We’ve all got them – those places that we go to feel better. The book that sits on the nightstand and gets reread, that song that gets repeated over and over and over again on the iPod, or that pair of jeans with the holes in the knees that we’ve been wearing since high school. There’s something so comforting about taking ourselves to that special place that reminds us of who we are, what we truly love, and allows us to just kick back and be ourselves.
Not that everything is “OLD” – sometimes you discover a NEW book or song that takes you to a very special place and either inspires, comforts, or gives you the feeling like it’s a part of YOU. Perhaps it’s a temporary favorite. It doesn’t matter, it’s about feeding yourself with ideas, inspiration, memories or whatever you NEED.
So….here is a partial list that brings joy to my life (in no particular order).
1. Striped boatneck shirts – I have a closet that’s FULL of them. From LL Bean to Zara, some bought at Sam’s Club and other’s in beautiful shops in Paris. I’ve been wearing this style as long as I can remember. It’s part of my uniform (more on my uniform in a bit).
2. Patti Smith – in some odd way, I’ve always identified with this amazing poet and songstress. Her written word inspires me, her songs make me want to sing along and dance, and the glimpses that I’ve gotten of her life seem to be so similar to my own.
3. Paris – In 1972 I made my first pilgrimage. I spent 3 months living in a dirty suburb of the most magical city in the world. I went with $100 in my pocket, a job teaching dance in the basement of a church, and dreams of living there. As you know, I get back as often as I can. If I had to choose ONE PLACE that defines HOME to me – it would be in the Marais – in Paris. The one place that I feel completed whenever I return.
4. Books by Bob & Melinda Blanchard – I used to be a self-help junkie, until I realized that I had all of the help right here. I tend to live my life “off the cuff” and whether good or bad, it’s who I am. One minute I’m making dinner at home and the next I’m tasting Sherry in Spain. I’ve found it so important to go after what you love in life, and NOT TO PUT IT ON HOLD UNTIL….(fill in the blank). That’s just what the Blanchard’s did and their books are inspirational for anyone who believes in living the life you’ve always dreamed of. They are truly Champagne Living.
5. My gold hoop earrings – they are simple, elegant, and the last gift my dad gave me before he passed away. When I wear them I feel as those he’s right there whispering in my ear, you’ll see me in them almost all of the time.
6. Friends & Family – I count myself as very lucky to have the most wonderful friends and family in the world. People whom you can share your joy as well as your misery with. People who don’t judge but simply say things like “so…what have you learned from that?” or who are ready to drop whatever they are doing and have lunch at a ridiculously expensive restaurant and share the cheapest thing on the menu (just to be there), or just go shopping at the same outlet store three days in a row. You know who you are and I THANK YOU for being my friend.
7. Champagne Living – I was retired before starting this blog, and sat down at my computer one day with no particular roadmap and just began typing on blogger. What I wanted from the site was merely to have a hobby, hone my writing skills, and see what all the blogging fuss was about – what I got was an outlet to share my lifestyle, wonderful new friends (including my readers), a business, and opportunities that I’d never have dreamed of when I began.
8. Scarves – I know this sounds silly, but I love tying them in all sorts of creative ways. I’ll wear them on my neck, waist, or around my hips. I’ll drape them simply across my neck, or tie them in intricate designs depending upon my mood. They’ve been a signature of mine since the 60’s and have remained such. I have a beautiful old picnic hamper on the floor of my closet that’s stuffed tightly with more scarves than I care to admit.
9. Dancing when no one’s looking – It’s who I am and what I do. I went to college for dance, toured in dance companies before becoming an actress (and later on going into the restaurant business with my husband), and even after leaving the world of performance I would dance as a hobby. It was cut short in 1998 when I had an accident that left me unable to walk. I had been told that I’d have to live the rest of my life either in braces or a wheelchair, but thanks to my dance background I walk and live without either of those, and used dance along with my surgeries and physical therapy to heal myself. While I may never jeté across a stage again, I can twirl to my hearts content in my living room.
10……this spot is reserved for future joy. You are welcome to park here and enjoy your life, just leave enough room and share your joys in the comments below.