I have escaped to a mid summer retreat in Paris! I can't think of a more heavenly place to spend time with a group of women who want to make a difference in the world, create and collaborate and think about their "legacy" every day.
I was sitting in the United lounge waiting for time to pass before flight. I scanned the room, as I so often will, and was once again faced with a room full of people --connected. Connected to their iPhones, connected to their laptops, connected to their headsets. I began to wonder what it would be like in this day and age if we didn't have all of these devices and people were actually connecting with one another. What conversations could happen? What could we create together? How would our world be different? I pondered this as I boarded my plane and settled into my seat. A nice looking gentleman approached and it was clear his seat was next to mine. "Hello" he politely nodded, "I'm checking out both seats to decide which one my wife would like." Knowing my husband would have offered to trade seats, I thought of his kindness and offered to do so. The couple was most appreciative and I moved forward to my new position. As I sat down next to an attractive woman with welcoming eyes, and exchanged pleasantries, it was clear she was open to conversation. OK Jane, time to take a page from your own book here...So...I engaged. Turns out she lives in the community where my brother lives. She had spent the evening before at a winery in St. Helena right across the vineyard from our new home. She has two children close in age to mine and we share the same joys and struggles that women our age deal with every day.
She shared her love of Paris with me and "confessed" that she and her husband had recently purchased a small apartment on Rue du Fauberg -St Honore. Yep-basically shopping nirvana- across the street from one of my faves...Le Bristol Paris. She invited me over. That day. I had to wait to check into my hotel room anyway. So I dropped off my luggage and headed to her beautiful apartment! she took me to her favorite blow dry bar, Biguine for the best hairdo of my life. (Ask for Didier) We shared a walk in her neighborhood, grabbed some groceries for her and enjoyed a salad at her favorite local bistrot. I made a new friend. I was certainly not looking for one. But I was open. Open to connecting. Open to looking up. I look forward to seeing Simi again at home, and in Paris. So the next time you find yourself looking down and being connected to your phone, I encourage you to look up. Connect outward and be amazed at what the world sends your way.