I was a bit lost today.
I walked up hills and down hills, through forests, along narrow roads and on muddy paths. My legs and hips ached, but I was only just a little worried.
I was only worried because I might have ended up too far to walk home again, but after climbing a hill with a cell tower, I found Sauveterre again and got my bearings.
In the process, I discovered some beautiful off road walking paths, with arching trees, blue-green periwinkle and hidden little streams. Everything here is so lush. The maize harvest is underway, so bare brown fields contrast with the deep greens of meadows and forests. I took off my MP3 headphones several times just to listen to the sounds of birds, tractors and my own feet on the ground.
During all this, I had an epiphany. (Isn’t that a fun word? Ephiphany! I always think it sounds like an elephant sneezing politely). I realized why I’m here in France. It’s not to write. It’s not to “find myself.”
It’s to create time for myself.
Time for two or three hour walks, for daily shopping and leisurely meals, for naps and meeting new people. And yes for writing.
In Toronto, including all my work-related driving time, I worked on average sixty hours a week. And if I wasn’t working, I was thinking about all the things I should have been doing.
Today I thought about different ways I could ask for directions in French.
My Toronto life had drifted too far off course from my dream (working less and doing what I loved). I had to make a complete destination change. So I came to France to create the time I need to figure out that destination.
I made a drastic move but most people don’t. If you pay close attention to what your intuition is telling you (I ignored mine), you’ll know when you’re heading off course. Curt Rosengren calls it a “drift detector.” His blog post says it better than I could – take a look at it.
Of course, if your life is like mine was – where the sixty hours a week barely paid the bills, then perhaps a drastic change will also be necessary for you.
- Time is finite – what are you filling it with?
- Create time for yourself for total relaxation (yes, that means without feelings of guilt).
(Actually I’m lying. It was dinner yesterday) Pear, Walnut & Roquefort Salad