Young Men in Leather & the Meaning of Life


in Happiness,Personal Growth

The doors popped open with a quiet swish. Five young men bubbled through the opening and found their seats, their laughter brightening a hot afternoon.

In crisp white shirts and brown leather pants, they swapped jokes and then toasted each other with bottles of beer. Lots of bottles of beer. Clearly, they were celebrating something. Or, maybe nothing at all. They were definitely enjoying the moment.

Did I mention we were on a train? That the brown leather pants were lederhosen?

Where I live, the behavior of these young men would have resulted in passengers furtively pulling out their cell phones and calling the authorities. The men would then likely have been ejected from the train and received some form of punishment for violating “open container” laws.

But not here.

Welcome to Bavaria.

I love visiting Bavaria for many reasons – not the least of which is the chance to connect with family over delicious food and wine while enjoying the stunning blues and greens to be found at the foot of the Alps.

Most of all, I enjoy observing and participating in the celebration of almost everything.

Birthdays, baptisms, the arrival of a season, the actions of a Saint, the unexpected blessing of a beautiful afternoon, a successful shopping trip. You name it. If it has meaning or brings pleasure, it will be celebrated.

With a festival. With a party. With a piece of pastry. With a bottle of beer.

It doesn’t really matter what so long as the occasion is captured.

The funny thing is, time seems to expand to accommodate these celebrations. No one seems too busy or hurried or frazzled to take part.

Perhaps this approach is the result of years of positive reinforcement permeating the very language spoken here. During the course of a day, I often hear the following phrases:

  • Allow things to go well for you.
  • Make yourself comfortable.
  • Savor the moment.
  • Let yourself take the time.

What might possibly happen if we incorporated these sentiments into our lives? Affirmed that we do have the time to enjoy the small things as well as the big things that happen in our lives? Acknowledged that it would do us good to get comfortable and take a break from the frenetic activity that makes up our normal days?

In the past few weeks, I have done as I always do when I am in Bavaria:  I have taken these sentiments to heart. Time seems to have stretched like sticky taffy on a hot day. I have gotten comfortable and enjoyed myself. I have celebrated daily. I have been present for what is.

And, that has been wonderfully, enough.

Celebrate. Enjoy. Savor.

When you really think about it, isn’t that what life is all about?

What will you celebrate today?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronna September 19, 2011 at

I LOVE this, Andrea. Love that you’re in a place that allows and invites this – for YOU! Love that you allow and invite this interpersonally and professionally as a matter of course. And love that it won’t be long before you are back here and we’re celebrating in person…sans leather pants.
Ronna recently posted..The answers to life’s biggest questions are just a phone call away.


Andrea Olson September 19, 2011 at

It is definitely good to be reminded of all the great things life has to offer! Can’t wait to celebrate, savor, and enjoy with you. :)


Jackie Walker September 19, 2011 at

Isn’t it glorious when you hear and see others celebrating, it just fills you up with the same kind of feeling! But to get to join in is even better, maybe you can take some of the sentiments and spirit home with you and start a trend?

And today I celebrated achieving my daily goal by 8.30am!! Your post came swiftly after that and made me smile :)
Jackie Walker recently posted..Dying to be happier, or just taking your time about it?


Andrea Olson September 19, 2011 at

I’m all in favor of starting a trend! Join me?? :) Thanks, Jackie!


Sheila September 23, 2011 at

“Allow things to go well for you. Make yourself comfortable. Savor the moment. Let yourself take the time.” I love these! I think it’s a good idea for everyone to spend some time in Bavaria to be able to appreciate taking the time to do things… Thanks for sharing a part of Bavaria with us.
Sheila recently posted..CNA Courses


Andrea Olson September 24, 2011 at

I am so glad you liked these phrases, Sheila! They certainly are perspective-shifting, aren’t they? Thanks for commenting!


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