“Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Get the cream sauce. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Listen to someone you think may have nothing in common with you. Order the steak rare. Eat an oyster. Have a Negroni. Have two. Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Eat slowly. Tip your server. Check in on your friends. Check in on yourself. Enjoy the ride.” (Anthony Bourdain)
Anthony Bourdain had what can be described as the best job in the world. He traveled the world, ate incredible food, from haute cuisine to humble home-cooked fare and street food. It is reported he traveled almost 300 days a year.
Bourdain left behind a massive body of work- books, articles, programs, speeches, interviews, and appearances. The above quote is powerful if you read it a few times and give it some thought. He wrote or said variations of the quote several times.
We spend our lives in cycles of happiness and joy, anger and angst, peace, pain, pleasure, and turmoil. COVID exasperated our emotions. We worry too much. It seems everything angers us lately, and there is plenty to be angry about. Reading the news is enough to give one a case of apoplexy.
We spend too much time staring at screens, toiling for pay, taking care of our families, or doing mundane chores in our spare time. Our lives get complicated because we allow it.
Life is not complicated. What Bourdain is telling us is to seek enjoyment. Enjoy life. Smell the f**king roses. No matter what storms you face, do enjoyable things. Be a little adventurous. Meet new people. Try new things.
We live in angry times. Too many believe the world is on fire. The news media drives narratives to anger us purposely. We are easily gulled into thinking the worst about everything. There is plenty to be angry about. There is plenty to be sorrowful about. There is also plenty to be joyful about.
We concern ourselves with too many things we have no control over. Occasionally we need to turn the world off and enjoy life. Go for a long walk, sit in the park, eat a good meal- from a great sandwich to fine dining- whatever it is you enjoy or want to try eating. Turn off the world and read that book, gathering dust on the shelf or wasting space on your Ereader. Take a short road trip. Walk on a beach. Turn everything off and listen to music- sing along or play air guitar or drums. Visit a museum. Do something different.
Happiness, sadness, anger, calm, etc., are conditional. Enjoyment is conditional too, but it is a conditional choice. In our overwork, anger, angst, or whatever, we all think, “Gee, if I had the time…” Make the time. “Hearses do not have luggage racks.” (Zig Ziglar) The trip is one way.
Life is too short not to squeeze some enjoyment out of it. Ignore all the noise and seek some solace. Occasionally you owe it to yourself to take pleasure in what life has to offer.
We get too wrapped up in our careers, chores, news, social media, families, and many other things. The more wrapped up we get, the more our world shrinks. We live in bubbles we create.
Get out and live a little now and then. Enjoy something new. When you return to your routine, being pissed off at the world will be less stressful.