Hey Rhonda (mudbug)
Even though I started a few days behind the majority of people in this challenge, I try to read what everyone writes on the challenge.
I'm bad about watching TV when I eat too. In so many ways it seems so much easier.
What I've done though, is to play "Italian Love songs" while I'm cooking, setting the table, and eating. It may sound corney, but I found it helps me "cook happier" and eat slower (which I desperately needed). It still provides that "background noise" I seem to crave.
SO, if something similar works for you...maybe that could ease your transition back to the table.
(I wish I ate there every night...then again, I also wish I didn't eat at my desk for lunch...)
Please let me know how it works for you.