Every time I leave the apartment, I vow to make the experience an adventure, even if it lasts just a few minutes.
I consider myself an extremely magical person. I like to say that anything I lay my hands on turns to gold…it’s just this weird gift I have.
So naturally, this being my case, every time I declare my outing an adventure, magical things begin to happen just like in fairy tales.
Take yesterday for example. I was one day over my cold, still feeling a little fatigued and not really wanting to go out. On the other hand, the almond milk had run out, as did the yogurt and eggs and it was time to pick up a few groceries from the organic shop just down the street.
Knowing that this was only a few minute walk from my place, I decided to venture out despite not feeling up to it. I bundled up warmly, grabbed my purse, the iPod and headed out the door.
Nothing happened along the way there. Nothing happened while I shopped throughout the store. But when I was waiting in line patiently, the strangest thing occurred…something that never happened even one time in my life before this one incident.
Two old Parisian ladies budded in front of me in that tediously slow moving line. I discovered that not only did they bud in front of me but they were not together, not paying together, and took a ridiculously slow amount of time with the only cashier on duty.
How could I react to this situation? When they went in front of me was I going to try to express myself in my broken French, “Excuse me, but as you can see there is a line forming here and I am the next customer in it, so please move on back.”
Or was I just going to let this go? Of course, seeing these two old tired woman only buying a couple of items each, I was naturally going to let it go. I even stepped into their shoes for a moment and thought that is was their right to do such a thing as they have lived a long life and don’t have as much time left on this Earth as I do. I might as well let them hurry through the line to continue enjoying their ever shortening lives.
That sounds quite morbid but at the same time I think it’s an angle on respect for the elderly. Especially when I’m the visiting party in their country.
So this weird incident happened that switched my brain into “philosopher” mode for a brief moment in time.
My time came up and I went to the cashier. Unexpectedly, another cashier moves in behind the counter and takes a massive handful of organic teabags and throws them into my grocery bag…something she had not done to any customer before me.
“Hmmmm, interesting.” I thought. I was given nearly 20 bags of organic herbal tea for sleeping, memory, digestion, etc.
Magic happened in that moment and I was appreciative that my time with the cashier came when it did!
Fast forward to today. Another day, another adventure.
Actually rewind to about 2 months ago. I had just arrived in France and was doing a little shopping. At one boutique natural shop, I saw that they had a selection of around 5 or 6 adult colouring books (with complicated intricate patterns) from a brand called “Art Therapie” which read that these books were colouring books for de-stressing.
What a marvellous idea! As they didn’t sell any colouring pencils, I didn’t purchase it on that day.
Then work online got busy, my stress level increased. I was spending 12 hours a day in front of computer screen and my eyes felt drained at the end of the day.
3 weeks ago I was in the Paris train station about to head out to London. I was waiting for Max to arrive, as we were meeting at the station that day. I went to the book store within the station and found the same type of adult colouring book…hmmm, still tempted to get it and would have bought it to use on the train but to my dismay, there were no colouring pencils to be purchased anywhere in sight, or around the station.
So I let it go, yet still held onto hope for the past few weeks, walking into book stores throughout the city looking for these interesting anti-stress colouring books, with no luck.
My luck turned around today.
I didn’t know where I was going when I left the house today but I knew that I needed to get out into the open air. Being cooped up only breeds pointless anxiety.
So I started walking anywhere. I started turning down streets I’ve never been down before, trying to get lost, yet never actually lost because the view of the Eifel tower is a compass for me, as we live right beside it.
To my BIG surprise, for the first time I walked by a large hidden book store on a side street and wouldn’t you know that right in their window display was a selection of at least 8 or 9 of these adult anti-stress colouring books. When I went inside, I found that there was an even larger selection.
This time I didn’t care that there were no colouring pencils. I just trusted that I would find them later, and picked out the perfect colouring book for me.
I left the store and continued my adventure home and just as I was about to make my final turn onto the street that goes straight home, I walked by a craft shop, selling a massive selection of pens, pencils, and colouring pencils.
Another magical moment among many.