il dolce far niente

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In the book EAT PRAY LOVE, the main character learns the phrase “the sweetness of doing nothing.” Many (southern) Europeans complain about the inability Americans have to relax and take in life. We are perpetually destination people, often forgetting to appreciate the journey. I must admit, savoring the present moment, is an art form that I have not yet mastered. The closest thing to serenity that I have achieved in my life is my ability to read a book from cover to cover.

I read fast. I don’t intend to boast; it is simply a fact. My childhood summers were filled with trips the local library, which I had to visit multiple times a week due to their ludicrous 10 book at a time limit. The amount of Baskin Robbins coupons that I compiled from their reading incentive programs was astounding I’m sure. As I get older, I have had to accept the fact that I cannot read 3 Boxcar Children mystery novels in one day because I must instead be a real human. Luckily, Spanish culture had given me the delightful opportunity to jump back into my childhood and hunker down with a solid storybook.

Yesterday I made a date with my balcony and the book pictured above. After avid sunscreen application, I was completely focused for two hours. Dr. Taylor’s 175 page memoir details her journey as a neuroanatomist who undergoes a severe stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain (all you cool kids can stop reading now, fellow nerds here is a link to what the left/right sides of your brain are responsible for). She, as the stereotypical scientist, is forced to grapple with the oh-so-foreign right hemisphere of her brain functioning as the dominant half. Suddenly emotions, feelings, energy and the present moment are the only things that register. Accepting her perpetual journey of recovery and the importance of right now – she tells an inspirational story. To this day, her email tagline is a quote from Einstein.

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be”

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