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If James is right and I am too intense (he's not, of course, but just for the sake of this argument) then what would or could I do to change that, assuming I didn't want to be "too intense."  I think it's fair to say those who are or come across as "too intense" can be difficult to be around.  I still cringe to think this is what James thought of me because I would not describe myself as being emotionally exhausting to be around and back that up by saying James is the only person to have ever flat-out ditched me.

But, I digress.......

If I, or others, who have been told or think they are challenged in the "c'est la vie" way of living feel compelled to change this trait about themselves where would one start?  I, of course, have the answer.  Europe.

It never fails to amaze me, no matter where I may be in Europe, how relaxed I am there.  Life slows down.  I'm not sure Europeans in general would agree with me.  For me, however, it's a much more laid back pace, mentality, lifestyle and set of beliefs.

So, we can't all run off to Europe every time we need to relax and let go of our intensity.  I have a suggestion here, as well.  Adopt the European mentality and forge it into your lifestyle, and your thinking.  More specifically, I mean this:  butter, olive oil, wine, pasta, bread, cheese, cream, sauces, chocolate.  That's not all, of course.  Add to that the following:  sex, a love of literature, fashion, cigarettes, nudity, art, travel and a less intense way of looking at things .  I don't know why we in the U.S. take all these "bad things" the Europeans love so much and deny ourselves, only to be less healthy and fatter.  And, less happy.  Is that possible?  And, more uptight.  Right?

I love the French phrase 'joie de vivre' which, according to Godfry loosely translates into 'love of life' or 'love of living."  How many of us can honestly say we love our lives?  I went through my mid-life crisis (correction:  "going through") because I was unhappy.  I wanted to change that.  I'm not saying if I were French or Italian or Swiss, or if I lived in Europe I would be guaranteed happiness.  I have to wonder, though.  I know I feel more relaxed when I'm in Europe.  I know this.

I will say this.  It's hard to adopt this lifestyle when I can't walk down the street smoking a cigarette without being stared at and avoided.  I was standing outside a Starbucks on my cell phone with a cigarette and was chastised by a little girl.  OK, little girl.  Don't smoke.  But, find a way to lead a relaxed life where you have a genuine joy of living, lest someone named James calls you up one day and says "you're too intense for me."  Eat a baugette.  With butter.  Butter makes things taste better.  Julia Child once said something about how if she avoided butter she was afraid she would find herself covered in dandruff.  I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone in France with a ring of "snow" on their jacket.  So, don't smoke.  OK.  But, live a little.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Jan 5, 2009
    • I can attest to the intensity, since I lived in the islands and spent lots of time in Europe and now living in the US, the difference is quite noticeable.  Thought I must say that living in this part of TX has some of that less intense feeling.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stellababette wrote Jan 5, 2009
    • Whether it’s island time or a more casual European lifestyle, I want it and want to find a way to incorporate that into my life.  

      I’m with you, Teeky!  It’s in the inside!  Outside pressure doesn’t help, but it’s definitely on the inside.

      Thanks for your posts!



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