Goditi la Vita

Mamma Gatta

I was recently chatting with my next door neighbor, Anna Maria, at the wall that separates our back terraces. A few years ago, to make our chats easier, Anna Maria and I trimmed the thick jasmine that grows along the top section of the wall to create a hole (more like a small, green tunnel). The lower part of the wall is built of the stone that was once the foundation of our house – some 400 years ago.

Anyhow, through the hole in our shared wall Anna Maria and I pass gifts, recipes, Mamma Gatta (her cat who thinks she’s our cat), etc., and this is where we chat, chat, chat. Our muratore (stone mason) Edu, dubbed this area our parlatorio – talking place. Funny.

So the other day there we were talking, and Anna Maria suddenly looked me straight in the eye (through the little tunnel of jasmine) and said, “Pamela, goditi la vita.” Enjoy your life. “I’m older than you are”, she told me, “and I think that means I have more wisdom”. We both laughed. “Hear me well”, she added. “Goditi la vita.”

Somehow, the way she said it made me really hear it, you know what I mean?

So today I’m passing along her message to you. There’s so much going on in the world today, and so much of it negative – things we can do nothinig to change. Perhaps today it’s more important than ever to take a breath – a deep one – and simply enjoy life.

Besides, the origin of the word “enjoy” is based in taking action: 1350-1400; Middle English – enjoyen “to make joyful”, Old French – enjoier “to give joy to”.

Simple but powerful, don’t you think?


Pamela Haack is host of the Italy Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs (an event held annually for highly motivated, high-achieving women entrepreneurs) and founder of Off the Beaten Strada, where she creates and organizes personalized experiences and specialty retreats in Tuscany and Umbria, Italy, for travelers who wish to be immersed in the history, culture and traditions of the regions.

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