Friday, February 03, 2012

Practical Tips For Productive Living

Feelin' good.
I'm happy to say that I'm feeling almost 100% better, and that my fever of 317 degrees has gone down. Today, Kelsey came over and we watched Gladiator, and the whole time we couldn't believe that we were watching a movie that was based minutes away from where we sitting. We reminisced on missing good old fashioned home food like Campbell's vegetable soup and Kraft Dinner, which poses a question - is it ok to miss home food while in Italy? I know. It seems unfair, considering that this is the country in which pasta, pizza and gelato was invented. But I have to admit that sometimes, all I want is something as simple as boiling water, opening a can, and pouring its contents into the pot. 
I definitely don't miss the weather at home, but even if I did, that would be ok, since Canada and Italy have clearly swapped weather roles. There is, in fact, snow in Rome. Pretty, fat 
In Rome we have the real deal.
snow flakes that are unfortunately intertwining with the rain, which means that of course it won't stay for long. But that's ok - my wish came true after all. When I first arrived in the overwhelming heat of September, I remember telling Giulia, the girl I first was an au pair for, that I hoped it would snow at least once during my stay in Rome. She was convinced that it wasn't going to happen, but today, it did. She even called me this morning to share the excitement and said, "MichElle! You told me so!"

But last night when I still had my super high fever I got a wonderful surprise call from my grandparents which was perfect, since my nana is a retired nurse and my papa is a retired a doctor. They gave me tips on how to perk myself up, but I felt better just hearing their voices. My nana told me the sweetest thing that really made me think. She said, "Your mom has been sharing your pictures with us on the computer. We're so happy to see you having fun in Europe, but its hard to look at the pictures because every time we see them you look older." I do? Well, duh. I am older. I haven't seen my family in almost five months. But has my appearance really changed that much since September? 
I guess one doesn't really notice these things about themselves because it happens slowly over a period of time. I don't notice these changes because I can look in the mirror at any given time and say, "Hey. Its me." Not that I actually talk to myself when standing in front of the mirror, or ever, for that matter. What I mean is that because I'm obviously me 24/7, I don't notice any major physical differences. But I noticed that I have gotten a little taller and leaner, thanks to all this healthy eating, daily two hour walks and recent sickness that's caused me 
Marc and Angel.
to bring up whatever food I've attempted to keep down. And my hair's gotten longer, since every hairdresser in Rome charges an unmentionable amount that I cannot bear to shell out of my wallet. But hearing my nana say that I look older and different really makes me think about how much I've actually changed since being in Italy, and not just physically. 
My nana also gave me the name of this incredible blog that she's been reading lately, and I'm also going to share it with you. Its called Marc and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips For Productive Living. I recommend it to absolutely every person on the face of the planet who has a brain. I spent my entire rainy-sick day in bed reading it and I can honestly say that I have never gained so much knowledge about life, love and choices in the course of one day. Why don't they teach this stuff in high school? Articles include things like, "30 Books You Should Read Before You Turn 30", "12 Ways To Get A Second Chance In Life", and "16 Harsh Truths That Make Us Stronger". 
In case you don't have the time to check it out right now, I'm going to share some of my favourite questions that Marc and Angel ask their readers. This blog will completely change 
your way of thinking and I encourage everyone to treat this blog and the articles within it as your own personal life class and bible/torah/qur'an.
1. How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
2. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
4. (My personal favourite question) If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
5. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
6. If not now, then when?
7. What would you do differently if you knew that nobody would judge you?
8. Have you done something lately worth remembering?
9. When you're the same age as your grandparents, what will matter the most to you?
10. Do you ask enough questions? Or do you settle for what you know?
11. When was the last time you tried something new?
12. What is the difference between living and existing?
13. Do you feel like you've lived this day 100 times before?
14. In five years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?
15. In one sentence, who are you? 

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