Word of the Day:Insouciance

Fresh flowers are part of chic

I am a "word nerd". This morning, when I awoke, I was pondering the concept of "chic". I have
been following Fiona Ferris's Thirty Chic Days for ten days and my early morning contemplation, over my bowl of fresh strawberries and my cup of café au lait, led me to the word "insouciance" literally "the quality of being without worries."

Learning and practising a language is always chic. Some of my Sorbonne classes were held at Reid Hall where Jacqueline
Bouvier and Susan Sontag also studied.

Chic women do not worry. Their clothes are appropriately chosen and suitably maintained.  Their small closets are organized. No worries! Their home, whatever size it may be is clean and a vase of fresh flowers sits on top of the dining table. A fresh salad, daily walk and bit of time for contemplation... A life characterized by insouciance!

If I owned these shoes (from a shop in Place des Vosges) I would fly about the streets.

That's an oversimplification but....if we have conquered worry, our being is freed up for so many
other activities. We can smile and be gracious just because.. Worriers are always thinking about themselves and the possibility of disaster. Most of us will experience loss, disappointment and sadness in our lives.  Our bodies and our minds will alter. Most certainly, we will die and those we love will leave us.  But most of us will survive a missed bus or even a missed plane, an awkward moment, or a small financial setback. At my age, I know these things to be true.

There is so much around us to enjoy:even nature in Paris.

Okay, back to my original thought. Why is it easier for me to be insouciant when I am away from home? It's not just France but I'm equally worry-free in Mexico. First, I usually live in a smaller apartment and have someone who cleans once a week. Several apartments that I have rented have been supplied with books and music that I have enjoyed. In Oaxaca, I volunteer at a library so I have a source of free books. I don't drive when I am away from home.  I am by nature a flâneuse so walking to do my errands is not a hardship. Seafood, chicken and vegetables are my favourite foods so I eat them. I skype Maman each day and Darling Daughter e-mails when she needs to communicate.  Monsieur and I e-mail but we both benefit from alone and autonomous time.

fresh seafood in Paris

Why oh why is worry part of my life at home? No situation in my life can be improved by worry.
Worry impedes action and is decidedly  unchic. Worry causes stress which causes ill-health. From
a religious perspective, worry implies a lack of faith. In conclusion, for my next 20 days of chic, I will try to let go of worry, anxiety, apprehension, second guessing....in favour of true Gallic insouciance.


  1. OMG those shoes; they are wonderful! Thank you for a thoughtful post and although I don't seem to worry so much at this stage in my life, it has consumed me in the past. You are a wonderful educator.

  2. Aren't the shoes great! I resisted but they were so pretty. I think that perhaps as we get older, we often get more perspective.

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