Daddy, what did you eat today?

Daddy, what did you eat today?

My son asked me, out of nothing.

I looked at him, and I was shaken. Really shaken. To the core.

Yes, such a simple question. But it made me think.

What did I eat today? How was it like?

How many times did I skip my lunch? And how many times did I rush through it, with my mind somewhere else, eating like a mechanical movement just to fill in the stomach, and in the end not even aware of what the dish contained or how it tasted like?

Yeah, I am guilty of that. And not just once. The only defence has always been : Busy. But really, how much time can I save by skipping my meal, or gulping down my food in such a hurry? Maybe 20 minutes? Or 30? Or even 1 hour? The time I can easily gain for productive work by focusing more on real work and spending less on checking emails. And what was the trade off? A wasted opportunity to enjoy life’s simple pleasure. A lost chance to be mindful of my moments in life, and to have a break from work (after all, lunch time is not just for eating but also for resting and recharging for the second part of the working day). And a step away from being what I am supposed to be: a human.

From that day on, I started paying more attention to my lunch. I ate in instead of buying back. I went to lunch a bit later to avoid the peak period so that I did not have to squeeze and wait for table. And I spent more time on my food, to look at it, taste it and feel it, not just gulp it down in big mouthful. And my lunch time was really more enjoyable.

And the next time my son asked me, I not only could answer him, but also tell him about the food, and it really intrigued him and made him want to try new food more often. And best of all, it was a new topic for us to talk about, a new thing for us to share and a window into my life outside of home.

So, what did you eat today?

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