The good things in life.

Eck. This blog is soooo going to become everything I said it wouldn’t be. I said it wouldn’t be a who-am-I, where-am-I-going kind of blog…and what did I do? I posted “It’s raining.” And I came to terms with it. I am figuring out who I am and where am I going, so why can’t I blog about it?

Now, today. The first words through my mind as I sat down to write this little lunch-time blog were “One of my goals this year…” Again, NOT what I was going to do…write a cliche “These are my goals, aren’t I special for having goals?” blog. So ok…I am tending towards writing about things I think I’m not supposed to write about. Why have I gotten that stuck in my head? Yes, I want to set myself apart and not write about what everyone else is writing about, but I also want to set myself apart by being me. And today, being me is writing about something I would really like to get better at, something that is…brace yourself, cliche coming…one of my goals for 2010.

I have recently realized that I really wish more people embraced the European lifestyle. When I backpacked through Europe a few years ago, I got to observe cultures that take time to enjoy life. Everything is slower, everything is enjoyed. The food is fresh, labored over, and enjoyed over hours of good conversation. The drink is always plentiful and accompanies many moments in life. And the people…the people just ENJOY life. They take it in, savor it, and share it with others. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in America, and I love what it means to be American. But sometimes I just wish everyone would take a step back and enjoy life a little more. I get so caught up in getting my life to where I want it to be, that I forget to enjoy the process, the journey, and the little moments along the way. This is my life…right now, this very moment. And you know what? I’m sick of letting it slip by unnoticed, buried under a mound of laundry and a to-do list a mile long. I will always have laundry waiting, and I will always live by to-do lists, but if I don’t pause to appreciate the look my puppy gives me, or a hug from Todd, or the way the sunsets always looked when I was driving home after a visit to Chicago…well, I might just get buried under that pesky laundry.

So, my goal this year is to enjoy the good things in life. I want to discover Gainesville in a way I never have, enjoying the heck out of little hole-in-the-wall restuarants. I want to have dinner parties that last for hours, full of laughter, delicious food and drink, and deepening friendships. I want to be able to stop in a moment and feel it, taste it, live in it.

I had one of these great “good things in life” moments recently. A couple rainy Saturdays ago, Todd and I went exploring, specifically in search of some new thrift stores (more on my love for those at a later date). As we drove around, arbitrarily turning down this road and that, we drove past a door with the words “Wine and Cheese Gallery” above it. Ummm…yes please! We figured it was a cool wine gallery, so we decided to park and see what it was all about. Little did we know, we were walking into Rainy-Saturday-Afternoon-HEAVEN. Turns out the place is floor-to-ceiling wine and beer bottles, with multiple rooms and twisting little hallways. And…a panache! Hungry from shopping, we decided to grab a bite. The menu looked AMAZING, but we decided to go for the basic cheese/bread/fruit platter. Three types of cheese, two french baggettes, two beers, and alot of fruit later, we were hooked. What better way to spend a rainy Saturday than to linger over a lunch of basic, but delicious food, just enjoying time with the person you love? I mean, come on…does it get any better than that?

I want my life to be like that Saturday…slow, sweet, and spontaneous.

And with that, my lunch break is over. I’ll leave you with some shots from inside the Wine and Cheese Gallery…

The whole place looked like this…every inch was covered in wine bottles!

And the walls that weren’t covered in wine bottles were made out of corks! Umm…awesome.

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