I cannot believe that we are at the 18th of January 2017 already! The time is flying by and I have let me readers down because I have not posted this year at all! But, in all honesty, I don’t know where to begin, I have so many things to blog about.
So I have decided that I am going to start with my reflections on the last year, what it brought to me (The Tao), what it taught me (live in the moment) and what I am taking forward to next year. With some other things beside. As always I hope that some of my readers can relate to what I write, and that it will help others reflect on their situation. I know that it won’t be all of my readers because it is common knowledge that human beings find it very difficult to reflect and, in some cases, there are people who cannot (or will not) consider reflection at all. But let’s hope this year is the year that changes some peoples minds.
I have always been a hard task master on myself, setting high targets, and some have been impossible to achieve at times. Last year I wrote my aims for 2016 in my dairy, (aims: To have the intention of achieving; a desired outcome.) They included:
- Learn to speak French
- Roof the barn
- Point the barn
- Be speaking to, and get to know, our neighbours
- Chop down the pine trees in the garden
- Set up raised beds and have vegetable plot up and running
- Have €2000 in the bank as a contingency
I looked at some of these and thought why? Why did I set myself aims, which by itself means that I may fail? Looking at some of these what did I think?
So what did I achieve? Here is a reflection on my aims:
To learn to speak French. Really!! It has taken me all my life to learn to speak English, and even then there are certain dialects that I do not understand (even in Eastenders sometimes, I have to get Rich to translate things like “lillies!!” – translation can be given as requested!)
It is interesting the language we use, I used a definitive, made it that it was something that will be done, when it won’t. It will evolve over time, learning to speak French will be a lifelong thing.
However I have moved this forward, attended French classes, and now the French class takes place in my home; and, yes I can speak more French that I used to, can actually pick up the phone sometimes (as in the appointment with the Dentist) without fear, and I am moving forward all the time. I have also come to realise that our little French rescue cat loves me speaking to her in French, and although we have had our ups and downs (because she is mad) she now loves her mummy to bits and follows me everywhere, because I practice my French and talk to her
This will be an ongoing hope, that I will be able to converse relatively easy with the people whose country they have kindly allowed me to live in.
Roof the barn and point the barn? This was a pipe dream, we were,and are, miles away from getting this done. Like a said I am a hard task master and one of the things I will be taking forward this year, is to get real!!
Be speaking to and get to know our neighbours. This was a roaring success, we have met them and spent time with one of one of our neighbours. The others? Well I am not sure that they are happy that “les Anglais” live here. I think that where we live is considered quite exclusive and then we arrived! But we are friends with Marc and Nadia, and their friends Martine and Michelle, and I am sure that out other neighbours will mellow in the end. They do always say “Bonjour”
Chop down the pine trees, this was done and completed, Den and Rich worked hard to get that done. There are two left to do, but other things took over. (This was on Rich’s list and the boy did good.)
Our vegetable plot, well please read “Oh no it’s gone Pete Tong” because this was a bit of a disaster. Although it does transpire that the fluke cold weather at the beginning of the summer affected most people and I was not alone.
But I am undeterred and we will be working on our veggie plot over the next few weeks, and using some of the wonderful compost I have cultivated. – Even though build a compost heap was not on my list.
Have £2000 in bank for a contingency. I can say no more than over ambitious!!
But what have we achieved? Numerous things that were not on the list, including decorating the toilet, decorating our bedroom, shabby chic’ing loads of furniture to the max, renovating all of our windows at the front of the house, putting new doors on the barn and securing it, replaced our hot water tank (another story in itself), put a log burner in and ensured that the chimney was sealed so we did not get any more drafts (this was on Rich’s list) and sorted out some of our really dodgy electrics (this was also on Rich’s list.)
But for me starting to read and understand the Tao was one of the biggest things and this has influenced how I live my life in many ways. I have said for a long time that I don’t care what people think, and I can see that for quite some time I have been moving towards Taoism without even knowing it. One of the things that it says is “do not explain yourself” or in another way do not let others live your life by worrying what they think.
We have also reviewed people we have met and work we have carried out, decided to back off from Facebook a bit, and realised that there are an awful lot of people out here who get on our tits, and some who are a joy to know. Ce la vie!
So this year I have hopes, things that I would like to have done by the time the year comes to an end. I have started already and I will share all about it with you in another blog.
Look out there is much more to come.