On a very small scale, I find myself thinking about the time I have left on this planet. How will I spend it – “God willing, and the Crick Don’t Rise”. I won’t live to see the death, doom, and destruction that many are predicting for this world. Maybe. I am already seeing the results of climate change. I may see more than I think. Who knows? So, I don’t want to base my plans on fear, trying to “be safe”. There is no such place. Never was. It is time to think about my “quality of life”. Mother lived her last remaining days (18 years) in the comfort of her home, surrounded by “stuff” in a town where she had lived most of her life. So did Mama Dorough. So, did my sister Barbara and my sister Patricia. Oops. Not going to happen with me. So, time to think about what I want in this last section. Now, you realize, I may not get to choose, but I want to start making some choices, even if all plans are smashed to smithereens. They were before, and probably will be again. What kind of life do I want? What “quality” of life?
What quality of life? What’s that? I woke up this morning thinking about what that means to me. One of the last things that my son, Craig, said to me before he got on a plane to go back to California, was, “I don’t get it! I just don’t get it. Why are you here?” I have no answer. There is not a simple answer. But, if I think about it, I wanted to improve my quality of life. Steve did, too. He did not like Los Angeles. He particularly did not like the traffic – which was getting worse.
I did what I needed to do regarding my law practice, and we moved to Nice, France, for no good reason on October 1, 2015. Why Nice? Who knows! It seemed like an adventure waiting to happen. He loved Monaco and Formula 1. I loved Steve and France. So, off we went! Before August 2016, we shared Antibes, St. Tropez, San Remo, Monaco, Villefrance Sur Mer, Cannes, Cap Ferrat, Marseille, Aix en Provence, Sardinia, Vence, Paris, and nooks and crannies in Nice. It was fun and wonderful. Plus, my two weeks in LA (a court case) with Patricia Rye. Then, BAM! Steve was Gone. In a flash!
As my Garmin would say, “Recalculating”. Now, we have a Major Kaleidoscopic Shift going on. Actually, the world seems to be going through a Major Kaleidoscopic Shift! What do I mean?
Before, when I was younger, I wanted position, power, money, attention, a beautiful home, expensive car. Now, not so much. I now want to be surrounded by trees, flowers. I want to see the sky and the clouds. I want a sweet cat. I want a good croissant, fresh-squeezed orange juice, clean water, and a good cup of coffee. I want to talk to people I enjoy. I want to learn more about the world and other people. I want to hear their stories. Expand my horizons.
Fame no longer matters. (I never thought I would say that!) Money lets me get the apartment I want with a patio and a view of trees and go to the good restaurants. My car just needs to work. I want to be able to walk without a cane; sit by the Sea; buy some fresh peaches from a farmer at the market; take home 12 roses for the kitchen counter; feel the Mediterranean on my head, as I duck under water. I want to have energy; browse in Galleries Lafayette; try on an Armani suit. Buy a Calvin Klein pair of slacks. Get a Donna Karen blazer. Get some Chanel lipstick. Well, maybe all of that takes more money than my retired budget. Well, then, make choices. Get some of it, not all of it. Go to a cabaret to hear good local music. Buy sandals and pretty sun dresses. Laugh a lot. I can do a lot of that here. The French enjoy life. I see them talking to each other over a glass of wine. Happy faces. The men love their children. I see them with their kids in the park. Playing together.
OK. It is not perfect. But, it is pretty damn good. And, I am left to my own devices. People are friendly and nice. Not great, because I don’t speak their language, but I speak enough to get by. And, I have offers to help me coming from everyone. The man in the dress shop; Caroline’s father (who wants to learn English), the French lady at this Centre who lives in Liberation who likes me and wants me to be more patient and more reasonable. Haha. (I was angry because they wouldn’t let me go home on Friday.)
What am I trying to say? That, since I moved to France, life has forced me to let go – of just about everything I once held in high esteem. My country is not the same; my family is not the same; a lot of my friends have fallen by the wayside. And, here I am. Looking forward to returning home to a hot apartment in a mediocre building in a mediocre section of Nice, France; and selling my reliable Mini-Cooper. Between you and me, I now appreciate more than ever what I have and what I had. I feel quite blessed to live by the Sea in a beautiful part of this world with friends to help me if I ask. I plan to water my plants, hug my cat, put on my favorite jewelry (diamond studs for my ears and my diamond cross for my neck), buy some croissants from my favorite bakery, and enjoy being back home. Then, we will see what is next. Who knows? Stay tuned……
Now, you realize that all of this is subject to change without notice!!! Haha. Just saying…….