To say that I have taken a break from this blog would be an understatement – but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting idly by. Anyone that knows me understands that my motto is “A full life is a well-lived life.” That’s not to say that taking a break isn’t a good thing – lord knows it is a necessity!
In the last year I’ve traveled to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Montreal, Maine, Crested Butte, Rhinebeck, Phoenix, and D.C. Some of those trips were to visit friends, others were to attend an event, and then there were the rest and relaxation voyages. It was a year of reconnecting with college friends and diving deep into meditation with Tara Brach; it was a year of exploring new places and returning to a few old ones; and it was a year of connecting with others on a massive scale at the Women’s March in D.C. Given this amount of travel, there’s plenty to write about here. (Here are just a few photos from these travels.)
One activity that has taken up a great deal of my limited spare time is studying French. In college, I studied it all four years and grew to love everything about France. But studying a language in college with nothing more does not make one fluent (or even conversant). Two things inspired me to pick up studying French again in August 2016. (1) When the bombs went off in Nice it tore out a piece of my heart. Having visited this beautiful city the previous year, I felt scared, grateful, and angry. But it also made me think about the fragility and shortness of our lives – even if we are afforded a long one, it passes quickly by. (2) A friend of mine studies Italian through a private tutor and has a seriously busy schedule. But she loves Italian and makes time for it in her life. Seeing her leave a meeting to take a call from her tutor made me realize that, with today’s technology, you didn’t need to travel across town or fumble around with software to learn a language.
When I considered these two things together, I concluded that I would not continue putting off studying French. Life is short – take action! Also, if you have a passion in your life, then follow it – if you are really passionate about it you’ll make time for it.
Over the last 18 months my skills have increased (although I sometimes feel like I’m regressing) through private lessons over Skype. At this point, I feel like an immersion program would benefit my speaking ability (and then there’s the whole I’m going to France part). Finding a good program was tricky, but I finally landed on one in Aix-en-Provence where I’ll live with my teacher who will private hours of private lessons, share two meals a day, and take excursions both local and outside of Aix to practice French “outside of the classroom.” At the end of the immersion program, I’ll take a train to Paris where I’ll meet up with some friends and my husband. Paris in May should be spectacular. Having visited most of the monuments in past trips, my goal is to dig into the neighborhoods and explore.
While I wish I could say that I could commit to more frequent blog posts (of course, more than once a year isn’t saying much), life gets by us so quickly leaving little time for these things. But, we’ll spend time on the things that matter the most – and if we aren’t, it’s time to take a step back and figure out why. Lord knows it’s easy to get sucked into instagram, binge-watching tv shows, running errands, or just simply shopping (online or in the store). Having mindfulness about it is a beginning and not to be underestimated.
À bientôt! (hopefully not too long from now)