As Autumn rolls in, with the first day of September marking her arrival the day has been warmer than promised. We have had a totally lazy day and at five in the evening I have just got out of my jymbies! H looked at me this afternoon as we sat watching old episodes of ‘Four in a Bed’ and uttered the words we always use ‘I should get on really.’ Only this time I looked at him and said ‘Why?’
You see the French try and keep their Sunday’s sacred, that is why it is frowned upon to mow your lawn, or use loud tools after noon on a Sunday (in some areas that applies to all day); but it is not a bad thing because you do not have a constant hum of strimmers, and lawn mowers, and drills and banging whilst people frantically try and fit in all their jobs before they return to the daily grind of more often than not, ten hour or more days, like we used to do in England.
Since living here I have come to understand: it is not the noise it is the fact that not being able to make that noise makes you stop! And then perhaps smell the roses?
But coming from England that is still a hard thing for us to do: just stop. Have a day when you don’t do anything or give yourself a list of jobs to do. Yes I will be cooking a roast dinner today but that is all, no hardship. Yes I am writing this blog, but I love writing; and yes I have done some social media work, but again I don’t find that a hardship and I do try and manage it.
I suppose the coming of the new season and the slow drop in temperature as the day has wore on has made me think; for new people to this blog you will know that I am inspired by Autumn and all she brings and represents: death, closure, the end of something, another chapter gone, and the reminder to cherish the moment becauses suddenly summer is over and autumn is here. She has taught me that without all these things life cannot move forward and change is the only thing of which we are guaranteed; so today got me thinking about how we should just sometimes stop and savour the day; stop always trying to achieve and just go with the flow. And today that is exactly what we did.
Earlier in the year I wrote of how we did not know if we would stay here and I said that life would show us the way. So far it has: Rich’s business has taken off, I have got me back, we have met some lovely people (sadly we have met some more arseholes as well, but those bastards are about wherever you go) and we have learnt our worth. My other blog was a main contributing factor to that: in the way it has just took off, and the responses to it. It made me realise that I should not listen to the n’er do wells in life and trust my own gut instinct because so far it has never let me down; things never worked out when I didn’t listen to my gut, but when I do things come good.
On Thursday I was sent the proof for my book and the front and back cover (which are fabulous). Yes I have to proof read it and should have been doing it today but it is good too take a break when you are looking for any editorial mistakes! Once agreed the book should be available to buy by the end of the month, and I already have people from all over the world waiting to buy it. I will keep you posted.
In addition to that Rich has now been contacted via our website by two clients who have a lot of decorating work and they are now pencilled in for the winter months. That is a first!
But we have also stayed true to our word in that we would know our worth and we will not just take work because we need the money. We always need the money but we agreed that we would not do sub-standard work for people who did not want to pay for prep; and also that we would not work for people who appeared rude, or when alarm bells were ringing about them. We have done that too often since living here and it got us nowhere.
As most of you know I do believe life shows you the way and sends you lessons and in the past two weeks she has sent us a test to see if we were going to be true to our word: life sent us a client who was at times abrupt and rude and who rang all of our alarm bells:
They told us that their regular decorator had been too busy all summer to accomodate them (alarm bell 1, that normally means that the person is difficult to work for and that the decorator turned down the job) then they told us that they would do the prep work prior to painting (alarm bell two because if the prep was not done right then the paint would not adhere properly) then they changed their minds about what they wanted and asked for another price for the job with the work they had originally said they would do included. (Alarm bell three, as they did not seem to know what they wanted so how could we provide it?) Then they asked me for my phone number four times even when it was already on the messages sent, and they had our business card! They said that they did not use the internet even though they messaged me via Messenger and have a Facebook page! They could not understand why the days required to do the job would increase (even though I had to add the additional work that they had said they would do) and on and on and on. Their messages got ruder and more and more blunt and in the end all of my and H’s alarm bells were ringing loudly.
But me (ever the empath) still gave them the benefit of the doubt even when H said he had serious doubts about working for them. I suggested that ‘life will show us the way.’ It did the very same morning! After providing six different estimates accomodating their changes of mind I got home to a message querying something that had already been explained four times. It was both rude, demanding and abrupt, and I thought ‘well life sure showed me!’ I was getting the impression that I was having my time wasted (hence the lack of blogging) and I spoke to H and we both agreed that we would let the job go. So we did; and it felt good. Life will send us what we need, it has proved that to me over and over again.
So on this first day of autumn those are my reflections on life, and what we have learnt so far this year.
I learnt long ago that life is driving the the mini-bus I’m not, and it is only when I don’t listen to what life tells me that things go wrong. I am now listening.
Here are to exciting journey’s ahead.