I saw the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” for the first time the other night, and enjoyed it. Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey reminds me at times of my own, except I did most of my traveling in my twenties and thirties, before I settled down to a regular career in libraries. Sometimes I cannot even remember all the countries I have experienced! I count at least 10 just in Asia…
But one line struck home for me, an apparently common Italian phrase: “The sweetness of doing nothing.” In this part of the film a barber is explaining to Liz the difference between Americans and Italians. And the more I thought about that idea, the more I agreed.
In my travels in France and Italy, I was struck by how relaxed and happy most people were compared to us. I can see how Europeans might see us as too busy, too serious, always in a hurry, pressured and uptight. I remember hearing children singing together on their way home from school as they walked the narrow, cobblestone paths of Venice, an indelible glimpse into a completely different way of life.
Only now, since we moved to a rural area and as I recover from a new brain injury, do I appreciate the simplicity and peace of doing nothing.
This is something I was not raised on, and the guilt is still present with me, but I work everyday to cultivate this art. My goals are to heal my brain while also healing my past. Now I embrace every moment I can find to sit in silence and appreciate my life.
“There’s nothing sweeter than falling in love with the moment we’re given, the only one we have.” — Marcia Smalley
I am filled with gratitude that I can now live like this forever. Please go learn more about our move from Fort Collins to here in my new memoir!