Day 63 ~ 177 Days of Unexpected Health Project

A Little Corner of Health

Do you ever notice which area in a restaurant you prefer to sit in? I always like a corner; I like to have at least one area that is void of people, noise, a cross breeze, whatever. I always prefer a booth to a table; I will always opt for a quiet corner rather than squished in between two two-tops (that’s restaurant lingo for two tables that fit two people); and I will always seat myself away from a crowd instead of right smack in the middle of one. Here’s why: for the most part, when I go to dinner, I am going with one other person. And because of that, whether I’m meeting up with a close friend (which I did tonight) or going on a date, I want to be able to engage with whomever I am with. So, because of this tabletop revelation tonight, I discovered a little Unexpected Health that occurs when–to make a little change to the Dirty Dancing movie phrase–you put “Baby in the corner.” Yes, we should all request for our own little corner of health.

Now, there are lots of healthy reasons why people like to be placed ‘in the hub’ of life: being in the center of the action makes us feel alive; placement makes us feel a part of a larger community; and sometimes, the intimacy of a corner location can be intimidating, so we feel much safer (and I guess, much healthier) being in a crowd. But the Unexpected Health that’s reserved at a corner table is that when we get away from the distractions of our world, we have the amazing capacity to connect at an enriched level with another person…and finding opportunities–anywhere–to connect with others at a ‘heart’ level is healthy.

As I have reiterated before, we live loud lives. Even our restaurants, which were created for people to come together–to connect–have become massive halls with tall ceilings, echoing acoustics and endless noise. If you go to parts of Europe, most of the restaurants you find are little quaint bistros or ristorantes that are dollhouse-sized compared to our Cheesecake Factory-fied nation. It’s not that I dislike restaurants like Cheesecake Factory; but I do find that the level of depth between humans becomes harder and harder as the noise level is higher and higher.

Tonight, I had dinner with a very close friend. We have a habit of going to the same sushi restaurant and usually sit in the same table (or sometimes the one next to it). This table is near the front of the restaurant, so we don’t get the foot traffic or the breeze like other tables. But the most healthFUL aspect of this table is that, because of its placement, it allows us to dig right in to our dinner…and our conversation. We fill our bellies up with sushi while having enough peace and quiet to fill our minds and hearts with insights and inspiration.

There is a time and a place for all restaurants alike. But the next time you are planning a night out, think about the atmosphere you want to create. Yelp! doesn’t categorize eateries by their “Connection Capacity,” but sometimes, I wish they would. If you are looking for a little more than fine wining and dining, choose your restaurant wisely…and opt for the corner table. -Until tomorrow, Jaime

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