Basically, you have two options for lunch as a freelancer: eat in or go out. Let’s explore the options for and implications of each.
First of all, do not eat at your desk. That is for sad people with “regular” jobs who have to work in cubicles. You are not that person. You are a freelancer. So eat somewhere cool, like at the dining room table, the front porch on a sunny day, or the built-in picnic area in the trunk of your Rolls.
Make yourself something super tasty and healthy, the kind of thing you’d never be able to take to work in a rinsed-out cottage cheese container. Big salads with lots of ingredients and homemade dressing are good for this. Pasta with fresh veggies is good too, especially if you can combine it with a field trip to the grocery store for the fresh veggies. And new pens.
Read, do the crossword, play fetch with the dog — whatever you do, take a real lunch. Maybe have a beer. As long as you’re back at work afterward and functional enough for whatever tasks come next, there’s no one to tell you what you should or should not do at lunchtime.
Invite at least one other freelance friend who is also as lonely as you are. Take the burden of listening to you recount your lonely day from your significant other/dog and place it on your freelance lunch friend. Allow him to do the same to you.
Even better than a freelance friend is a recently and happily unemployed friend. They really know how to stretch out and luxuriate in the lunch hour … or lunch hour and a half. Make plans to take a dance class together to work off the bacon in your sandwiches.
Declare the off-site lunch a field trip. It makes it seem educational.
Go out with your friend who’s also a marketing expert/book editor/businessperson. Talk about your current project while you sip coffee and wait for your lunches to be served — write off! When the sandwiches come, knock off the shop talk and make plans to take a dance class together.
Now I’m headed to lunch. I’m eating in — scrambled eggs with herbs from the garden on whole-wheat bread I made myself with local-ish cheddar cheese. Eating at the dining room table with a cup of coffee, followed by fetch in the backyard with the dog.
And that, my friend, is how you freelance lunch.