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“The wonderful thing about Paris is that nobody judges you for doing nothing.”– Emily in Paris
I have been interested in French culture for most of my life. Visiting France in 2019 was a childhood dream. I read books, practiced the language, watched movies set in France, and fell in love with many aspects of french culture over my life. The more I learned about France, the more I fell in love with it. I did not just fall in love with the country and the beautiful sites, but also the way of living for French people.
The quote above from Emily in Paris is one of my new favorites! Not only is it like that in Paris, I believe it’s like that in all of France! Nobody judges you for doing nothing. One of my favorite things to do.
I love how much the French aim to enjoy their life, live more simply, enjoy good food, and enjoy their time with friends and family. Not only is France a beautiful place to visit and enjoy, but their way of living is one to model your own simple living lifestyle after. As the quote says, nobody judges you for doing nothing in Paris, the perfect way to live a simple lifestyle.
You may ask, how do you practice simple living the French way?
Well, let’s find out!
Don’t let work run your life
The French understand how to have a proper work-life balance. They leave work at work. One of my favorite quotes I have heard several times about the French culture is, “We work to live, not live to work,” and I think that speaks volumes about the French culture.
Having a proper work-life balance is partly due to the government regulating working hours and vacations, but it doesn’t mean that French citizens don’t do their part to have the proper work-life balance. They know when to quit for the day, take vacations, and not let work run their lives.
The French work to make money to support their lifestyle. Then, they go out and enjoy their lives. Work funds the things they want in life.
In America, we tend to let work run our lives (I’ve been there so many times!) and define who we are.
Americans take work home with us. We allow it to dictate when we can and cannot do things we enjoy, and we constantly want more from our jobs (money, appreciation, or value). Americans allow work to define who they are. Many people also value their career and status over the simple pleasures in life.
The French do not define themselves by what their job title is (ask any American who they are and they will probably start with their job title). They are defined by what they think their most interesting quality is, wife, mom, or one of the many other awesome things they believe is important to them.
The conclusions all seem to be the same from French bloggers, ex-pats, and the many books I have read about people moving to and living in France… The French understand the delicacies of simple living. They know how to live and enjoy life. They have work-life balance. The simplicities in life are what you should strive to live for.
The French know how to enjoy the simple pleasures
The French know how to enjoy simple pleasures.
I think we can all admit that the simple pleasures in life are in the small things. The small things… like spending time with friends and family, a well-cooked meal, a glass of wine, or a delicious pastry.
The French understand how important these simple pleasures are. What I love the most is that they don’t rush the simple pleasures in life either. Americans are always in a hurry. Americans are always in a hurry to get home, in a hurry to cook dinner, in a hurry to finish their meal, and more!
How can you enjoy things when you are rushing through the best parts?
If you are cooking a meal- learn to enjoy every moment of the process, from planning to cooking to eating. The French know how to have a long meal, and enjoy every minute of it!
If you are out with friends- enjoy the moments of talking, laughter, eating, and enjoying a glass of wine. Take the time to catch up, ask questions, and enjoy all the time you have together.
Instead of rushing through your morning routine, take your time and enjoy the calm before the chaos of your day starts.
Learning to enjoy the moments, instead of rushing through them is the real delicacy.
“Pour bien cuisiner il faut de bons ingrediénts, un palais, du coeur et de amis.”Unknown
To cook well, you need good ingredients, a palace, a heart, and some friends.Unknown
You don’t have to be busy to live an Enjoyable life
Slow living is simple living.
I feel like a lot of people think they have to be busy to make it seem like they are being productive and living an enjoyable life. There have been times in my life when I thought I needed a packed schedule to live an enjoyable life.
When I started my simple living journey- I realized that you have to identify what is important and necessary in your life versus what is not. When you make more time for the things that are important and necessary rather than things that aren’t, your schedule will be a lot less full.
By doing this, you will be much more productive in your life without being so busy!
The French understand that being busy is overrated. Living a more simple lifestyle still allows for productiveness if you know where to devote your time.
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I hope this post has inspired you to want to slow down your life a little. Take a break. Enjoy the little things in life! There is always time to enjoy the simple delicacies in life.
Until next time,