My Approach to Eat Pray Love

August 16, 2010

A while ago I read the bestseller Eat Pray Love

Day 35 - Reading inbetween school books and papers.
Creative Commons License photo credit: ohdearbarb

I didn’t love the book – I often find these “gadget” books of somebody doing something for a year difficult to accept as a real story, they always smell like a successful book pitch that we’re playing along with, and so I rarely find them really compelling.  But there were things about the book I liked, and some of it has stayed with me for longer than I would have expected, given what I thought of the book when first reading it.

The movie version is coming out now, with Julia Roberts, so it’ll be a total chick flick (I cannot imagine my husband sitting through either a movie about this topic, nor pretty much any movie with Julia Roberts).  And since I’m unlikely to see it anytime soon, I thought I’d write about my own Eat Pray Love experiences.

Eat

Elizabeth goes to Italy and really enjoys eating the local food, indulging in all the specialties.  I went to France and immediately gained 20 pounds (I think she gained 10 if my memory is correct).  I also have enjoyed most of the local specialties (I still can’t stand the idea of foie gras).  With time I’ve learned to be more moderate in my indulgences, in part because living in Paris is now my “real life” not a transitory stop in a round-the-world tour.

Pray

I’ve never been a religious person, but last year with my endometrial cancer diagnosis I did get more spiritual.  I learned to meditate (well, I learned the very basics of how to meditate, but I don’t do it much anymore).  What’s stuck with me is knowing I have tools that I can reach for to reduce stress and manage many different situations.

Love

I don’t feel like I’m giving much away by telling you that the third part of the book  (and presumably the movie) is about the author finally finding love.  The title pretty much steals any surprise.  The love story’s angle is that it’s not the most traditional of matchings, and it’s international and a little bit complex.

I guess my own Love chapter is somewhat similar, in that I was an American in Paris only staying for 2 years when I met my (very French) husband.  He was clearly Deeply Rooted in Paris – his job, his personality, his son.  Falling for him meant realizing that a life together would have to be based in Paris, meaning my career options would be significantly curtailed, and that I’d have to put Love above all.  It wasn’t a particularly difficult choice, which is probably why I wondered why it seemed so difficult for the author, and it’s one I never regretted (nor did she I think – her follow-up book was called “Committed”).

Did you learn any Eat, Pray, Love lessons in your life? What were they?

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