I know I'm behind, so with inflation rates what they are, this is actually more like my .3 of a cent, but I wanted to add it none the less:
I can't believe how much I am enjoying this book! I just finished the Italy section, and am a few pages into India. While there were several things that stood out to me, the whole "pleasure is a lost art to Americans" thing stuck with me, and I have been thinking about it a lot. I have been on a quest, of sorts, this year to get to know myself, and to become more content, so maybe that's why I felt especially taken with this idea. It got me wondering what I like. What gives me pleasure? What brings me joy? And how can I derive happiness from the things I am already doing? Most days I think I just fulfill my responsibilities with a sense of duty and don't allow time to enjoy anything. I am so wrapped-up in the accomplishing of tasks, that (it pains me to admit) I go mindlessly about my day (Rozel, your comments on this subject put my thoughts into words perfectly). I am usually cross with my children, and for no specific reason. I am getting on my nerves. I am ready for a change. But how? I announced to my husband that I will be taking at least a month off to travel to Italy. That is the only solution I can think of.
Okay, and this is just a little random piece of personal info: I have also been pondering the author's declaration that having a child because you are afraid of future regret is NOT a good reason to have a child. I know I probably shouldn't base my life on something Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, but for Heaven's sake, it is like she knew exactly what I was thinking. So does that make it an answer to MY prayers? It sure would be helpful if it were. Mysterious ways and all that...?