It can be said that I have a little obsession when it comes to French culture. I need to know about it, dissect it, and try to understand it. As my husband is French it started with my desire to understand our cultural differences, but my obsession quickly turned into a fascination regarding French women: the way they dress, how they act, and how they eat.
I have read a number of books on French culture, French-American relations, etc. But I now tend to gravitate towards books on or by French women. They are fascinating subjects. Some of the books I have read recently are:
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- French Women Don't Get Fat
- French Women for All Seasons
- All You Need to Be Impossibly French
- Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl
- Fatale: How French Women Do It
- My French Life
and that is just a small sampling!
Although there are many lessons I have taken from these books (I will come back to more in later posts), one of the most profound to me is the following:
Quality Over Quantity.
This topic is raised time and time again around the subject of clothes. It took me a long time to believe this, I just think this is something that you can't comprehend at 20, and I certainly couldn't.
Having a closet of classic clothes that won't fall apart is the foundation every girl needs. After that, you can build on it or add fun seasonal stuff at will. Trust me, it's important. If you can save your money to buy one classic black dress instead of buying 3 to 4 not-quite-right ones, you will not only have that dress for years, but you will also have more money to spend on additional pieces in the long run.
But what is important about this maxim is that it should be a life philosophy, not just a rule for clothes.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.” (Corita Kent)
Make sure that every day is quality. You do not have to be “well-off” to have a quality life. You simply need to take the time to do things purposefully. Make sure that what you do has meaning to you, and that it fulfills some core value, otherwise re-consider doing it. This does not mean being selfish; however, taking care of yourself allows you to take care of others as well.
Bottom line, be cognizant of what you do in life and make sure to have quality experiences rather than a whole bunch of half-hearted ones. Make sure you surround yourself with good people, let the bad ones go.
Okay, getting off my soapbox…off to eat my bonbons!
How about you? Do you believe in quality over quantity? Do you buy into the French lifestyle? Is there another culture's lifestyle that you admire? Do share!
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