Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dining, Italian Style

More on my trip to Italy with Daughter.....  Europeans, and Italians in particular, love their meals.  You notice I didn't say that they love to eat.  They love meals.  They like to take the time, sit down, eat a little, talk a little, drink a little and eat some more.  Many of their meals have multiple courses.  When Daughter and I were in Italy, we ate like locals.  We would order a primi piatti, and a secondi piatti, and we'd share them both.  The waiters understood, and would divide our plates before they brought them to the table, so we'd have two lovely small plates of food, one course after the other.  We'd drink a little wine, savor the small plates, and talk.  Only in Milan, the largest city we visited, did they even offer to bring us both the primi and the secondi at the same time.  You could see the relief and the pleasure on the waiter's faces when we appeared scandalized that they would even suggest it.   We enjoyed our meals and ate our fill.  We never felt stuffed, yet we never felt hungry either.  Here at home, we regularly eat our pasta with our main course.  We shove all the food on the plate at the same time.  We're lucky if we spend half an hour eating together instead of one to two hours.  Yes, I said two hours.  We eat far more food, and we don't stop until we feel full.  In both Italy and home, we ate enough to sustain us, but the experience was far different.

Here in the Trenches, life is like eating a meal.  All of our clients get divorced at some point, like finishing a meal.  Is it an experience or is it just an event? If it is an experience, is it thoughtful, meaningful and one from which the client grows, or is it simply something the client survived?  I know it sounds counter-intuitive that the experience of getting a divorce could be positive, yet for many of our clients here in the Tenches, it is.  Divorce, Trenches style,represents an opportunity to learn about finances, find out who your friends are, improve communication style and skill, and think deeply about what is important, both now and into the future.  It is an opportunity for growth, if you approach it right.  So, what is it to be  - an Italian dinner or a trip through the drive through?  Here in the Trenches.

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