Archive for December, 2014

And now for 2015

Posted in Biographical, Journal at 14:02

Tuareg woman's veil key

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”quote by Rumi

At the end of 2013, I knew that 2014 would necessarily be a year in which my life would turn upside down; however, I could never guess the extent to which that would be true. What may seem like an organic process seen from the outside, was in reality a series of sequential surprises that, with hindsight, each seem to have prepared the way for the next, so that I gladly accepted them. Had you told me in January of this year that I would sell my Nice apartment and take the cats to live and work in Paris, I would have laughed and said “no way,” for several reasons. Gradually, each of those reasons showed to be lesser than the fulfillment that progressively grew as I settled here. “Upside down” has indeed shown itself to be “right-side up.”

Now for this year’s installment of the meme I’ve done for five years: at the end of 2009, the end of 2010, the end of 2011, the very start of 2013 for 2012, and the end of 2013.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Whew! Where to start? Lived in Paris, took the cats on the TGV, put my apartment on the market, ate work lunches in restaurants, dismantled my bike to haul it from Nice to Paris, negotiated a job transfer, walked to work, visited the Louvre more than once in the same year…

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
In 2013 my resolution was to “act from a place of inner peace,” which I decided to continue for 2014, as well as riding my bike. I did my level best to find that inner peace through all the changes in 2014, which is how it all managed to work out in the end. On the other hand, I didn’t ride my bike as much as I wanted, but that’s mainly because I was instead walking around Paris.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not in 2014.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Several people I didn’t know as well passed away.
Edited to add, once I remembered: actually, my “French grandfather,” who I’d known since 1997, passed away in November. It was of natural causes and quite peaceful. He was a wonderful man: clarinetist in the Lyon national orchestra, owner of a printing house, well-read, profoundly humanist, and member of the French Resistance in Lyon during WWII. We often talked about literature, jazz, and classical music.

5. What countries did you visit?
France? :)

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
The only thing missing from 2014 was stability, but what I was able to do this year laid the foundations for it. I’m sure 2015 will bear the fruits of 2014, and am very happy to be able to say that.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Goodness, the entire year. It was a turning point on every level.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Last year I said “progress on the job, which, reaching ten years in 2014, I could probably start calling ‘career’.” This year I can confirm that: it is indeed a career, and one that’s become genuinely fulfilling. With it, I’ve been able to widen my horizons, and am deeply grateful for the opportunities.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Allowing myself to get too stressed out at times.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
None in 2014, apart from a couple weeks of voicelessness during the March peak in pollution.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Shared experiences :)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Friends’; the kind people I’ve worked with.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Repeating from last year: xenophobia and racism. It was even worse this year. Last year I wrote “there’s always some here and there, but for whatever reason, [2013] seemed quite pronounced.” Well, 2014 unfortunately added to that. Thankfully, though, I was with people who could talk and laugh about it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
OMG. Everywhere except my bank account. Mortgage and rent (two apartments!), travel, clothes (it’s colder in Paris than Nice), shoes, food.

15. What did you get really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
A colleague-friend introduced me to Jacques Dutronc, who I’d known-without-knowing. This classic of his sums up my year well:

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Very much happier.
b) thinner or thicker? Thinner, from all the walking.
c) richer or poorer? Richer, for which I’m grateful in the still-sputtering economy.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Cycling, hiking, sewing.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Walking around Paris.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
No comment.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I don’t have a TV, but usually I watch series – this year I didn’t have the time.

23. What was the best book you read?
“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
As mentioned earlier, Jacques Dutronc.

25. What did you want and get?
A promising future.

26. What did you want and not get?
My stinking bathroom renovation in Nice.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
Qu’Allah bénisse la France“, a luminous, humanist film that reminds you cinema is an art form.

28. What did you do on your birthday?

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
2014 could hardly have been more satisfying.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Sleek and colorful.

31. What kept you sane?
As last year, friends and creativity, Kanoko and Susu (my cats).

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Equality and tolerance.

33. Who did you miss?
Faraway friends

34. Who was the best new person you met?
Still no comment.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
As long as cats have a perch, their toys, and love, they’ll be fine with a move.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: