by Melinda Gallo

Life is precious

Life, of course, is precious. Striving to make each moment count is a daily goal of mine. When Iím in Florence, however, I try to optimize my time even more because nowadays I am here for such a short amount of time. I could spend more time in Florence, but I enjoy my time in France especially with my beau. I aim to use my time wisely when Iím home in Florence and I try not to waste it doing anything I donít feel like doing. I have become quite Florentine in that if something that non mi va (Iím not keen on), I donít push myself to do it.

To make the most of my time, I rarely prepare meals for myself. For colazione (breakfast), I go to my favorite cafť so that I arrive back home at my desk before 9:30 am. If the weather permits, I try to take a brief break in the morning while my colleagues in France take theirs. Just a few minutes to walk along the river, breathe in the sweet scent of the city, and, if Iím lucky, take a photo of something that inspires me.

Instead of my usual hour and a half lunch break going to a local restaurant, I usually go to the rosticceria (rotisserie) at the corner of via dei Neri and eat my lunch there to chat with them or at my desk. With the remaining time I have during my lunch break, I take a stroll through the centro (center) just to admire my beloved city.

Sometimes I sit in the Loggia dei Lanzi among the statues, look up at the Palazzo Vecchio and watch the wave of people pour in and out of the Piazza della Signoria.

In the afternoon, I try to take another quick break so I can explore my beloved city a little more. I sometimes just stand at the red brick wall above the Arno and peer into the green water or walk to Ponte alle Grazie and admire San Miniato above on the hilltop.

As soon as my workday is over, I dart out of my apartment so I can absorb more of my beloved cityís energy. I find it intoxicating at times and quite necessary to me. When I am in France, I try not to miss my beloved city. It makes me happy to be here now and appreciate her. I do look forward to returning when I am away, but I know that I do my best to appreciate wherever I am because that is what life is about: enjoying and appreciating each moment we have

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