My grandmother’s apron was a bit like Mary Poppins’ bag. You could find clothes pegs, tomatoes from the garden, dead leaves picked out of plant pots and all sorts of other things in it.
It was like a Swiss army knife for housekeeping. It was used to dry hands, wipe tables and children’s tears.
Every morning without fail, my grandmother used to tie it round her waist and would only take it off to go into town. It protected her clothes but it did so much more than that.
The apron wasn’t very hygienic and it definitely wasn’t CE certified, but it had its own incomparable smell of earth, soap and cooking that reminded me of the old days.
Whenever I walk to the shops instead of taking the car, or go to the local grocers’ instead of the supermarket, it reminds me of the old days too.
My grandma’s MacGyver apron and walking into the shops are journeys back into the past when I connect with the real me.
What about you? What simple thing would you like to bring back?
When my husband and I go rock climbing together, we always initially look at how steep the route is – generally too hard for my liking – and he quite often says: Darling, you’re perfectly capable of getting up that.
When I’m hanging off the rock face about to give up, his words come back to me and I think “my husband said I could do it!!!.” So I gather all my confidence and talk myself into completing that tricky move.
Having someone who believes in us is crucial. A grandmother who gives us unconditional support or even a friend or an older brother. It doesn’t matter who. I’m lucky enough that it’s my husband.
What about you? Who believes in you and will help you achieve all your end-of-year goals?
In Canada “pourvoiries”*, or in English outfitters, are great places to get away from city noise and chill out by a lakeside.
No phones, no Internet. No choice but to appreciate what’s right there in front of you. Trees as far as the eye can see, bird songs, clouds floating lazily across a steel blue sky and the sun gently warming your skin.
All stress gradually fades away and doing nothing is no longer a crime but a positive decision to appreciate what is around you, right now.
What if we put up a “Gone Fishing” sign on our door from time to time to signify that doing nothing is actually about making the conscious decision to appreciate the present moment?
The perfect way to prolong the beneficial effects of our holidays!
*The term “pourvoirie” (translated in English as outfitter) is rarely used outside of French-speaking Quebec. It refers to an area of forestland, usually with a lake, leased for 99 years by a “pourvoyeur” or outfitter, and is used for renting out chalet accommodation and offering other leisure services to customers.
A year-end show always marks the end of our dance class. Taking great pride in my achievements, I showed the video of our performance to a friend. His comment was: Why isn’t anybody smiling?
Offended, I watched the video again and realized that he was right. We were so focused on our routine that we forgot to smile!
During our last club party, we had a second chance to dance for an audience. But this time I was ready. I smiled from ear to ear and shrieked with pleasure every once in a while to make the others smile. The magic potion had worked: technically, we were less precise in our steps. But on the applause meter? – unbeatable!
So here is what I take away from this: The first time, I did my routine with the intention to achieving perfection in my steps.
The second time I went out there to have fun … and to show the audience that we thoroughly enjoy ourselves when tap-dancing. My intention had changed my perception, my performance and, most of all, my positive impact on others (my ultimate purpose!)
What about you? – What are your intentions after summer vacation? What is your ultimate purpose?
Personality tests, like MBTI for instance, often offer some sense of whether you have preference for being an ‘extrovert’ or an ‘introvert’.
Before I understood what that really meant, I thought those words described whether you were on the talkative side like me (☺), or whether you were more on the shy side.
I’ve since learned that my definition was too simplistic.
In fact, being talkative – or not – isn’t the defining feature of extraverts or intraverts. What those words were meant to describe was the way different individuals charge their batteries. There are those who recharge in contact with others (extraverts) and those who need to be alone to gather strength (take a wild guess…). This means someone who seems like an extraverted talker might actually be an introvert who needs time alone on the top of a mountain to re-energize, and that someone who seems quiet can actually be an extrovert who needs the presence of others to resource themselves.
Independent of whether you have an extrovert or introvert preference, what is important is that you know how you will use the summer months to charge your batteries. For my part, I’ll be indulging my introvert for two months so that I can be come back and regale you – in extroverted fashion – with inspiring bubbles in September.