Saturday, January 3, 2015

Resolutions Part 3: Creating a plan. And then changing the plan.

And so today was the last day of my Paris trip. Duane and I decided to walk, and we set out from the 18th Arrondissement, the north east corner of Paris, to the center, trying to find the Musee d'Orsay. Those of you who know Paris also know that's a pretty long walk. In the rain.

We almost made it there.

Actually, we were really close, but we got distracted. We also discovered some beautiful neighborhoods and some amazing sites.

The National Academy of Music. A band was playing on the front steps.
The Grands Magasins. Huge in-door enormous shopping. I wanted to stop.
The Place du Vendome. Some of the most expensive stores in the world. Piaget. Dior. Cristal.

We paused briefly. We took pictures. We marched on.
We were going to find the Musee d'Orsay.

And then we discovered the Jardin des Tuileries.
A garden. With sculptures.
And I wanted to walk through.

And this was on the way.
So glorious.

We could see the museum. It was in reach. But we were cold, and the rain was coming down harder. And so we stopped for lunch at the Cafe des Medicis.

Le vin rouge and Quiche Lorraine for me and a vin chaud and the hamburger du chef for my husband. Duane and I eat slowly, savoring each bite. Afterward, le cafe noir.

I'm trying to slow down. To live like the French. To be present and experience each moment. We wait patiently for the check. This is the French way.

No hurries. I am in the city I love. I am living my dream, and there is no rush. I don't want to rush. I want to make this moment last.

This is hard for me. Most of the time I live by lists. And deadlines.

But I take a breath and slow down. I am with the man I love,the man I've known for 38 years, who knows all the worst things about me and loves me anyway. We're not talking. We don't have to.

It was at this point that I saw the Grande Roule de Paris. A huge ferris wheel.
We immediately decide to veer off the plan and go up on  the ferris wheel.

We could see everything from the top of the Grande Roule. Sacree Coeur. Notre Dame. La Tour Eiffel. L'Arc de Triomphe. The Musee d'Orsay.

And then I saw the Louvre.

It turns out that many renowned museums are next to the Jardin des Tuileries. Duane wanted to go to the most famous one. And so we did.

Today was a fantastic day. Not because we went to the Louvre or because we found le Jardin des Tuileries or the Grande Roule. But because we slowed down and experienced every minute of the day.

We are tourists in a city we don't know, but we want to really see the city, to understand it incrementally, and so we move slowly, deliberately, thoughtfully. We have a plan, but we're willing to deviate from that plan if it means something better.

I think this is true of life in general, whether I am in Paris or London or San Diego.
I must choose to live one moment at a time. Changing my plans if necessary in order to live fully.

Yes, today was a fantastic day.

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