One of the comments that I hear the most often from visitors here, is “in France you know how to take your time”. I always smile, and I sometimes mumble something about illusions, while in the back of my mind I can feel the weight of my to-do list ….. but sometimes I know that they are right.
It probably has something to do with living in the country, but actually I think a lot of our attitude to time is linked to our attitude to food, and where we place eating in our scale of priorities.
In France it is a given that the best quality food is available from the weekly or bi-weekly farmers market. This means making yourself available during that specific morning, getting yourself into town, and taking the time to walk around the market, choosing the best looking produce and of course having a quick chat to the vendors as you go. It is longer than filling up a trolley in a supermarket, or ordering a delivery on your ipad, but its also a different and richer experience.
Once home, fresh produce takes longer to prepare than fast food or frozen food. Pretty obvious I think, but it belies a completely different attitude to what we put in our plates. As a Frenchman once explained to me, as a group of our friends shared an aperitif in his kitchen before dinner “preparing food is like making love, the more time you take, the better it will be”.
And may be that is the secret, it is the mindset, and the priorities … which means that if we put our minds to it, we can all manage to make a little more time, or at least feel like we do.
So how about starting with breakfast? Making the time to lay a lovely table, popping out to get a few fresh croissants, or squeezing some oranges. Sitting down to the table without a phone or an ipad, and enjoy some good conversation about the day ahead. So what if it means starting the day half an hour earlier, it will be half an hour well spent, that will change the way we use the rest of the day.
PS Gibson and Ghetto have been putting this philosophy into practice for years, and they never seem to be under the pressure of time!