We worry that connections are being lost with our children. But what if there is a simple solution to it all, starting with gathering together, without distraction, simply to eat a meal at the table?


So, if you want to start making mealtime special, a good place to start is to set the table as if you have company coming over. After all, the “good china” needn’t just be for guests. So whip out your finest, make a beautiful centerpiece, put down your best place settings, and invite your family for a tech-free meal around the table. You’ll be amazed at how a little bit of effort goes a long way to show how much you care. Plus, you can get your family members involved in the process as well, because the creative possibilities are truly endless.


But what if you live alone? Does this ritual have any benefit for you? Of course it does. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to be sitting in a Parisian café, even if alone, watching the world pass you by as you sit back, relax, leisurely sip on your favorite glass of wine, and dine on a sumptuous meal of your choosing. Now, imagine recreating that type of ambiance and experience right in your own home. Go ahead, set the mood: Light some candles, turn on some dinner music, set the table, get out your finest stemware and maybe even a crisp white tablecloth, put a flower in a vase, and treat yourself to a beautiful meal like YOU actually matter. You don’t have to wait for an invitation in order to feel worthy. Make yourself the guest of honor and you will see how reinvigorated you will feel.


Too often we put ourselves to the side, like we are not worth the effort. We pull out all the stops for others, but when it comes to our own experiences, sometimes we are just too willing to settle for less. But why must the fine china only get used once or twice a year? Why not use it on the regular and make every day a special occasion as you share a beautiful meal with the people you love, or simply with yourself in order to appreciate your own value?


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