January 4, 2018

The Good Life in 2018: Inspiration from My Good Life in France

It's your year.

Today is the beginning of anything you want.

As we rang in 2018, many messages like these appeared on my Instagram feed. A new year brings the promise of possibility, the feeling that you have the power to bring about any change your heart desires. It's easy to feel inspired by these words, to feel fired up and ready to take on the world. But just as quickly as you're energized, you can also feel stuck. What does it really look like to make a year "your year"? How do you actually achieve the good life you seek this year and in all of the years to come? It all feels so big. 

It was quite serendipitous that I chose to read Janine Marsh's My Good Life in France as 2017 went on it's way and 2018 was welcomed. Janine's story of expat life in France where no one waits in lines, the time on the invitation is never truly the time you're expected, and you can say goodbye to lunch hour errands (all of the shops will be closed) beautifully illustrates what it means to live life in the moment and move in the direction of your dreams. Like you and me, Janine doesn't have all of the answers. She does, however, possess the courage to listen to her heart and take leaps of faith that, while scary, are also very right. Here are some tips I learned from My Good Life in France that I plan to consider as I seek my good life in 2018. Enjoy!

It might not always be logical. It might even seem completely insane, but sometimes you just feel it. 

When Janine arrived at the rundown barn in rural northern France that would eventually become her home, she simply had a feeling. Was it logical to leave her successful job in England with a promotion approaching? To leave family and friends and start a life in a country that is famous for it's incredibly complicated bureaucratic processes? No logic here. But sometimes the right decision lies beyond logic and reason, and Janine's story is a beautiful example. 

When the opportunity comes and you feel the pull, don't let it pass you by. 

"As I mulled over the options I had, I knew what mum would say, that sometimes you have to go with your heart, you have to give a different life a chance before it was too late." 

Today I was reminded of the quote "someday is not a day of the week". It's easy to have a dream or goal, whatever it may be, and push it off to someday. But how long will we push it off, and if we continue to do this will we ultimately let the dream pass us by? The words of wisdom imparted by Janine's mother are words I plan to consider this year as I continue the process of creating my most contented life.

Work/life balance is key.

The French get this and I love them for it. In one scene in her book, Janine quotes the proprietor at a local bar who says "there is more to life than all métro-boulot-dodo." Metro. Work. Sleep. I love this phrase en français. It is so easy to get caught up in the rhythm of the day to day, to blame a lack of time as the cause of an unfollowed dream. This year I want to continue to work on finding balance and keeping things in perspective. 

The good life you seek might be closer than you think.

"Here in the countryside, people may not be wealthy or live in swish posh houses, but in so many ways the good life is all around if you take the time to find it." 

In one of my favorite posts of 2017 (read it here) I describe living the good life right where you are. While some dreams take longer to come to fruition, theres no reason you can't experience the good life in other ways right here in the present moment. 


Janine's book was a delightful read and I only scratched the surface here. I didn't want to reveal too much as I hope you add it to your 2018 reading list! You can read more from Janine on her blog, The Good Life France. I have been referencing this a lot as I research cities and regions in France other than Paris. This is another reason I loved this book - I got to know northern France a little bit better. :) 

You can also listen to an interview with Janine on The Simple Sophisticate podcast, episode 167. While you're over on The Simply Luxurious Life blog, you might also want to check out Shannon's post 2018: Finding the Courage to Make it Amazing for more inspiration as you kick off 2018. 

Here's to our good lives in 2018 and beyond.
Warm wishes from me to you,

PS: We're kicking off the new year with a little Fleur de St. Louis milestone. This is the 100th post! Thank you so much to those of you have been here since the beginning, and those of you who have discovered the blog along the way. This project is a big part of my good life, and the community that surrounds it truly makes it what it is. Merci beaucoup! 

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