Do what you have always wanted to do and everything falls into place. Pursuing your own happiness, accomplishing the things that actually make you happy and not what you think should make you happy, could be the answer.
Instead of making the same resolutions as New Years past, to lose 10 pounds, drink less, and stop yelling at the kids, why not try a new approach to a successful year!
NEW LIFE PLAN SOUTH FRANCE
#1 DRINK MORE WINE
It is hard not to absorb some knowledge of wine in France. Experts at every table, the art of being a lush holds value, one I would love to refine. More wine at our table please, with the understanding that it is for science, a greater wisdom, as we try to develop our palette. A lady from my choir holds a masters degree in Wine. I didn’t even know that existed. Viva la France!
#2 EAT MORE CHEESE
Cheese is a food group in France, and with 420 different varieties, it could take a lifetime to try them all. Learning about cheese: which kind is used in different cuisine, what the different processes are to make them, and adopting the custom of sampling after dinner before desert, are on my ‘must do’ list. Instead of reducing dairy intake, I plan to increase!
With only one hard-to-park vehicle in France, we choose to walk as often as possible. Each day we shop for our food, with one basket, we make our way to the market. The elementary school is a 5-minute walk, and in the new house it will be a 15 minute walk, a very doable resolution.
We also walk hours each day for leisure as well as necessity. A lifestyle from a different generation makes for good health and a trim waistline.
Well with all that wine drinking and cheese eating going on!
Perry, our new baby budgie, has green feathers, a yellow head and a blue tail. Hand training the bird is a lesson in patience, and I struggle to master it. With my family’s support, we are determined to teach Perry to talk. Each day we talk through the cage, getting him used to our presence and the sound of our noisy family. I slowly put my hand in his cage for 5 minutes at a time to get him used to the idea of me being near him. Then slowly he should eat from my hand, then perch on it, and eventually we can take him from his cage. We repeat the same words; beautiful boy, pretty Perry, I love you. When no other noises are around is the best. We close his cage off on 3 sides to make him feel safe. It is a long process. Determination and love is the key to teaching our new family member.
French is a beautiful language that a lot of English words are stolen from, making learning easier than imagined. Alfonz and I use CD’s from Michel Tomas. Also a book called Boney French, written by Roger Souffrant, on how to say almost anything you want in 85% accurate French in an afternoon and evening. We don’t want to become French scholars, just able to hold a conversation. If we wanted to speak grammatically correct French we would have gone to university for it.
I have made a list of the next 10 trips planned for 2012. ‘Explore’ for our family is vital for happiness. Less money to live on, more time together to adventure around the region as a family, showing the kids the world, hands on. Children don’t want or need every toy that comes out, they want our time and giving them time and experiences help them grow better than the latest greatest from Toys R Us!
Learn to ride a motorbike has been on my to do list for years. Most likely I will end up on a moped, which is fine by me. Still I want to know the basics of riding a motorbike especially with my kid’s interest in it. I can learn along side of them.
#8 START AND COMPLETE SOMETHING NEW
Finishing what you start seems simple. Tying up loose ends, not letting unfinished tasks nag at you is an easy way to feel accomplished and find happiness. No sense wasting time wishing you did it, just do it. For me to start and complete my TESOL training to become an English tutor in France is the top of my must do list.
#9 FINISH WHAT YOU ALREADY STARTED
The website we started last summer was a huge undertaking, one designed as a tool to write down our adventure. It was always intended as a book. Now the task of writing out the manuscript is a big job, one that I am both proud and excited to finish. After completion, not sure what the plan is. Finishing the 80,000 words for me is the immediate task at hand.
Learn to cook French Cuisine is more a treat than a chore. I cook each day for my lovely family anyways. Why not master the foods of our regions and learn a few more skills?
Mastering new skills keep us happy. When we engage our mind and make a list of the things you truly want to do, reminds us in a positive way what we can accomplish in the year to come. Instead of a list of failures we have had in the last year, maybe yours include stop smoking, stop spending, or stop eating, I wanted to focus on positive goals.
With a busy year ahead, I look forward to new achievements, new friends and new adventures. We continue pursuing happiness!
Let the French Adventure Begin! The Next Chapter
Last Year’s Resolutions:
Drink more wine √
I encourage people to learn about what they are drinking. It really is a science, and slowly I absorb some of the new culture around me.
Eat More Cheese √
I have tried close to a hundred new cheeses this year
I try to walk whenever possible but have also taken to riding my bike keeping to a healthy lifestyle
Sadly our bird Perry died, so I did not have the chance to teach him to talk. His female partner is not capable, I think she’s retarded.
Our French is coming along, still a long way to go, but the kids are doing well. The idea I had that I needed a TESOL education to teach here is not totally true. If you are a native English speaker you can easily find work as a tutor. But I did my accreditation nevertheless!
We did not get to all the places on our list, but that is ok. We had a crazy busy first year.
I will not be learning to ride a motorbike; instead I have managed after 7 years to get on the back of Alfonz’s bike again. Once we are more settled I want a moped.
Start & Complete Something New √
There is a need for ESL classes in our area and I have started a few classes to teach conversational English to children through song and play. I am brand new to teaching but find it very rewarding. I also have an adult hour where people join conversation. It usually starts off in French and then ends in English. I learn more from this group than any other method of learning French so far.
Finish what you have Started √
I have completed the rough draft of our narrative book based on our adventure blog. 267 pages are ready for the third edit. Come spring it should be ready for self-publishing on Amazon.
I have enjoyed learning French cuisine. More to follow I am certain!