You can follow Alexandra Kim at: http://www.karmaphilia.com
I’ve had the privilege of staying this week at an amazing apartment literally one block from the Louvre and Palais Royale. I love it so much. The pictures above are of: the beautiful facade of the building, isn’t just so Parisian? the view right outside my window – the back of the Temple De L’Oratoire (I feel very retro sipping espresso in the mornings looking out over it); the gorgeous flower shop right beneath my apartment, I get to walk past these lovely arrangements every day; the side entrance to the Louvre that I walk past on the way to Starbucks (yes, I can’t get rid of that habit) (the building the Louvre museum is in itself used to be a castle). Not having the interminable prosaic demands of a high-stress job has really helped me to slow the heck down, look around and appreciate the charm of where I am.
But I also think about how where I used to be was quite beautiful, too. I lived in a lovely building in a beautiful home that I took great pains to decorate…and I never relished it. I would get so many compliments about my place – it was chandelier heavy, I’m a girl to the core – which I would be happy about but not really get because I was not seeing my place from their eyes. Every morning I would get up and all I would do is RUSH. Rush to shower, get my hair done, get dressed, take care of small errands, check emails, I would mechanically drink my coffee while driving into work complaining bitterly about traffic, thinking the whole time about problems (like the judge’s tentative ruling, pending discovery battles, if I would have time to squeeze in a workout) then come home 8-12 hours later to fall exhaustedly asleep. I lived in a city that had 365 days of perennial sunshine and balmy weather – and hardly noticed. Okay, to be realistic, we can’t stop and smell the flowers every single moment of our waking lives, but I wish I had stopped to truly savor and appreciate over the past years the environment I was in.
It’s called being in the present. I’ve bandied that phrase around a lot over the past years, but never really understood what it meant until this sabbatical. You hear it over and over again but it’s true…nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow, it could all end as quickly as a flick of a switch, so appreciate the now, whatever form that is in, because it’s all you really have.