Learning to Relax

View from our dinner table

View from our dinner table

I am a list maker. I can’t get through my day-to-day life without them, experiencing an exquisite thrill as I check off each to do. I am making progress.

Therefore despite the fact that there is now time to do nothing, beauty abounds, and the culture encourages the art of enjoying the moment, I am somewhat lost. It is not easy to shed the habits of the other eleven months. In other words I don’t know how to do nothing easily.

Yesterday, I decided that we needed to travel to a town thirty minutes away for Saturday market. Several years ago, I found local cookies that I have neither a name nor a flavor to describe them, only a place. I wanted the cookies. There was Saturday market but it has evolved to street after street and bin after bin of clothing. No cookies. I was disappointed and could not check cookies off of my list.

We have been hunting for a fire extinguisher since we arrived over a week ago. Despite trips to many different places, we have none. The market town had a hardware store. Surely success would come but alas no fire extinguisher and no guess as to where to buy one. Can’t check fire extinguisher off of my list.

The heat has risen and with no air conditioning, ninety degrees is something new to experience. I curled up under a fan, slept and read, still discouraged.

Later that evening, I received a text to join Mike in the piazza for a glass of Prosecco, my favorite wine. I was tempted to decline as I had already drunk a glass but something told to me to accept. With no plan nor list and a sweaty body, I walked across the street.

Mike was delighted as he is able to take pleasure in any small thing that life offers. I envy his optimism and child like enthusiasm. He had met several locals, gave and received a language lesson, as well as was treated to a glass of wine. He also had learned where you could refill water bottles for 5 cents a bottle. What a find!

I received my glass of sparkling wine from Mary, an extremely friendly bar owner and settled in to people watch. Everyone was coming out to enjoy the Saturday night. I willed myself to just relax and after a fashion, I realized I had. I tried out my Italian with a few people and admired the many dogs that accompany their owners into the piazza. Later we took a walk and learned some interesting history of our lovely town (will share in a later posting).

Dinner was eaten in a local Ristorante owned by a young woman and her mother. Almost everything we ate was home grown and homemade, and quite delicious. Another walk through the neighbor hood brought us back to the piazza where at eleven o’clock in the evening, it seemed like they were having a sidewalk sale. We met an Artisan, whose medium is glass, purchasing a set of earrings and a sunflower plate of sculpture.

It was on our walk home, that I realized how the real magic of the night was in my allowing it to unfold, without a list. No plans had been made. All I needed to enjoy the evening was a partner to share it with, time, and the willingness to relax. Grazia Umbertide.

Posted in Europe | Tagged , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Learning to Relax

  1. Winston Adams says:

    Hey, its not that hard. Just turn off the brain and enjoy.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Wendy Brash says:

    It looks like you are preparing for retirement. My list is just about complete after a year of not going to work. We cleaned, hung light fixtures, arranged furniture, painted, the list went on and on. But I am happy to say we have 2, count them two, things left. It is amazing how quickly the day gets away from you! Everything we do is decided after we awaken that day. (Except for doctor appointments, etc.) It really is wonderful. Someday I hope you want to travel with “the girls”, I would love to be part of your entourage! Have fun Debbie.

  3. Echo Pierce says:

    You allow me to live a little more widely through your and Michael’s posts. I’m sure you’ll find a compromise between your lists and your relaxation that will make them both comfortable in their places.

  4. shoulded says:

    @Uncle – Easier said than done to turn off brain. @ Wendy – When you buy a home in Italy at my age, retirement is still far off. I did switch this year to all ELA – no more computers!!!! Will be teaching right across the hall from Meghann. I will be sure to remember you if I ever do a girl’s trip. @Echo, thanks for reading. This has been a dream come true. Will be writing future posts that share some of the more annoying parts of living here.

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