The snow is flurrying past my windows, frosted from the warmth inside and the sky is what I call “Paris gray” — a bluish white, bright, unwavering and even-toned, broken only by the slate-colored metal rooftops and occasional antennas.
In just three days, we’ll be saying so-long to 2005 and good riddance to everything we might want to put behind us. The philosopher in me surfaces at this time of year, when we close the curtain on the final performance and start the rehearsals for a new and exciting scene. I’m a believer in the NOW — living your life fully in the PRESENT, leaving the PAST totally behind you where it belongs and planning for a FUTURE you would hope for, but not fear, as the future is only what we imagine, but not real.
With such simple, but meaningful concepts, anything you want to do is possible. Face it, it’s the fear of an illusory future that can be so debilitating. Absence of that fear is how so many of us have had the ability to pick up, move to such a foreign environment, change our lives completely and see each day as a new and exciting adventure, for good or bad.
This morning I awoke with a short list of resolutions on my mind — a natural occurrence the last few days of the year when there is incentive to reflect on the past, but only long enough to use it for practical reasons to plan for the future.
Top of the list are…
1. Improve my French. I’m too lazy! If it weren’t for Parler Parlor, the French-English conversation group I co-coordinate with Marie-Elisabeth Crochard, I wouldn’t speak French at all, even after 11 years! It’s time to learn to read better, write better, communicate better. This is the year to make that happen by immersing myself more into French culture (books, movies, plays, etc.) and making more French friends (who don’t speak English!) and taking a course to improve my grammar.
2. Discover more of Paris. Paris is the most profound city on the planet. In a lifetime, one could never discover all of it, but I intend to try. There are still too many great restaurants, too many hidden treasures, too much fascinating history within reach, that with just a little effort, one can grasp. This is the year to read more about Paris, see more, do more. Thanks to Pascal Fonquernie of Parismarais.com, I’ve obtained a deep appreciation of Le Marais, the true historic center of the city. Thanks to my insider friends at the Hôtel de Ville, I’ve discovered a passion for Paris that comes from within the very heart of the administration. Thanks to all the wonderful writers who tell tales of Paris in their books and articles, I have discovered the ghosts and the undertones of life in the City of Light.
3. Invest in Paris property. My ultimate goal is to own five Paris apartments in the 3rd arrondissement (to support my own neighborhood) before 2010. This week I am viewing and meeting about a few possible properties — small investments with potential for rental returns and great appreciation. I’d like the properties to be generating enough income to sustain me during retirement and become a meaningful portfolio to leave to my daughter. (She’s already dreaming of her own little pied-à-terre within which I can install her!)
On the bottom of the list, there are many more, but I won’t bore you with all the things that can enrich and improve life in Paris from my point
of view — I’m sure you have plenty of your own. Have you made your list yet? And is Paris a part of at least one of them? I hope so!
Happy New Year. A la prochaine in 2006…
Adrian LeedsEditor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]
P.S. To learn more about the conference in New Orleans and our conference this coming March 17 -19 right here in Paris, visit /frenchproperty/conference/index.html