Wednesday was the UN’s International Day of Happiness and France’s National Macaron Day. I defy anyone to nosh on macarons, pull up Pharrell William’s Happy on their iPod and not bust a sugar-high move or two. Joy always transcends embarrassing one’s self.
I’m an Iowa girl. Seeing the Midwest under water is heart-breaking. Colorado has experienced over 3,000 avalanches this winter. Uncertainty reigns everywhere. So where’s the happy dance in all that?
Here’s my answer. While it’s essential to be Present, caring for what you can control, let’s agree to all needing a daily dose of Joy Juice. To laugh. To smile. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Celebrating. That’s Oprah. She also suggests moving out of your comfort zone. Well, Ms. O., D-O-N-E. At times this winter, I’ve been wobbly, feeling a bubble off, maybe. But here’s what I tell myself. Feeling awkward or uncomfortable? Get over it. No one else is paying attention to that. If my self esteem takes a hit, shake it off. Recently I received an e-mail from Emma, my 16-year old granddaughter, that began, “OMG, Grandma, you’re such a Rebel.” I don’t need Joy Juice or Oprah, I have Emma!
If you’re interested in learning about this Rebel’s stellar Paris itinerary the past two weeks…..
HERE’S THE SCOOP
Last winter I scheduled guided Paris Walks. This year I walked Paris. I’ve tasted and rubbernecked my way through this vibrant city. Hopefully the walking will lessen the consequences of my don’t-hold-back eating.
If there’s a crowded street food line, I’ve joined it. Today it was Lebanese. Being clueless, I muttered “Je ne sais rien,”
“Knowing nothing” earned me a comrade-in-line who planned my order. When I stepped up to the counter, the owner smiled, saying in perfect English, “We will get you all fixed up.” (And he did, with Shawarma au bœuf libanais.)
Without today’s technology my trip couldn’t happen. I use my iPhone for travel itineraries and check-ins, museum tickets, walking maps and photographs. It’s my security blanket. It’s also a link to the life I live. I’m never lonely because I’m not alone. There’s a steady flow of texts and e-mails from friends and my Gant and Cali families.
The best tech magic, however, was last week when Clara, a sophomore, competed in a southern Cali track invitational 200 miles from Bishop. Her sister Emma texted this picture to Melissa. Within the hour, that text landed in Paris followed shortly by Clara’s text saying she’d jumped her personal best, winning second place. That was the same day I saw Van Gogh’s “Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear” (which came in second place to Clara’s second place). Life does not get better.
I’ve settled into a comfortable rhythm visiting museums, churches and sites. At Fondation Louis Vuitton, I wandered through English industrialist Samuel Courtauld’s collection of impressionist painters…twice. I watched an amazing 30-minute light/musical immersion of Van Gogh’s paintings at the Atelier des Lumières. The Petit Palais didn’t disappoint nor did Musée Cernuschi which has a remarkable Asian art collection.
One afternoon I stopped by the Panthéon to honor the greats buried in its necropolis. I had a list and found them all – Jean Moulin, the Curie’s, Louis Braille and also Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Zola, Descartes and Dumas. It felt good to do that.
Although there’s still much to do this week, I’ll soon fly home and will be very happy to be in Aspen.