I read an interview with George Clooney once. Strange, I know. But really, I was reading it for the article.
Anyhow, it was just after he had finished shooting a film in Italy. He was asked how he enjoyed the location, and his response has stuck in my mind for several years now. He said what he loved about the Italian culture was that at the end of the day, he’d sit back and watch the locals walking by … At 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon. He was working near a construction zone, so there would be these guys walking home in their work clothes and hard hats with a bottle of wine in one hand, and a bouquet of flowers and fresh bread in the other. His observation was that Italians live well. They weren’t working 18-hour days on the job-site and then rushing home too tired and cranky for any quality family time, or too stressed to be able to sleep for a mere six hours before waking early to start working again.
I’ve observed the same work-life attitude in many European cultures. Perhaps its my own romanticized notion of life in Europe–the long lunch breaks and business meetings over cocktails. I’m not implying that hard work isn’t done, or that significant progress isn’t made. Instead, I’m envious of the relaxed atmosphere and emphasis on enjoying our lives and making work fit our social schedules. I have to admit that I think I do a pretty good job of juggling my very full career around the needs of my young family and my children’s commitments. But I know that I am in the minority. And I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity.
But I also know a lot of young entrepreneurs who are burning the candle at both ends, sacrificing their current quality of life in order to achieve a financial goal which they believe will result in a better quality of life. So, with that said, I have to tell you that I’m glad to find little treasures like this on the beach …
It just makes me happy to think that someone else sat in this beautiful spot listening to the crashing waves and enjoying a glass of wine.
I think it has been a particularly stressful year for a lot of people in this country. The unemployment rate is ridiculous, the economy is scary, and politics are out of control. I find the news frightening these days.
So, I just want to encourage you to carve out a little time in your over-busy schedules to breathe deeply, kick up your feet, find your beverage of choice, and actively practice minimizing your stress. Because I think the whole world could benefit from raising the collective quality of life by enjoying a few moments of simple pleasures.