I’ve had this post in my mind ever since we moved because it’s about how we look at life and ultimately how we came to go on another adventure. It’s not a post for those who want to ‘stay safe’ and thereby close their minds and talk themselves out of opportunity; it’s a post for those who are feeling restless, feel a strong urge to make change, or to just change the way they view things.
There are so many things that happened that got us to where we are today I will break them down into a series of posts. I hope they get some of you thinking. So here goes..
The biggest change to RD and I since embarking on our adventures has been the way we think. I have said for many years that ‘life will show us the way’, but our adventure in France made us see that it really did, if we listened.
When we arrived in France in the first year we were there our Jeep broke down numerous times. No matter how many times we had it repaired something else went wrong with it. But still we persisted because we had paid over the odds for it, we liked it and we didn’t want to acknowledge that we had been ‘had’ and it was a heap of shit. Life was telling us to let it go, and each time something went wrong it was a problem that was worse than the one before. It took us two years and the wheel falling off it as RD was driving (luckily slowly at that moment in time) for us to realise that life was telling us to let it go! But that was not the end of the lessons.
Before we moved RD bought a flatbed truck, it was only six years old, but within the first eighteen months the engine blew up!
When we first moved into our house we turned the water on and it poured through the ceiling from the shower, we also discovered as winter drew in that the heating didn’t work. In the first year I wrote often of the cold, but we persevered because we had made our decision and we HAD to make it work. Or so we thought.
I did write a Post about our adventures a year in, reading it now made me smile because we had so much more to learn.
In the March of 2016 after only seven months of living in our house, the roof blew off our kitchen. It was at that point, as RD stood at our old knackered door, where the water seeped through when the rain lashed down, that he looked out and his subconscious said out loud ‘Here we are, living the dream!’
By 2016 I had also started to read the book ‘Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life’ the book of Tao. It helped me to keep going because I understood that where there is bad there is good, and it enabled us to keep going because there was good, in the shape of our beautiful old house, and our surroundings; add to that our love for each other and son and our animals.
I remember now talking RD round, out of this mindset, but when looking back I can see that it was ‘life’ trying to get us to question what we had done. I even painted and tried to renovate our old door, it looked fab, but it still leaked and we still weren’t getting it!
In my old post I wrote with hope that we were just waiting for the insurance company to pay for the replacement roof, which of course they never did. It was one of our lessons about France don’t trust the insurance companies . Over the years we would come to add the un-regulated, at times corrupt, banking system to a long list of what wasn’t right for us. No wonder French people protest!
We had tarpaulins on our roof for nearly three years. When it rained, and trust me when it rained it blew across the open countryside and hammered our lovely house on the hill, we had bowls all over the kitchen catching the water. But still we carried on.
We learned from it all, we learned patience, and that sometimes things we think are catastrophic are not, you survive.
Work was difficult, we were starting to realise that the English people that we had to interact with were pretty awful (I’m being polite) in fact that was a continuous lesson right up to the day we left France, and continues now and we live in Ireland!
In the September of 2016 a tornado ripped through our garden demolishing everything in its path. But we persevered, we held on to what I thought was ‘hope’ when in fact it was the fear of letting go of what was not a dream. In fact ‘life’ was telling us it wasn’t the right path for us, but we had been conditioned to keep going because we had chosen that path. We understand now that you don’t have to keep going, you have to learn to listen, to reflect and to have the courage to ask yourself ‘Is this really what I want?’
But we didn’t listen to the messages life was sending us, and so they got worse and in 2017 our well ran dry. We had no water, nada, none, and again RD’s subconscious tried to get him to listen and he went down. Our wonderful French friends came to the rescue again and we had water via Marc’s supply until we could find the funds to have water connected. At nearly three thousand euros that was no mean feat, and we lived like that with a pipe running across to Marc’s house for eighteen months.
But again we survived, the adventure in France taught us a lesson about ourselves, and how resilient we are, as we showered each other for over eleven days using a watering can.
It was in 2018 that we started to read ‘The Book of Awakening’ by Mark Nepo, we would read it together and consider each lesson. We are still reading it today, and it taught us one of the biggest lessons: Let Go.
We had a fabulous summer of 2018, I remember laying on a lilo in our pool in the baking sun and thinking ‘I am in my garden’. I understand now that summer happened to enable us to love what we had, before things started to change and we became enlightened in that it was time to consider change.
We thought at that time that things were getting better, but in fact all our plans fell through and by the December I was starting to understand that life really was trying to tell us something.
By January of 2019 we found ourselves with no work and no funds, chopping up fallen logs in the garden to try and heat the house after RD wasn’t paid for a job he had done (a common thing in that area of France, sadly, where English clients were concerned). Our new roof had leaked, and one night just as we went to bed I asked RD if he thought staying in France was the right thing to do and he answered honestly ‘I don’t know.’ Then he promptly started to snore as I lay awake in the darkness contemplating our life and our future. I was afraid, but I also realised that what I was actually afraid of was letting go, and so we finally started to listen….
More to come