Life is a Series of Champagne Moments
September 15th, 2019 | Laurie Hawkins
I am just returning from getting my daughter started on the next chapter in her life journey. She has moved overseas to attend Teachers College in Wales, UK. We had the chance to explore her new city together and to share in creating some of our own amazing memories. Shoes and Shampagne (shouldn’t they be spelt the same?)! Or choes and champagne? Either way, we didn’t find it difficult to connect with these integral parts of the culture there.
I read the quote “life is a series of champagne moments”, while we were visiting. It made me pause to think about the reality of that statement. My daughter, Coco, had said the how funny it was that only a few short years ago, you would have never seen me sipping on a glass of the bubbly. Why is that? As I approached fifty, I found myself in the cliché of focusing on building my business and raising my children. I had lost myself in many ways and really didn’t take the time to focus on self-care or fun! Yes, I said it…I had left fun behind somewhere. This fifty-thing helped me to pause and recognize this and make a decision to change the trajectory of where I was going. It was time to build fun back in. I was also struggling with some strange health issues and so I was being very conscious of what went in my body. I had become “exclusive” and focused more on what I couldn’t have than building a positive relationship with what I could have. Enter an article on champagne and I decided that it would be my new drink of choice (sparkling wine, prosecco…anything with bubbles).
Link the desire to have more fun with choosing bubbly as my new drink and I chose to pause once a month, by a body of water, with a glass of bubbly in hand. It surprised me how much fun we came to have with this simple new event. We started creating moments around when and where we would have our newest experience. It really showed me the importance of being more present, slowing down and being on purpose with fun. What does any of this have to do with business you might ask…another example of how when your soul is full, you are more effective in your business. I consider fun a necessary element in building a successful business. As I continued to reflect on life being a series of champagne moments, I came up with a list of amazing connections to these moments:
Let Things Happen by Happy Accident
Effervescence. It makes Coca-Cola tap dance on your tongue and champagne look regal in a flute. But at least in champagne’s case, the bubbles were a total accident brought about in the late 1400s when temperatures across Europe dropped so low that both the Thames River and canals of Venice froze.
The monks of the Abbey of Hautvillers in Champagne, where high-altitude made it possible to grow top quality grapes, were already hard at work creating reds and whites. The cold temporarily halted fermentation, the process by which wine is made. When spring arrived with warmer temperatures, the budding spirits began to ferment again. This produced an excess of carbon dioxide inside wine bottles, giving the liquid inside a fizzy quality.
In 1668, the Catholic Church called upon a monk by the name of Dom Pérignon to finally control the situation. The rebellious wine was so fizzy that bottles kept exploding in the cellar, and Dom Pérignon was tasked with staving off a second round of fermentation.
In time, however, tastes changed, starting with the Royal Court at Versailles. By the end of the 17th century, Dom Pérignon was asked to reverse everything he was doing and focus on making champagne even bubblier.
How bubbly? A glass of champagne pops hundreds of bubbles a second, and with an important function: They release the aroma of the grapes before we even take a sip. They do also look incredible in a champagne flute. It’s fascinating to know that if not for the whims of the Royal Court, we’d be celebrating New Year’s with flat Coke potentially.
What a happy accident. What can you allow to happen by accident that will bring you more joy? These are champagne moments.
Nurture Your Curiosity
In this busy world of doing and information, there is little time for wonder and curiosity. When you visit a new city, read a new book, explore a new culture; you are put in a position of natural curiosity. What was it like back in the 1400’s when the Romans were in these baths that I am looking at right now? What do the people living here do in their spare time? How… you get the idea. When we step into wonder and curiosity, it’s sparks our happy neurons. These are champagne moments.
Engage in New & Loved Activities
Doing something new brings a natural rush. My favourite experience on this trip was a water taxi that took you from the city centre to the bay. Simple but it was a different view of the city and of course, on the water for me is always amazing.
It’s easier to do new things when you are travelling but I also pause to realize there are so many things in my own backyard that I haven’t even explored. Another thought is doing something you “used to love to do”. I was telling my daughter that we were entering a new phase of our lives with the kids getting older. She asked me what I loved to do before kids, and could I engage in one of those activities again. What an incredible thought…tennis courts here we come. What is something new or old that you could build into your life? These are champagne moments.
Expand Your Learning
I love to read and learn new things and I have come to realize it is part of my DNA that doesn’t exist for everyone. I was reminded on this trip that even though I focus on learning, I am very consistent in my approach to it. Auto pilot is a much easier state to live in. I read the same magazines, am attracted to the same kind of business books on specific topics. So, I decided to research why bubbles make people happy…champagne bubbles, blowing bubbles, bath bubbles. It was quite fascinating really. Just that “out of the norm” research shifted something for me. How can you shift to expand your learning? These are champagne moments.
Connect with New People
Opening a bottle of champagne relieves pressure, on the bottle and the person enjoying it ?. Those bubbles that mark life’s celebrations are mood-altering. Nobody can resist the bubbles charms. Food tastes better when we’re happy, and bubbles make us happy.
What I have found interesting is the social connection of bubbly. You can’t open a bottle of it without wanting to share it with the people around you – or them wanting you to share it. Bubbles truly build connection. As we wandered through Wales, we found new moments of connection with others as we experienced unique bubbles along the way. These are champagne moments.
Reflection: How can you build more champagne moments into your life? What difference can you envision when you learn to celebrate these moments? How much more fun is possible? What results will you achieve?