Museum Memberships, Layoffs, and Tim McGraw

I finally made it over to the d’Orsay this past week, and I did something pretty awesome: I bought an annual membership. For a mere 44 euros, I can now go anytime I want, to see anything in the entire museum, including special exhibits (like the Degas nudes, which is what I saw last week), and I never have to stand in that heinously long two-to-three hour line.  A friend pointed out that now I can go see my favorite painting any time I want, which kind of stopped me in my tracks. My favorite painting?  I’ve never thought about what my favorite painting is; I’m not even sure I have one. I think it’s time to get one (a few, for that matter). Maybe this is it for now:

Despite the fact that I just admitted to not having a favorite painting, somehow I knew that my life in Paris would need to include being able to randomly drop in on some of the world’s greatest art. (I’m getting a Louvre membership, too.)  This seems like the perfect way to chip away at as much of the Louvre and the d’Orsay as I can: an hour at a time, a few times a week, without the stress of trying to see all of it on a 7-day vacation. I had no idea before I bought it how happy this privilege would make me, but it does.

That same day I got my d’Orsay membership, I was sitting on my bed later, fondling the shiny piece of paper that explained all my member benefits when I got a text from a friend I used to work with. She’d been laid off; almost everyone I worked with had been laid off. There’s a good chance that the entire site/company will go away in a couple of months and it all made me incredibly sad. For the people who went to work that day – people who were a big part of my life for a long time – thinking that everything was peachy keen, but went home that day without a job. Mainly, it was a reminder that pretty much nothing is in our control. That’s a pretty uncomfortable thought for someone who was recently told that she might be a tiny bit of a control freak. (Who, me?)

Just about the time that I started to plot out my next day’s activities in a tabbed Excel spreadsheet (see: last sentence in previous paragraph), iTunes shuffle surprised me with an old Tim McGraw song, “Live Like You Were Dying.”* That’s why I love Shuffle; sometimes it manages to dole out exactly the song you need to hear.  Which is to say: we should all get our museum passes, find our favorite paintings, go skydiving, or do whatever it is that makes us happy, while we still can.

Here’s the song over at YouTube. I hope that white-shirt-against-a-white-background-with-no-shoes look makes Tim McGraw happy.

* You’re allowed to give me shit for having country in my iTunes library for about 5 seconds. Okay, time’s up.

PS: Just so we’re all clear, I don’t have cancer (knock on wood), as sharing a song with this title might imply. Thank you for caring enough to wonder, though.