Giving Thanks for…
Thanksgiving is just about a week away and even though we’re not in the U.S., we Americans still love to celebrate the national holiday. T-day is a “feel good” secular holiday that allows friends and family to gather together, share a copious meal, maybe watch a football game or two (even if streaming a U.S. channel) and simply “giving thanks” for all we have to be thankful for.
This year, as in many past years, I’ll be spending it with my friend, Barb Westfield, in her beautiful Provence home, with a group of American friends. The fire will likely be roaring in the huge fireplace and we’ll be dining on turkey cooked “sous vide” as is her specialty. Barb is making fresh cranberry sauce and I’m bringing a can of it for kicks. I have come to love our little tradition and you’ll hear all about it in December 2nd’s Parler Nice Nouvellettre®.
I’ll be writing from Nice because I’m heading there from Provence after the festivities and will be reporting on the weekend where I am scheduled to also visit a lot of properties for sale in the celebrated southern region of France. This gives me a good excuse to explore the beautiful towns and countryside in a more profound way then just passing through — getting to know people and places more intimately. (I know! Isn’t it a “rough” life?!)
Meanwhile, I’m making my list of things for which I’d like to give thanks. I hope you are, too. Like a Passover Seder where we relate the story of Exodus, or like New Year’s resolutions to make the future year a whole lot brighter than the past, this is an opportunity to reflect on all that we appreciate in our lives. Here are mine…but just a few; the most important ones:
1. First and foremost, I’d like to thank Donald Trump. He’s shown us that it’s really true, anyone can become President of the United States, just like our teachers told us. He’s made us all much more aware of how politics affects our daily lives and turned basic voters into activists. He’s brought women and non-whites out of the woodwork to run for political office so much so that we now have many more in Congress and hopefully there will be more in the Senate, too, enacting laws that govern the U.S. more fairly for all. We have him to thank for illustrating how effective lying and corruption can be and what we need to do to improve the morality of our nation. And he’s showing us all the reasons why we shouldn’t re-elect him or elect anyone like him for that matter, (even if he doesn’t get impeached first). Thank you, Donald. Our heads were in the sand before you came along.
2. After Donald, I’d like to thank my daughter, Erica Simone, for being the person she is. I worked for five long years to have a child at all, and when all was said and done, I was truly blessed. I’m not sure all parents are as thankful for their children as I am, but I do hope so. To all of you women who are almost of non-childbearing years, I’d encourage you strongly to create a life from your own, in whatever fashion is possible, single or married, regardless of how you think the child will inhibit your career or your lifestyle. I promise you, the rewards are greater than the inconveniences. There is nothing quite as fulfilling as giving life or taking care of someone else.
3. Paris and France are very, very high on my list to thank. Without them, I would never have seen the world from a different point of view. I would never have learned another language or experienced another culture. I would never have made so many good friends who are so much of the same ilk. I would never have learned how unimportant money or material possessions are to true happiness. In addition, I would never have discovered my real self and all the things I’m capable of, thanks to the challenges that life here imposes. It is here I discovered beauty and true passion.
4. I am immensely thankful to Eckhart Tolle, a spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Until I studied his teaching and learned how to live in the present moment, I suffered like most people with fear and anxiety, both of which are debilitating to success and happiness. I learned how to separate my ego-self from my true essence and how we are all driven by our egos to no positive end. I learned how not to have expectations, but hopes, how to accept what I cannot change, and how to enjoy every minute of every waking day. I urge everyone to discover how to embrace the present and what you have NOW while accepting the past, of which you cannot change, how not to fear the future, which exists only in your mind. You’d be amazed at how empowering this basic truth is, once you really see it clearly, rather than make excuses for why you can’t.
5. And lastly, but not least, I am thankful for my good health and hopefully long life, that I attribute to an active lifestyle (no car and 70 steps up to my Paris apartment), high quality food products (yeah, France!), a great and very inexpensive healthcare system (again, yeah, France!), a youthful attitude (I’m still 25 years old in my head) and good genes (thanks to my mother, who lived to be almost 98). I see too many people around me suffering from a variety of ailments, most prominently some form of cancer, that is tough to battle
Now, don’t you have a few things to be thankful for, too?
Happy Thanksgiving, one week and one day in advance.
A reminder for those of you who also subscribe to French Property Insider, there will be no edition on Thursday, November 28th, Thanksgiving Day — only one of two days the entire year that we don’t publish that Nouvellettre®!