I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I just got back from visitin my family in Italy and for the time I was there I unplugged from the world, leaving the virtual world behind.
In Italy, I don’t let technology run my vacation. After all, when I moved to Boston 10 years ago I never really touched a computer and I like to keep it that way when I am back to my hometown. It’s very refreshing and renvigorating to get away from the cell phone, tweets, facebook updates, blog posts,emails, and just focus on myself, my husband, my family and just be in the moment, living life.
The right moment I land in Italy, I always realize of how FAST I live my life in the US. Most things I do are calculated as to how much time they will take, and how I will execute them to make them the most convenient, it’s all about “efficiency”. Thankfully, there are few things I do that are not on the fast track, like running and spending quality time with my family. Other than that everything is Fast Life. And rather than truly “living things” I spend most of my time trying to “get things done”.
Italian are known for being passionate people who embrace the joys of life aiming to live it to the fullest. A very common italian expression is “Ah, il dolce far niente!” which literally translates as “The sweetness of doing nothing.”
But I don’t need to be in Italy to live “La dolce Vita” right? Living Italian style is a way of life that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. So, now that I am back from spending time in my hometown in Italy with my family I want to remind to myself to enjoy life and live to the fullest, to be in the moment and embrace every opportunity of the daily pleasures life has to offer, to never take myself too seriously, to slow down and appreciate all the delightful sensations around me using all the five senses…Listen, Look, Touch, Smell and Taste.
My typical day in Italy
I began each day sleeping in, which I never really do, and beside knowing that lunch was around 1 PM and dinner was around 8 PM – food is a very important part of the Italian culture – the rest of the day was and adventure.
Apart from my nephew Patrick’s first communion, none of the 10 days we were there were planned. You might say “That’s easy, you were on vacation.” Fair point.
Take my oldest brother Giuseppe then. He is one of the few people I know that work incredibly hard. He is married with two boys and he makes sure his family has everything they need and some. He drives a truck and sometimes wakes up at 4 AM and come back at 6 PM at night. His job is not an easy one and I never heard him complaing about work, not even once. He just does it, but as he works hard, he also plays hard. For example, one evening that we, and when I say we I don’t mean Dustin & I but the whole family, went over his apartment and had an incredible italian dinner outside in his backyard covered patio.
You need to know that my brother beside being very friendly natured, he is generous, gentle, warm, sociable and welcoming. After dinner he put on a soccer game on Sky , a pay digital satellite television. Few of his neighbors walked by and Giuseppe invited them to join the group and watch the game together. A friend of his called asking if he could come over to watch the game, most people I know would not even answer the phone, but my brother did and of course he had him come over too. After the game he convinced everyone to play briscola (an Italian card game that Dustin learned to love very much). It was pretty late by then and even after few hours they were playing, Giuseppe wanted to keep it going. He gives to every event the time it needs, without a clock time.
Most of the people in Italy are like Giuseppe. Everything is very spontaneaus, they live in the moment, go with the flow, embracing each opportunity eachday offer without worrying too much about anything else.
On my visit I did let it go and slowed down. I gained awarenss and mindfulness, noticing more my thoughts and feelings. I observed it all, limiting world’s access beyond where I was. We had the perfect weather, it was sunny with temperature on the 70s and 80s range. I only went for 2 runs but both of them were very relaxing and soul filling. I run with no routes in mind, and knowing the neighborhoods by heart it made it easy to relax and just let my legs take me places. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it very much!
I ‘d like to conclude remembering a scene from Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (1960)
A very handsome Marcello Mastroianni is holding an attractive Anita Ekberg in his arms while dancing to the tune of “Arrivederci Roma” softly speaking to her: ” Tu sei tutto, Sylvia! Tu sei la prima donna del primo giorno della creazione, sei la madre, la sorella, l’amante, l’amica, l’angelo, il diavolo, la terra, la casa. Si, tu sei la casa.”
English translation: ”You are everything, Sylvia. You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are the mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home. Yes, you are Home”
“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”