Have you noticed how at this stage in life, when the children are grown up and enjoying their first real independence, and we have a little more room to wiggle, we can relax into ourselves, enjoy knowing ourselves better? That we can be more comfortable about who we really are?
It’s my experience that I know more clearly who I am and what I want, and that I have increasing opportunities to stick to those preferences, without any collateral damage, I hope, around me.
I was recently interviewed by a local journalist for a small article to appear later this year about women who reinvent themselves and come to the ‘business’ world later in life. The interview did not go quite as he expected because I headed off on a tangent that is close to my heart.
The journalist asked me about what made me feel the need for reinvention. No problem there …. After twenty years raising my children and feeling suddenly and dangerously redundant, I wanted to undertake something new and I’m well aware of my luck in being able to reinvent myself as an empty nester, and to fill my days with new challenges and discoveries.
It was when he asked me what I absolutely preferred about my activity around the blog, the subscription box, the books and the tours that I replied….. “it’s the opportunities to showcase talent that I enjoy”…. there was a pause, “Excuse me?!”.
Apparently this was not the answer he expected but it is nevertheless true. Besides the opportunities to make so many new friends and acquaintances, the one absolute joy that comes from my various activities is that I can spotlight so many talented and passionate people that I meet along the way.
I will always be grateful that the blog, the book, the box and the tours provide me with platforms to share my love of France, and showcase some of the amazing people I know here. From the girlfriends portrayed in my first book, to articles on the blog and of course to the various French brands and artisans that we work with for My Stylish French Box. My excitement to share these discoveries never wanes.
My children say that it’s my payback to the country that let me settle here so many decades ago. And maybe that is part of it. But actually I think it is just a part of living with our eyes and minds wide open. Being aware, not only of the everyday beauty around us, but also of the amazing talent.
I’d love to know if you feel the same way. Or maybe you have come to a stage in your life when you are discovering other pleasures.
So what do you think about this? Do you also find that you pay less heed to expectations to conform to the image of what people want you to be? Do you feel that you know yourself better now than at any other stage in your life? And what gives you more pleasure; being the centre of attention, or focussing the spotlight on someone else?
All photos by Franck Schmitt for the book My Stylish French Girlfriends