I can’t really say that I sacrificed anything by working through lunch today, but saying that I did (because I did) gives me the mental validation to spend the last half an hour of the day writing this rather than continuing to channel King Kong in repeated thumps of the desk.
I don’t really “do” lunchbreaks.
I don’t leave the building, go to the shops, or sit in a trendy cafe sipping an over-priced cup of coffee while writing horrible things about the endless succession of hipsters and trophy mums that frequent such places in the middle of the day. I just sit here at my desk, and more often than not shovel whatever poor excuse for food I have hastily thrown together into my face for a few minutes. Today’s rather poor attempt was a bagel filled with cheese and ham. The ingredients had been the nearest when I opened the fridge this morning.
When I work on client sites in the city, I delight in escaping the air conditioned offices to resume the search for the most expensive baguette in the known world, or to marvel at men wearing pointy shoes in the queue for the touch-to-pay terminals I have no compatible cards for.
While here in the office, I sit. Sometimes I wander off to read the news – to pretend I have a half a clue what’s going on in the world – or at least the version of it my common haunts might be reporting. I’ll prod Facebook with a very long stick and then run away before anybody realises I was there. I’ll post something enormously witty on Twitter that nobody will read. And then I’ll suddenly think of a solution to something that’s been frustrating me all morning, and throw everything to one side while furiously writing code for the next half hour – which becomes and hour, and then two hours.
It’s kind of hilariously backwards really. When I am supposed to be working on something, I will find any and all distractions available to me. When I am supposed to be taking a break, suddenly the work that I’ve been avoiding all morning will become the most interesting, intractable puzzle ever invented. I wonder if it’s all connected somehow.
I think of things I want to write about on the blog while away from the computer. I never write the ideas down, and always forget what they were by the time I am back in front of a computer. I solve the most ridiculous programming problems while sitting on the toilet – don’t even try to figure that one out.
How on earth did we get from “missing lunch” to “solving problems on the toilet” ? Anybody in their right mind would have said “I worked through lunch, so I’m leaving early”. I’m not that clever.