Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Five Lessons Learned From Living (Or, Er, Wanting to Live) in Paris
Taking a break after Christmas Cookie Bake-Off Fail #2 (note: do not ever bake these cookies or these without first reading the reviews - especially with a very needy five-month-old in the vicinity) to link to an article James just sent me - Five lessons learned from living in Paris. I *love* this article. A quick summary....
1. Live a passionate life. In other words, turn something normally mundane into something special. This is something that my family and I excel at, I'm pretty sure. This is why we love to have a special tea time, it's why I love to celebrate the French Open final with homemade crepes and champagne, and it's why no one in our family will ever feel that their birthday is anything other than one of the most special days of the year. Lest you think I am too high on myself, the article also makes reference to a regular old pizza-in-front-of-the-tv night being a bad thing, and that's exactly how our evening was last night. Eh, c'est la vie.
2. Cultivate an air of mystery. The French notoriously appear to be cold and distant, and this is apparently because they are not over sharers. The article mentions that "staying mum can be delicious." Um, I'll have to work on this. Those that know me (and if you've met me once or twice, you probably "know" me) can vouch for the fact that I'm usually an open book. Give me a glass of wine and I'll over-share the heck out of my life. Also, I am the worst ever at keeping secrets.
3. Look presentable always. This probably needs no explanation. And in line with lesson #2, I'll share with you that had I bumped into you at the grocery store this morning, you'd have seen me with no makeup on, an ugly black fleece and black yoga pants, and a baseball hat on. It was bad, even for my standards.
4. Don't forget the simple pleasures (and don't deprive yourself). I'll grant myself a B+ on this lesson. I love to linger over meals (and wine!) with friends, I try to appreciate every little moment of my day, and Lord knows, I certainly don't deprive myself of much! But, I think everyone can always improve on truly appreciating everything one has. (Also, I am already in discussions with James in regard to instilling a cheese course at the end of our daily meals. See the article.)
5. Make life a formal affair. This might be my favorite lesson, though again, one at which I can certainly improve. I'll also pair this with something I read in one of my favorite little books - every home should have some formality. It's important to make guests feel welcome in your home and it's important to truly celebrate life. A nicely set table may not be essential to do so, but it certainly doesn't hurt!