I will overpay for anything with French script on it. My family will too, now that they know that is the easiest way to buy presents for me and guarantees a happy, or rather, ecstatic recipient. Needless to say, when I found my les petites victoires vintage t-shirt at J.Crew earlier this summer, I was a happy shopper, happily overpaying with the intention to wear it post-Ironman in France to celebrate all of my petites victoires of the race.
Celebrate, I did. The funny thing about an Ironman, or any accomplishment of a giant goal, is that you keep learning more and more about life after the race is done. In Venice with one of my very best friends, Nicole, I learned that our minds can be in a constant state of celebration. Perhaps it is important to note that I have had many the serious conversation during my childhood by adults who believed that I didn’t take life serious enough, that I was too happy, and that I lived in a fantasy world of positivity that was simply unrealistic. Venice proved to me once and for all, that these people were wrong.
The reality is that life is good and that our lives are primarily dictated by the outcome of our thoughts. It is really as simple as that. If you want your life to be a life of celebration and joy, then start allowing yourself to think that way. You are worthy to be celebrated. Moreover, the beauty of life itself is worthy to be celebrated.
At 11:00am on a back street piazza of Venice, Nicole and I found an outdoor wine hole gem called al Mercà, tucked next to a Casa del Parmigiano, or House of Parmesan Cheese. The wine poured freely, and we found ourselves surrounded by Venetians chattering on their coffee breaks from work as they cradled glasses of vino bianchi. If Venetians can drink mid-day wine instead of coffee, and their city has been alive and thriving since the 10th Century B.C., then they really can’t be too far off from knowing how to live.
Nicole and I continued to frequent our wine bar throughout the day, spending more time trying to absorb the Venetian mastery of eloquence and nonchalance than actually drinking. There is something seductive about the Venetian life, something similar to what I love about the French. It is partially intangible, but the part I can identify is a slow, savory pace of life. It is leisurely conversation, it is unannounced singing in the streets, it is empathic gesturing and opinions, and it is living outside of the rules — eating gelato at 9am and drinking vino instead of coffee.
May your day today be full of petites victoires worthy of celebrating. Moreover, may your life be a life of victoire and celebration. I know that mine is and will continue to be, and I will not allow anyone to take that from me.