Wow! Where does the time go? So much for all my promises and intentions to post more regularly on this blog! But I have been putting the time to good use – I promise!
Paris at last – realisation of the first dream!
Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Time does fly by so fast and before we know it, we have put our teens well behind us, some have reared families, some have carved out great careers. But do you ever stop and think about what you would really LOVE to do with your time?
Do you have a dream that you work on in your mind, but it well….. never seems to be quite the right time? Are you sure about that? Or is this an excuse not to put the effort in and make the dream into reality?
I will have to raise my hand and ‘fess up to having had an ‘excuse’ for many years not to pursue two of my dreams. I have always wanted to go to France and be fluent in French. I was lucky to have got a bit of a taste of the language at school, then it slid into the background for many decades. Then family responsibilities interfered and the cost of the trip was a consideration …..
Sunshine, bicycles, lots of time to speak French with the locals
When we finally decided to cycle in France in 2009, it was a realisation of my first dream and a major step towards the second. I will never forget the feeling of thrilled anticipation as my plane landed in Paris that first trip. I had spent some months ‘brushing up’ on the few rusty bits of French I still remembered, but I had still not ever really spoken to someone in French! By the end of the trip, I was no longer too shy to use the language, but I realised I had quite a job ahead of me to become fluent!
Chateaux – something we do not get in Australia!
I had no idea why France was such an attractive place to me, or why my desire (of all the languages to choose from) to learn only French. Then last year while in South Africa, I found out why. Meeting up with long lost relatives, we all went to visit (for the first time ever) the grave of my great grandfather.
Researching the story of this man’s life was a delight. Born near Calais in France, he had a French mother and a Scottish father. His father died when he was very young, so the French influence in his life was considerable. We don’t know a great deal about him, but we do know that he spend his childhood in France and was fluent in French. He and his English wife moved to South Africa in the early 1900s.
So it has to be genetic, doesn’t it? Not only that, but my second cousin (same great grandfather!) also has a great passion for all things French. And we had not ever met or spoken to each other before my trip to South Africa! She has been to France many times and returns often. I am convinced she and I each have a dominant ‘French-gene’.
Heaven is – waiting for a train at French station!
So, my new year’s resolution this year, was to get serious about developing my capability to speak French. And that is what I have been doing. With all the new apps and online tools that are around now, it has been a lot easier to study than ever before. Who knows, one day I may be able to make a pilgrimage to the place where my G-Grandfather was born and grew up, and may find some descendants of his mother’s family still in the area. What a thrill, to be able to speak to them with using reasonably good French!
So what about you? What are you going to do (today) to start realising your dreams?