Yesterday was a big day for me, the 5th anniversary of the day I arrived in Venice to begin living here full time. It's been five years of all ups, not one down that I can think of. There has been a minor bump in the road here and there, but nothing that I could classify as a "down".
After five years of my Venice experience, here's what I know-
I've changed. Venice has changed me.
I've slowed down. I don't whiz through each day. I've learned how to savor the little moments. I can sit in one place now and just breathe in and out, enjoying the views around me without feeling like I should be rushing somewhere to do heaven knows what. I can just sit and stay in the moment.
Eating is an experience, almost a celebration of good fresh ingredients, it's not just a task. I eat fresh foods every day, which have been purchased in the same day.
I've learned how to live without all the trappings of life I used to think I had to have. I own far fewer clothes and other things, spend far less on "stuff" than I did in my previous life. I've simplified and have learned to live very happily with less. Downsizing is good.
I'm more healthy than I have been in years. All the stress of my former career is gone, and so are the health issues I suffered from. Walking every day in Venice doesn't hurt either.
I have developed a much greater appreciation for art and history. I spend my days right smack in the middle of some of the world's most incredible art, in a place rich in history. How could I not soak up a little? I have always been a science and technology person. Well, not so much anymore.
I think I've figured out the most important thing, which is to live each day to fullest. Life is short. There is no guarantee of any tomorrows, each today has to be the best day I can make it. This has become my mantra.
I know that I could not go back to my old life, not for anything. So, no looking back. Only looking forward.
To each of you who read my blog, to all of you who send me comments and emails, and to those who have even been brave enough to come meet me in person, I want to extend a huge thank you. I hope you will continue to accompany on my adventures. You honor me.
Hope you will all join me in a toast to my 5 years, and to another 5 and another 5 and another 5......