I have been meaning to write some blogs for all of last week. It is likely that I will be going back to work soon and I want a series that will post if the internet is not available to me. But life took over (as it always does). But here goes……
As I said in my previous post Recouping….and making plans we are still decided to leave France. Change, especially a change so great is still not easy, despite having the courage to do it once before. But one of the main things we have learned from this adventure is that ‘life does show you the way.’
Since living here I/we have read the Tao, and now understand some of the anomaly of life. This adventure has given us the space and the necessity to look at life in a different way, which enabled us to understand the teachings of the Tao in that life is like water: You cannot hold on to it and control it no matter how much you think you can. But if you go with the flow of what life shows you then you can become strong, then you can achieve anything, providing it is what you need, not what you think you need.
So with that in mind we were talking about moving to Ireland. The UK is not for us, with it’s politics, anger and lack of equality. It’s funny how now I can feel that underlying greed in some places I go. So it’s not an option. As we talked I asked RD if he really wanted to give up this house, our views and the tranquility it provided. If he really wanted to leave France. The little demon of doubt kicked in and he said he didn’t know. It showed me that for me the way was now clear, but for RD that fear of change was still there.
The next day I sat us in the morning sunshine with a cup of tea and two pads and pens. On each pad I had made two columns which I had headed ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’.
Now I know that hate is a strong word to use, but that is how I feel about some of this adventure now, not so much the actual thing itself, but impact from the actual thing; and I knew that RD felt the same. So I asked him to write, without thinking, what immediately came into his head for each column and I would do the same, and we would then compare the columns. I also knew that it would help to clear the mind, from writing my journal all these years I know that writing it down takes doubts voice, the little chatty one in your brain, away.
The objective was to then compare what we had written to enable us to see if we were on the same page, and to also enable us to compare what we did and didn’t want to take forward in our new life.
We both wrote that we ‘hate’ the bureaucracy, that we both hate the fact that we cannot simply speak the language (trust me I have tried but it drives you nuts sometimes). Interestingly (or not) we both put the ex-pats in this area as top of the list. We both put that we disliked the intensely hot weather, which has got hotter in the five years since we lived here due to global warming. We added the banks, and the corruption that goes hand in hand with them, that everything just shuts down, nothing stays open into the evening, or Sundays, or bank holidays.
We fell in love with France for the tranquility and laid back way of life. We still love that, but only in small doses, not for all of our life.
So I suppose you could say that we have learned a lot about what we actually want from life from doing this adventure!
Moving on to the ‘Love’ list without a doubt we both love the view.
We also love the weather. weirdly enough, when it is not too hot. We love the definition of the seasons, and of course we love our wonderful French friends and neighbours.
We love the peace and tranquility. But we have learned as our life has carved out it’s way for us that for us that is not enough.
We want to be able to work, preferably in the same country and coming home each night! We want to be able to walk into a shop and just talk to someone, or pick up the phone and resolve a problem. If you saw the mountain of paperwork I am about to work through over the next two days you would understand.
It was an eye-opening exercise, especially for RD, as he could then clearly see what he did and did not want from the future. In fact he listened to my list and started to say ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ All the time adding some of what I had written to his list.
But most of all it enabled us to see that all of the important things to us from the ‘Love’ list are available to us in Ireland: as are most of the things on the hate list overcome if we move to Ireland. Views, tranquility, peace, easy going people, being able to speak the language, not having to deal with ex-pats. It wouldn’t get too hot in the summer either (although an ex-pat who has never been to Ireland did tell me how it rains ALL the time! Who am I ,whose father was Irish and has visited many times, to argue?!)
Yes some things will be more expensive, but where there is good there is always bad, as the Tao says: There has to be.
RD’s column, and mine can be seen in their entirety below. You never know it may help some people clear their minds. Trust me it works.
So last week we had three estate agents come round to value the house. More of that and our decision making in the next post…….