Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Making Time for the Simple Pleasures

“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”  Eddie Cantor

This may sound like an odd question, but have you ever been in a "slow town"?  I have.  I was there last weekend and let me tell you it was slow!  Most urban folks are used to the fast-paced cities where everything moves at hurricane-speed.  Women, the ultimate multitaskers, are constantly going through an imaginary revolving door, going from one activity to the other and when you are trapped going at that rhythm, it is very hard to slow down.

A trip to Italy might just re-set your RPMs.  Italians are fantastic at slowing down.  After living here for a few years I have a renewed appreciation for their take on what's important in life.  Apparently, slowing down will not only be beneficial to your heart health,  it will also improve your chances of loosing weight and even boost your sex life (Read: 8 Reasons to Slow Down).  It seams to me that every Italian person has read and practices the suggestions of this article.  For example, when I first arrived in Italy I would be furious when there was a cloud of people in front of a counter all waiting to be helped by one single person, then I realized I was the only one bothered by the situation, everyone else waited patiently.  There you have it, 50% more chances of developing high blood pressure, while Italians with their natural Zen, will live forever...

So, back to the Slow City, it is called Sperlonga and it is located two hours south of Rome.  It is a sea-side town with an old village on top of a hill, overlooking the ocean.  The Hotel Aurora is a great option for those traveling there as it is located right next to a central piazza and on the water front.  Sipping a Spritz on the terrace, will definitively make you slow down your RPMs! (Can I now reclaim my low blood pressure please?!)

At one of our lunches at the hotel, we were given only a couple of options from which to choose, the menu of the day basically; less options = less stress.  Another day we dinned in the town, and the food came to our table an hour after we sat down.  A disgrace of a restaurant you may say.....but NO! we did get an antipasto and our wine, and were dinning "al fresco" staring at the calming waves (disclaimer: my kids got their pasta dishes right away and moved on to play in the sand).... it was a perfect time for conversation, relaxation and mindful eating, all the skills we loose with our fast-paced lives.

Even if you are not in Italy, take a minute of your day to be grateful for the sweet smells of spring, or the softness of your child's embrace.  Take another minute to savor your meals, ditch a couple of unnecessary tasks and go outside to feel the warmth of the sun touching your skin.  At the end of the day, that is what life is all about, isn't it?

Now I will say "arrivederci" in sloooow motion.....until next time,

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