A good part of “S” month was taken up with our trip to Sicily with Sights and Soul Travel. While we don’t expect anyone to say “hey it’s S month, let’s run off to Sicily,” you can get a flavor of the country through this list of movies about or taking place in Sicily:
Cinema Paradiso Divorce, Italian Style
The Leopard Il Postino
L’Avventura The Star Maker
The Earth Trembles Salvatore Giuliano
Stromboli The Godfather (of course)
Sicily is a beautiful country and we got to sample the food (a lot of fish, even in their pasta), visit the ancient ruins (Greek, Roman, Norman) and stunning cathedrals and enjoy the wonderful coastal towns. We made pizza, were hosted by a Contessa at her palace and watched an amazing life-sized puppet show – and ate, and ate and ate. We loved people watching, especially how the men meet in the squares to sit and talk – whatever village we were in, they were there.
It’s always fun learning about the culture and hearing little tidbits, such as these superstitions:
*Don’t be the first customer of the day in any shop because the seller will do everything and anything to wear you down and get you to make a purchase. If you buy, you bring him luck for the rest of the day. If not, then you’ve set the stage for a lousy day.
*Don’t put your purse on the floor or you’ll lose money.
*17 is an unlucky number; 33 is the luckiest age.
pointed up means your husband is cheating on you; pointed down means bad luck going away from you.
*Hanging a family portrait flush against the wall means the person in the portrait died.
Barbara: MORE SALSA: Last year we went to Brazil and visited a Samba school where we got to participate as well as watch the amazing dancers. I do not know how to salsa dance and the odds of my learning are probably against me since my significant other doesn’t dance but I am in love with the music. I don’t know what the words mean (they can be saying they hate all women named Barbara for all I know) but it doesn’t matter. My hips start moving on their own. So now instead of top 40 or oldies or 70s rock, my radio is set to Latin Hits. There’s nothing like moving to the Latin beat while cooking or cleaning or paying bills; anything really. Luckily there are no hidden cameras in my house. But I do like the reaction I’ve gotten when driving past someone in my convertible; there has been many a double take when they hear No Me Acuerdo.
LESS STRESS: Considering I just retired from full-time work one would think this would be a given. I used to wake up in the middle of the night thinking of things I needed to do at work; my co-workers can attest to the emails received from me at 4 in the morning. But now I find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about all the activities I’ve got planned for the week. How can I stress about fun! This has to stop. I’ve got to learn to tell myself I have permission to not do something, to not feel like I’m being judged if I just decompress (and this feeling is based on nothing; everyone has told me I need to do it). Hmm…maybe I’ll go to sleep with Latin Hits playing in my earphones!
Laura: LESS “SHOULD” and MORE “SHALL”. I am tired of creating my own universe of shoulds. For instance, I should donate these books to the library or I should reorganize my closet. Yes, I should do those things, but I really don’t have to. These are tasks of my choosing and no one is waiting on their completion but me. Certainly no one dies if I still have pants in my closet that I haven’t worn in five years. But when my mind connects the task with “should”, then it carries a weight of expectation and commitment. So I am switching to “Shall,” which is a more energizing and positive word. Shall implies a choice, while should sounds like a command. I realize it’s just a matter of semantics and a tweaking of an attitude, but whatever floats your boat (or since it’s S month, your ship)!