|No one likes a frowny face.|
|Change it for a smile.|
|Make the world a better place|
|by smiling all the while.|
One of the benefits of self-employment: Rob and I get to eat together—not every meal of every day, mind you, but we share a fine majority of our repasts. Family meals, being with people at table—so healthy. I'm convinced, and there are studies that back me up on this, that breaking bread together heightens the nourishing impact of food, especially when the folks gathered 'round the board allow themselves to relax and invest in good conversation. Do you believe in shared meals? The simplicity or complexity of the spread make less difference to the experience than the seasonings of love and friendship and goodwill. Certainly it's great to aim for food that's interesting and flavorful, but I for one will take a communal PB&J over lonely gourmet just about any day of the week, any meal. It's the company that makes the meal truly delicious.
Rob and I aren't very good at routine—often our meals take place at odd hours—but we do follow a few constants. One of them is our breakfast pattern. When we sit down together for this meal, we pray and ask for a blessing on our food, and another on our shared study time. We eat and visit, and then when the food's gone and we're sipping our Pero or smoothies or chamomile tea or what-have-you, one of us will bring up some point or principle or story from the scriptures and we'll have a small discussion about it. We pull from our personal studies to prepare for this morning time. Then we wash up dishes together (sometime this step gets neglected, ahem), and start the day in earnest with a kneeling prayer. It's a really grounding habit that has helped us come to know ourselves and each other better, and learn about the nature of life and happiness and truth. We are stronger, closer as a couple, and closer to God because we observe this practice. We're not perfect in our process—sometimes one or both of us are stressed or fatigued, or anxious about the day, but even when we carve out the merest moment to slow down and focus on something made of light, we are blessed.
I highly recommend that you give ideas like these a try with your own family. If you live alone, or have other circumstances which require adaptation, then you have a perfect opportunity to exercise your creativity. A shared meal can be so good for the soul. And adding the element of spiritual feasting makes mealtime exponentially more sustaining.