I am here!

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A rose trying its best to bloom on a cold January morning.

 

I started out this morning with the full intention of writing about croissants, pain au chocolat, or french onion soup… some of the better things in life.  Instead, I woke up with a laundry list of minor grievances: sore throat, aching back, I missed a chance to get dressed up and go out with friends last night,  and I didn’t make it to the park with Mr. B. this morning.  I was thinking about all the places I thought I was supposed to be.  Then walking my regular route with Mr. B, I realized I am already HERE, just where I should be.

Last night, I wasn’t at the party.  I was at home warm and snug in my bedroom watching an old episode of Project Runway while my husband looked on and we made small talk about the outfits –  good, bad, and ugly.  I was home when my younger son returned from an overnight trip.  Instead of texting to find out where he was and how it went, I was home to greet him, fix him a bite of food, and hear about the basketball game (they lost.)

This morning, I wasn’t at the park walking my dog. Instead, I was walking along one of the most gracious and lovely avenues in Paris.  I had three conversations (in French) with strangers.  They were curious about my dog and his fluorescent jacket.  Three lovely opportunities to connect that I might have missed if I was walking the park trails in solitude.   And to top it off, I saw several bushes striving to bloom on this cold and frosty morning, just like me.

So – I learned my lesson – I am not always were I think I should be – but I am somewhere – HERE, and that matters, too.  It has been too easy for me to lose track of that thought.  Too, too often, I can get caught up in “supposed to” and forget about the present. Which of course, is a present.  It isn’t always wrapped up pretty with a bow, and it isn’t always easy, but it’s what I’ve got.
(2015  has set me on an introspective roll – perhaps I will return to the regularly programmed croissants, etc next time xoxo)

We’re just a collection of miscellaneous items – and we’re fabulous!

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The days are getting just a little bit longer, the French stores haves sales,  and today – after a full and wonderful weekend with friends and family, the sun was out, the air was crisp, and the cobwebs started clearing from my holiday hazed brain.  What more could I ask for?  Now that the dust has settled and the new year is in full swing, I am ready to review the past, enjoy it or let it go, and move on to a bigger and brighter new year.  This morning’s walk with Mr. B was a wonderful moment for reflection and quiet.  I didn’t have a plan, but I found myself picking up little interesting tidbits from the ground.  After I returned from the walk and started to put together the collection, it occurred to me that my gatherings were a wonderful metaphor for this ex-pat life so many of us have chosen.  We have organized ourselves in miscellaneous groups, folks from all over who come together for a period of time, and make up a fabulous, fun, and sometimes slightly crazy collection.  We play off each other: supporting each other, teasing each other, sharing a glass of wine, a laugh, and sometimes a tear when the going gets rough.  Life would be so much less rich without all those we have collected on the way. Cheers to you, my friends and co-conspirators in mischief!

Here’s to wishing all of you a wonderful, healthy, and happy 2015!