How was your day, sweets? This Tuesday finds me cold (trading high heating bills for piles of blankets and scarves) and a bit shaken. Not in a bad way, though. As details come our way, I’ll share more of our near future plans, but as I told my sweet friend over coffee this afternoon, I feel like my little snow globe life got a good jostling and now all my pretty snowflakes are all fluttering around me, out of my reach. BUT- that’s what snow globes are for right? To be shaken up? So I’m just going to go with it and choose to enjoy the flurry.
Pushing all of that aside, I want to talk to you all about a little book that Santa popped in my stocking. Oh! is it a beautiful little thing. Yes, I know. I’m not typically a band wagon jumper, especially when it comes to books, BUT I felt drawn to this title the moment I heard about it. The full title reads, “How to be Parisian Wherever you are” and the tagline, “love, style and bad habits”. So here’s the thing with me. I believe people are flawed- gloriously flawed. There isn’t a perfect one among us and I find that so incredibly fascinating. So that “bad habits” tag grabbed me.
Within a few hours I had tackled the book cover to cover and walked away with a yearning to read it again and again. The reason? It pinpoints specific areas of femininity that may be fatally flawed but remarkably beautiful. It made me laugh at myself as I read the horrendous anecdotal mistakes women have made for centuries. The writers use humor to shine a light on their flaws in an accepting manner. There’s no finger wagging, judgmental tones or glorifying the behaviors. More like shoulder shrugs and sheepish grins as is to say, “Yep. I’m a mess, but that’s really ok.” Because in reality, who isn’t a mess? Why not wrap our arms around the fact and give it a good squeeze? It’s what makes us all interesting don’t you think? So what if you don’t get all that laundry put away? Life is short. So pour yourself another glass of wine and worry about the pile tomorrow.
One of my very favorite pages shares the need to take life a bit slower. The words just melted my little soul to the core:
“Take the time to talk to the elderly lady next door, to read a book, to walk to work instead of riding the subway when it’s a beautiful day. Take the time to escape for a weekend with friends.
Take the time to listen and to get to know yourself. Take the time to change, to grow, to rest. Take the time to say yes, take the time to say no. Take the time to be quiet. Take the time to look after your body, to eat well. Take the time to ask yourself who you are and what you want.
Call your grandmother on her birthday and rinse your hair with cold water just like she taught you, listen to your children, breathe deeply, take the time to make fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast, to go to a museum, to go for a stroll in the woods and to listen to the sounds of tiny creatures in the grass. In summer, take the time to compile a scrapbook of pressed flowers with a child, to read him a story.
Take the time to take time because nobody else will do it for you.
And don’t forget to daydream in the bath, just like you did when you were little.”
All the things and all the feelings. Really, thought. If you can’t afford to take an extra 3 minutes a day to extend a task into an experience, you have too much going on and something needs to go! It’s these little moments that make life worth while. It’s a simple thing- nothing complex or convoluted- that brings a little smile in the soul. Like, I said. All.The.Feelings. The funny thing is that when we learn how to appreciate these small but powerful moments, our days go from negative to overflowing positive in no time. So all those other little things we might be awful at- whatever! Maybe in time they will get better, but you’ll be rejoicing in your 20 other small victories for the day. Which is a place I would definitely love to find myself each evening.
Contentment. I want that. But I don’t want contentment with who I want myself to be. I want contentment with who I was made to be. If that means I’m a little sloppy here and there- I’ll take it! The reality is that I am a flawed individual who will remain flawed until my last day. How would I ever expect to get better at something without first being able to laugh at it? So give yourselves a little laugh and eye roll today. Shrug those shoulders and celebrate those 20 other tiny victories you had. The rest will iron itself out. You’re all beautifully flawed and I love each of you for it- dearly!
Grab yourselves a copy of “How to be Parisian Wherever you are” and laugh along with the authors as you examine your own fatal flaws.
Until next time!