Yesterday was my birthday. Usually, I spend my birthday in Canada as it comes along conveniently a few days after Christmas. I must have planned it that way in utero. Time-efficiency turns me on. Must be my Capricorn nature.
This year I was in Paris for Christmas and my birthday, which was both awesome and kinda sucked. Skype is good but not that good. Paris was calm and sacred, less frantic than it usually is when I’m in Canada. With a big family, there are a lot of runs into town for this and that. Plus, there are back-to-back dinners and coffee dates.
This makes me lucky. This also makes me tired.
I’m an introvert, so after a week of plenty of peeps, I require at least as much time alone afterward to recoup. So yesterday it is no surprise that I opted for a day to roam around town solo.
I followed my nose and landed on the walking street, rue Montorgueil, which is lined with restaurants, shops, bakeries, fish markets, chocolate shops, pizza places and… oh my lucky stars… a thai restaurant that serves the most luscious, creamy wonderful coconut curry. So that was lunch, followed by a coffee at a nearby café, where I got out my journal to write my goals for the year but stared off to space instead.
The goal thing: It’s a bit tiresome.
I’ve been at this goal achievement thing a long time. And, not to brag, but I’m rockin’ this formula:
- Set goal.
- Carve out time each day to achieve said goal.
- Don’t be stupid about how to spend time and money.
- Wish for it to come true when you blow out birthday cake candles.
Last night, I was out for dinner with Christophe and a crème brûlée arrived with a lit candle and the French version of Happy Birthday being sung by the waiter and bartender. (They don’t usually do this but this is my local restaurant and they are my friends. This is Paris, not Jack Astors.) Sitting there with the candle flickering before me, I didn’t know what to wish for. I repeat:
I didn’t know what to wish for when I blew out my candle.
This has never happened to me before. My default wish since the beginning of puberty was to find love. I found it with the lovely Christophe. Then there is the second wish, get a book published. Done. Thrice! Third, I could say I would wish for world peace or something equally altruistic but in the silence of my own mind in that moment, it’s all about me, baby.
This year, I’m at a loss for wishes since I’m happily continuing to roll with projects I’ve already got on the go:
- Continue creating my Paris Letters (Subscribe and I’ll mail you one. I will, I will, I will)
- Finish writing the book (I got a book deal in December… I did, I did, I did)
- Get hitched in a perfectly Janice & Christophe kind of way (I do, I do, I do)
This wee wonderful list is enough for me in 2013.
But I was still wanting a birthday wish. The candle was still flickering in my soul.
I blew that candle out in a hurry and got busy smacking my spoon through the hard candy top of my crème brûlée. And that’s when I figured out what I want this year. I want to notice the incredible splendor of moments. What if I were too preoccupied with my own thoughts to notice just how fun cracking the brûlée can be? Tragique.
I want to really REALLY see the enchantment all around me here Paris. I saw it when I first arrived, but then this fleeting magic was lost when I started dodging around people. Paris is packed with people who walk in zigzags. I’m hoping strengthening my ability to see the splendor of moments spills into my letters and the book so that we can all sigh together in that dreamy way people do when someone says that magic word….