One of my nieces sent me this birthday card. It struck a chord. For me, it was emphasizing a promise I had made to myself for the last decade…’DO IT while I can’ and, more recently, I’ve added ‘Make memories’…And, here in another form but essentially expressing the same sentiment was the ‘May you live ALL the days of your life’…something so simple, placing the emphasis on ‘MY ALL’ and reminding me to be actively engaged, consciously involved in EVERY day of MY LIFE.
Last evening I was on the bus with an 81-year-old vibrant, active friend. We were on our way to Montmartre to celebrate another friend’s well-lived life. A man who lived his life to the fullest and someone we each had the privilege to experience some of his days with him.
While riding the bus from the Left Bank to Montmartre, my friend was describing what she was doing to save the possible loss of her fingernails because of the chemotherapy she was receiving. She had already lost her hair and was wearing a wig that fit her perfectly, claiming her usual attractive self. Her chemo treatments end soon and then she will move on to daily radiation treatments for a month.
Her mouth showed a generous smile from ear-to-ear as she spoke, expressing her excitement about how she appreciated her life. After her words, we both laughed off how my day had gone after lunch…as I had already spilled out to her in one word, ‘downhill!’. We got off the bus and because one of my ‘ailments’ of the day was a hip not cooperating, SHE, this 81-year-old woman under chemotherapy, asked me if she was walking too fast for me! What a spirited soul she is!
So look below and see what else I find is representative of just some of what I appreciate about living every day!
On my birthday this year, for example, my wish for a visit to Mendocino (Northern California) was granted. My companion and I arrived just in time for the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. And, in the morning, we were greeted by the same view but now it was this warm, clear sky view in January! Just one example of one of the sunsets and blue skies I get to experience in all my various locations this year!
As I remember, this is one of the first leaning-towards-warm days in Paris. Some Parisians enjoy sitting outside even on cold days, but this day, although still donning jackets, felt different…an announcement of more outdoor cafe people-watching is on the way! They were soaking it in! Friendships, most days, seals the deal that the day is going to be appreciated, wouldn’t you say?
One example of friendship (which includes friendships with relatives..like my 2 hour Skype calls with my daughter and emails and calls to a number of others). These are solid-as-a-rock friends. The woman in the red coat I have known since I was 10. We lived on the same lane on an inland lake in Michigan for several years. She now lives with her British husband in Brittany. She decided to take the train to Paris for the day to see all of us…a very long day for her, which did not go unappreciated!
I met Judy M, the woman standing in the middle, in a Bay Area, Northern California classroom when we were in interior design school. As we became friends, it turned out our home literally looked down the hill onto hers (theirs)! We started to travel to Paris together and have done so for over thirty years now.
And, then Judy M and I met Jill, the British woman, in the foreground, well over two decades ago on a guided tour with her. Here she is using her ‘supposedly retired’ skills, informally guiding us through the Palais Royal, starting out at the Buren Columns: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Deux_Plateaux) and then onto the Covered Passages of Paris. Here’s just one article about the Passages: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/mar/02/paris-hidden-passages-shopping-shops.
I hope I am not overstepping their privacy, meaning Judy M’s and Jill’s, because I think it is important that I let you know that both of them lost their husband/partner within just a few months of our gathering together that day. They are true life examples of making the decided effort to continue to ‘live every day’, just as I am certain their husband/partner would have wanted them to do.
Judy M and her daughter doing what we love to do! Eat and drink! Sunday champagne brunch on Ile. Saint-Louis, at Le Flore en L’ile, (https://www.lefloreenlile.fr/en/) with a view of the buttresses of Notre Dame and the Seine. One of my ‘must do’s’ when I come to Paris.
My grand-dog…need I say more? OK, he’s a rescue dog! Can you believe it? One of the florist shops in my neighborhood…Just look at the color in these next photos! Love gardens, florists, bouquets of flowers in the house, herb gardens in window boxes, vegetable gardens. Going into my once-upon- a-time various personal gardens with my morning coffee in hand and deadheading the ones in need….heaven….
And, how about art….Puts a smile on my face! How about you?And, architecture….
Of course, half the smile on my face when seeing this specific architecture below, means I am shopping! Actually, to tell you the truth, I enjoy walking around in Bon Marche but I often find I am overwhelmed by all the styles, colors, choices! Except when I go to the Grand Epicerie! There I can hone in on what I am after…and can even be satisfied with just a few food items.
My neighborhood is surrounded by chocolate and pastry shops. I’ll walk you around one of these days. This is what I have found works for me. I photograph them. Same with all my other ‘window’ shopping. The urge to buy…and eat…is satisfied with just the photos! Well, OK, as well as knowing that it can’t all fit into my body or in my suitcase!
It is a wonder to me that these horses can stay calm around the Carrefour de l’Odeon. All forms of transportation makes its way down this busy intersection. So ‘wonderment’ can be ‘a star of the day’ for me too.
As well as ‘awe’, as in creativity!
Or a ‘calm feeling’ that infuses within me when I start to walk in the Luxembourg Gardens and see a group of friends enjoying a picnic.
Every day is different for me. I like it that way. What makes your day?