Even though I haven’t visited the country (yet!) there are so many things I love about Italian language and culture. Those of you who know me well, know that I have a bit of an obsession with the Romance languages; my goal is to be conversational in French, Spanish and Italian in my lifetime. Studying language and culture go hand-in-hand because one influences the other. For example, the Italian expression la dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing) reveals the value placed on a slow, mindful way of living. If a term doesn’t exist in a language, it is likely irrelevant in the culture. And if it’s irrelevant in the culture, there’s no need for a word or expression.

CBC Parents was looking for tips on relationships and family, and I was happy to share my family’s version of la dolce far niente. We are a bunch of homebodies which makes it easy to have a day or evening in, where we’ve said ‘no’ to other commitments and ‘yes’ to just being with each other. But we also have a bustling work/school week; with 3 kids in classes and activities, an entrepreneur husband, and myself wearing numerous hats as a writer and instructor, it’s easy to get to the end of the week and wonder what the heck happened?!

In my article, I shared 3 tips for slowing down moments even if we can’t stretch out an entire day in pyjamas. I think these tips are good reminders for all of us about the simple ways we can take a little breather and fuel ourselves for the busy-ness. It’s nice to have a life full of activities and people we love but we can enjoy them better when we’ve also made space for nothing.

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