I can’t remember the name of the book now, it might have been Full of Grace, but this book really stuck with me. It was mainly because of how one of the characters, Isabel, was so graceful in the way she handled a recurrence of her breast cancer, but was so afraid to love again after a messy divorce. After she decides to take the plunge and opens her heart to the man in love with her, she wakes the next morning and realizes that something is missing in her life: the constant feeling of dread.
I think one of the keys to creating a la bella figura and living la dolce vita is to attempt to appreciate every moment of every day. I know this is impossible to do EVERY MINUTE, but it is something to strive toward. I think Italians have learned to savor the beautiful moments in life and that all of us should try to emulate that.
One way the Italians do this is to take time in their day to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee and good conversation. To them it is an important part of their life — these moments where they slow down — where they engage all their senses. Today I am going to try to do this more.
My book club is reading an old book, The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney, and I was inspired by a passage toward the end.
This is what the character says about her revelation:
“Ultimately, in the very grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant whether my life lasts fifty more years, or five. Or two. The point is to live it, not wait through it. And I’m alive now — I can pick flowers, pet the dog, eat cinnamon toast. How foolish I would be to let my mortality, which has been there all along, since the second of my birth, spoil my love of these things. So I won’t. I’ll have to remind myself constant, but starting now, I intend to live until I die.”
So, today, I will take a minute to fully be in the moment and appreciate the warmth of the sun on my daughter’s silky hair as I snuggle with her and read her a book on the couch. I will savor every bite of the cookie I dip into my hot coffee. I will smile as I listen to the sweet sound of the birds chirping in my backyard. I will hug more and love more. Today.
Please do the same.