Coming home I can feel the affect Europe has had on me. I tied some string across the trees in our yard so I could hang my clothes out on the line. I feel like I actually care about recycling. It's no longer the annoying thing Dad forces me to do. I found myself sorting out the trash from recycling as I reorganized my room. Without really even thinking about it. I find myself wearing the same thing 2 or even 3 days in a row--because it's practical or just because I love it. I don't seem to care as much about everyone's opinion. Why worry about making myself appear perfect or wealthy or incredibly smart? Why not live the way I truly am and be appreciated for that? I want to walk and bike to the store. To take the train or bus when I need to go a greater distance. To sit at the dinner table for hours, simply enjoying the company of those I'm with. To eat baguette for breakfast and yogurt with jam for dessert. I find myself wanting to live the way that I want to live. To find the lifestyle I prefer and go ahead and live that way. To appreciate the world, to treat it accordingly, to live my life to its fullest. To quite getting caught up in opinions and making impressions. To be who I am. Not to waste my life working just for the sake of money and status. Not to spend my life cleaning for the sake of keeping a constantly crazy house within my expectations. I want to live. To walk, bike, paint, hike, camp, cook, talk, laugh, and cry. I want to wear my yoga pants around the house and wear my sandals everywhere else. To eat huge bowl fulls of rice and fresh pineapple. To sing and play guitar, sit around campfires, and garden with sunflowers and veggies. I feel that so many get caught up in their routine. Have ideas of what they'd like to do someday.Yet they spend every day doing the same things. Going to work. Cleaning the house. Doing the laundry. Cooking the meals. Occasionally taking a moment to enjoy, occasionally thinking about those far off bucket list items, but never really making them a reality.
But I want to do those things. To travel, play, and learn. Develop new skills and hobbies, while keeping old ones. Discover new places and cultures and languages. To take the time every day to talk and laugh with loved ones. To enjoy and love each other. To remember what makes this life worth living.
Sure a nice house would be nice. A decent income would be good too. But when it comes down to it, what life will be fuller? The one that worked tirelessly, that slaved away for the money they could scarcely take the time to enjoy? The one who cleaned their house so much they hardly got to enjoy the people and memories happening within? Or the one who took the time to really live?
What if we all took a little time each day? Sat down with the family for dinner. Took the time to talk and to enjoy, rather than hurrying to get on with the next part of the day. Planned for new adventures and actually carried them out. Continued to learn new things. Spent less time getting ready for the day and more time enjoying those things you set out to do. Live. It's pretty simple, actually. But I think everyone should be capable of it :)
For some it might be a weekly barbecue, chocolate banana pancakes, or a bowl of rice. A weekend camping trip, a daytime hike, or a walk around the neighborhood. Playing a sport or sitting to paint. A family trip to Disney Land or a simple dinner around the table. Regardless of what makes you live, wouldn't it all be a lot better if we focused more on those those things? Focus more on our relationships, our hobbies, our goals.
Seven weeks in Europe taught me this. To live my life. To revel in the sight of hung laundry and healthy food. To jump at the thought of walking all day and biking til my buns are sore. To use window shudders and fill my flower boxes with flowers :) To live my life the way I choose to live and make the best of the luck that's given me. We don't always choose our status. We don't choose our looks. But we do choose how we live our life and how full that life will be. As for me, I'd like to live mine the fullest it can be :)
|With my dearest Adina :)|
|My first Doner. Mmm mmm! :)|
|Leaving Liepzig for Berlin|
|The Berlin Wall.|
|He'll never be too big for rides from his big sister :)|
|Extended family... (the Konig side ;)|
|Family picture in Austria :)|
|More extended family... the wonderful Jung family :)|
|Our big family photo :) our French family.|
|French mommy and grandma :)|
Europe was full of experiences. It was more than a trip. Far from what most would call a vacation. More than seeing a couple famous buildings or paintings. More than seeing the Colosseum or the Berlin wall or the Eiffel Tower. It changed the way I see art, people, food, language, and culture. It changed the way I see life, and I think it changed it for the better :)