Sunday, December 24, 2017

Dreaming of France -- Living in the Now

I know you've done it, we've all done it. That excuse that we make to ourselves that tomorrow, next week, next year, things will be different. We'll stop worrying about that deadline and enjoy life. Things will be less hectic -- we pledge, but that's not true.
 That's become especially apparent to me as I have ticked off the deadlines in our plans to move to France.
 First was the preparing our house for sale -- painting all those rooms, clearing out clutter, staging it just right. Once the house was ready, we'd be able to relax.
But that wasn't true. Having the house on the market was another time period that became harried. We'd clean every day and especially flawless for showings.

Once the house was in contract, we convinced ourselves, we could slow down and relax. But the schedule of inspectors and negotiations kept us busy as we continued to clear out the house.
 Once we close on the house, things will be so much more laidback, we promised each other, but we closed on the house and watched a big check deposited into our account, and we scurried like squirrels before a big winter snow to prepare, skipping sleep and meals as each box was emptied from the house, each piece of furniture carried out and donated or given to our children.

At least when we're out of the house, things should be so peaceful. We'll have no house to take care of. We pictured evenings chatting with friends over big glasses of wine. But with the final thud of our back door, the visitations began.
Our social schedule filled up,

 and at the same time, I needed to catch up on grading. As soon as these papers are graded, I'd be on easy street.
I had one week between turning in grades and heading to Florida, but once those papers were graded, Christmas loomed before me. I hadn't purchased any gifts. For a week I hounded the kids for gift ideas, searching Amazon in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep, having the gifts delivered to my parents' house in Florida.
We gathered everything from our friends' house where we had stayed

 and started the two-day trek to Florida with our sons in tow. What was meant to be a leisurely drive to Florida became an overnight voyage, with the boys suggesting we keep driving through the rainy night as they took turns driving. When we arrived Saturday, after little sleep on the road, I thought, now. This is the point when I start living in the moment. I carried my bag up to the bedroom we usually occupy and saw the stacks of boxes and bags that had arrived from Amazon. I'd need to wrap all of those before Christmas morning.
Church to attend, a drive to Orlando to return the rental car, a race to a few more stores for those last minute items. After Christmas, things should definitely settle down, I thought. That's when it hit me. There's always going to be another deadline, another task to finish before I can start relaxing and living in the now. Maybe that's why I run for an hour many mornings because it is the only time that I'm in the moment rather than the proverbial running to the next item on the check list.
 So, my realization led me to the fact that never, even when we move to France will things be calm. We'll have our 4 days in Paris before a housesit then a week between. There'll be trains and cars and deadlines with the immigration office. And I'll start working again on Jan. 2 with my online teaching, so I'll need to get those classes ready.
If I'm ever going to live in the moment, I'll just have to declare it, stop telling myself that it will happen in the future. I need to force it and there's no time like the present. I'm sitting by the pool, listening to a treeful of birds squawking and watching the sun sink toward the lake.

 I still have presents to wrap, and about 10 days before we fly to France, but I'm going to start enjoying every minute. Thanks for coming along for the journey.
Note: Since I don't usually get a lot of people sharing links, I thought I'd discontinue Mr. Linky and just ask people to comment and play along if they want to. If people want Mr. Linky back, just let me know and I'll add it again.


Just Me said...

So well said and so very true for most of us.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

It has been an amazing journey. Your journey and yiu have made it happen (and Earl too) . I can understand why you have had deadlines ..can I ask or do I dare ask . Do you ever stop having deadlines I have never lived like this except when moving home and I have done a lot. My last one was not pleasant . I had a a deadline to pack up and sell my marital home ;-( and still I have no place to call home. But one thing is you didn't give up on your dream. And I will Meet you in 2018. I really do hope you start to enjoy every minute very soon ..Make the most of the pool,birds and trees. X cannot wait to meet you.

sillygirl said...

You just learned the lesson of this IS the moment.

Unknown said...

Are you moving to Aix? How about your boys? Will they be attending French schools? My husband and I once uprooted our children and moved to Tahiti, where we lived for eight years, on two separate occasions. My three children had to sink or swim being put into French schools, and after six months, they were all fluent. Now that my husband is retired, I have the best of both worlds. We spend half our year in the USA (where my extended family and our children and grandchildren live) and the other half in France, where his family lives. I hope your new adventure is everything you have been dreaming of.
Kathleen C. Perrin (The Watchmen Saga)

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