Jean-Marc, right, and friends at one of the wine shop's events. Read on for some big news regarding my husband.
TODAY'S PHRASE: "se lancer dans l'inconnu"
: to strike out into the unknown
EXAMPLE SENTENCE & AUDIO FILE
Listen to all the French words in today's story by clicking on the sound file below. Then scroll to the vocabulary section and check your comprehension.
Se lancer dans l'inconnu, c'est un heureux cocktail d'enthousiasme, d'inconfort, de peur, de fierté. On est déstabilisé, parce que nos repères changent. Il y a cette forte sensation que tout peut arriver. To strike out into the unknown is a happy cocktail of enthusiasm, discomfort, fear and pride. We are destabilized because our reference points change. There is this strong feeling that anything can happen.
-from the blog Ouvrir Une Porte
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
A New Chapter in Chief Grape's Life
I have just returned from another stick hunt and boy did I hit the foraging jackpot today! C'est dommage Jean-Marc was not able to join in on the fun. He had to leave early for work and miss our morning stroll.
Raindrops began falling as I arranged all the wooden bâtons on our steps for drying. I quickly snapped a picture to cheer my husband. He is not as sparked as I am for each found stick, but that's because joy hasn't come easy for him this past year. Still, he is happy when I am happy and these days we are shooting for each other's happiness. A target worth aiming for wouldn't you say? If only we had fully comprehended The Happiness Secret sooner. Tant pis...
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
Il n'est jamais trop tard pour devenir ce que nous aurions pu être.
Thank you, George Eliot, for that hopeful thought. I will share it with my husband on this, the eve of a major change in his life. And now, sans plus attendre, some big news: Jean-Marc has sold his wine shop! The complicated transaction has kept him suspended in a Never-Never land for 9 months. But now he's been delivered, or almost. (His last day at the shop is January 5th.)
So the start of the New Year corresponds to a new chapter in our lives. While Jean-Marc is itching to move somewhere, anywhere, I am digging my feet in this time. But I will try to keep open-hearted, about further changes, as he strikes out into the unknown unsure of what's next.
Se lancer dans l'inconnu...
And now a question for you, dear reader. Did you strike out into the unknown later in life? Will you share, in the comments here, the positive changes that happened to you during/after a middle-age crisis? Did you switch careers? Move out of the country? Learn a new skill?
Did you live the truth in George Eliot's words, It is never too late to be what you might have been? Or did you discover that who you might have been was there all along?
As we pause to think about who we are becoming, I'll bid you good day. Madame Who I Might Have Been is itching to go outside and enjoy another exploratory ramble through the neighborhood. Instead of sticks, I could switch it up...and collect smiles this time (my mom's favorite sport: "Smile and see who smiles back at you!"). Ah, evolution!
Don't miss the book A Very French Christmas, "this collection encapsulates the holiday spirit and proves that the French have mastered Christmas."
se lancer dans l'inconnu = to strike out into the unknown
c'est dommage = it's too bad
le bâton = stick
tant pis! = never mind
sans plus attendre = without further delay
Il n'est jamais trop tard pour devenir ce que nous aurions pu être = It is never too late to be what you might have been.
Read about the opening of Jean-Marc's wine shop. Click below.
Sweet of the Week, No 3: French Yogurt Cake. Need an easy cake for Christmas? Simply spruce up this simple French yogurt cake! Add cranberries and pecans to the mix or candied orange and chocolate. This dessert became our go-to gâteau the day my brother-in-law, Jacques, made it for one of our family gatherings. Yogurt Cake Recipe here. Enjoy and un Joyeux Noël to all!
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety