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No. 103: New Beginnings

artwork: Thomas Gouin

I’ve fallen a little bit behind on my postings post-holiday.

This is not the way I envisioned starting off this New Year, but sometimes “life happens” and the universe throws you a curve ball when you are least expecting it, forcing you to change course a little bit and refocus your energy.

But I am back now and reenergized by my resolutions to TRY not to beat myself up when things don’t go exactly as scheduled.

I hope to be more accepting of life just happening, rather than being planned, and be more kind to myself when I fail. I’d like to ease up on the reins and be more willing to go with the flow, be more gracious and giving, and smile more easily and often. But most of all, I want to spend more time in the present and less time dwelling on the past or preparing for the future.

That’s what I love about the challenge of this blog and my pledge to find one thing a day that brings me joy in this complex country. To me, this January represents not only the opportunity to reflect on the past, but a promise of a fresh start. And who doesn’t love a fresh start?


Reflecting on “fresh starts” over the last few days has reinforced in me the transformative power of our move to France.

Along with the excitement and steep learning curve that comes with an international move, I have also had the opportunity not only to begin to reinvent myself, but also to discover new things about myself and learn to be less risk adverse. While new beginnings and personal transformations certainly aren’t emblematic of life in France exclusively, they are of MY life in France.

Moving to Paris has given me the opportunity to see the world from a whole new perspective and to be part of an expat and French community that supports and nourishes me. It has certainly been humbling and challenging to be out of my comfort zone when it comes to learning a new language and trying to understand a different culture. But living here has pushed me to grow intellectually, gain confidence and remember who I am and what makes me happy.

In Paris I have been very lucky indeed to walk out my front door and be inspired by the physical beauty of this city I love. The architecture, the food, the culture, the attention to detail, the language, the people—they all still take my breath away. For all the good, bad and annoying things this country has to offer, I am grateful.

copyright: nancy benioff 2013

Alors, to my new readers in cyberland, and my dear friends and family, I wish you all the desire

  • to claim a fresh start in some aspect of your life,
  • to lose the fear, even for just a moment, to try (and maybe fail) at something you’ve always wanted to do,
  • and the ability to laugh and be gentle with yourself no matter the outcome.

Thanks for reading and supporting me, here is to your 365 days of something you love…bonne année!


10 Comments Post a comment
  1. I wholeheartedly agree.

    I am trying to learn how to let go of past failures, embrace and enjoy the present and keep future planning in perspective.
    No one knows what the future holds and things change.
    Life is a series of forks in the road, whichever road you choose to take, embrace it, I have decided to take my own advice and do just that!!


    January 5, 2014
    • Good for you! Who knows where the next 365 days will take us. I want to enjoy the ride, and laugh at my mistakes, and celebrate my successes.

      January 5, 2014
  2. Cami #

    Great post today, Nancy. Thanks for the inspiring words. Interesting that our resolutions are so similar, this gives me hope for the new year. And thanks for my ‘moment in France” each day.

    January 5, 2014
    • Hey Cami, Happy New Year! Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. I am really going to work harder at enjoying the here and now and being kinder to myself this year. As I watch my girls taking chances and facing new challenge every day with humor and grace, I am inspired to do the same. Bisous to you and yours. x

      January 5, 2014
  3. Life is truly a journey, with all its curve balls and twists and turns along the way for us to adjust our rudder and sail onwards – bon courage et bonne chance!

    January 5, 2014
    • Thanks Kim. I think it’s finally my year to learn to treat myself with kindness and not sweat the small stuff. Life is short and beautiful, and I want to enjoy it more fully. Thanks for your comment and for reading.

      January 5, 2014
  4. Emily #

    Beautiful and insightful post, Nancy.
    You’ve put your finger on so many of the challenges that expats face on a daily basis. You’ve also described the silver lining—new ways of seeing the world and reinventing ourselves. Thanks for sharing your resolutions–and for inciting us to go beyond the fear. And for that I wish you and everyone else reading this blog, “bon courage.”

    January 6, 2014
    • Thanks Em. I really appreciate your comment. This year I am going to look to my lovely girls, hubby and friends for inspiration. Sometimes I think it takes a village to move beyond fear. x

      January 6, 2014
  5. Debra #

    Love your beautiful blog and especially this post. I admire you so much. Wish I had one ounce of your courage, sweet friend. Happy New Year!

    January 6, 2014
    • Thanks Deb, but I have to say, “what the heck?” You have more courage than almost anyone I know. I’d love to read what you’re writing these days…writing is one of you many, many gifts. Cheerleading is another. You’re the one who got me writing again all those years ago at the Arvada Center. x

      January 6, 2014

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