Specifically, I feel like I've been thinking about a few lessons that I learned from Europe and being on vacation.
Slow it down: I do things fast, I like being busy, and I rarely savor anything. Yet in Europe, especially France, the expectation is to savor everything. Coffee is not to go, coffee is for sitting and lingering over as you people watch and as you engage with those with you. After eating, the check is not presented immediately, you have to ask for it and even so, after you finish a meal, you're expected to order dessert, a coffee or just sit awhile longer. There's no rush.
I am trying to carry that sentiment with me. I am guilty too often of shoving people into time slots-- fitting in coffee dates or phone calls into a small number of hours on a weekend day. Rather, I should allow myself to linger, to order a second cup of coffee and slow it down. This is the one life God gave me and there's no rush to get it over with.
cooking dinner in our little flat in Paris
Small is better: Everything in America is so big. Our houses, our cars, our grocery stores! Being in Europe and shopping at small shops and staying in small hotels and flats and guest houses-- it made me feel like back home I was taking up more room than I needed to. Do I need to go and get things in bulk from Costco? Do I need more t-shirts because Target has them on sale? Does my house need to be bigger? I'm pretty sure the answer to these questions is a resounding no.
Of course all of these things are all just a stream of consciousness-- things that have been bouncing around in my head as I traveled, and now as I've returned, things that bounce in my head as I sit here typing with my cup of green tea. I think I tend to stumble on little truths-- little lessons-- and I forget them quite quickly. I am hoping that in writing them down and sharing them, I am somehow keeping myself accountable. But you are welcome to keep me accountable, too.