Rien qu'aujourd'hui (Only for Today): A "How To" for difficult times

Poppies and our wild gardenDuring 10 challenging years at two vineyards (before moving to this peaceful, postage-stamp garden where our wine memoir is underway), I kept a copy of today's mind-centering thoughts in my purse. In uncertain times, such words may be helpful to you, family, or friends.

ONLY FOR TODAY...
RIEN QU'AUJOURD'HUI

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’essaierai de vivre ma journée sans chercher à résoudre le problème de toute ma vie.

Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behaviour; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je prendrai le plus grand soin de me comporter et d’agir de manière courtoise ; je ne critiquerai personne et je ne prétendrai corriger ou régenter qui que ce soit, excepté moi-même.

Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one. Aujourd’hui je serai heureux, rien qu’aujourd’hui, sur la certitude d’avoir été créé pour le bonheur, non seulement dans l’autre monde, mais également dans celui-ci.

Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je me plierai aux circonstances, sans prétendre que celles-ci cèdent à tous mes désirs.

Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul. Rien qu’aujourd’hui je consacrerai dix minutes à une bonne lecture en me rappelant que, comme la nourriture est nécessaire à la vie du corps , de même la bonne lecture est nécessaire à la vie de l’âme.

Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je ferai une bonne action et je n’en parlerai à personne.

Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’accomplirai au moins une chose que je n’ai pas du tout envie de faire, et si on m’offense, je ne le manifesterai pas.

Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, j’établirai un programme détaillé de ma journée. Je ne m’en acquitterai peut-être pas entièrement, mais je le rédigerai. Et je me garderai de deux calamités: la hâte et l’indécision.

Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je croirai fermement – même si les circonstances attestent le contraire – que la Providence de Dieu s’occupe de moi comme si rien d’autre n’existait au monde.

Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life. Rien qu’aujourd’hui, je n’aurai aucune crainte. Et tout particulièrement, je n’aurai pas peur d’apprécier ce qui est beau et de croire à la bonté. Je suis en mesure de faire le bien pendant douze heures, ce qui ne saurait me décourager, comme si je me croyais obligé de le faire toute ma vie durant.

Note: My copy (the one in my purse) of "Just For Today" was a gift from A.A. The original text is from Le décalogue de la sérénité de saint Jean XXIII 

Jean-marc heidi doug kristi
New York, 2008. Jean-Marc, my sister Heidi, Doug, Kristi. Thank you very much for your words of sympathy following my brother-in-law, Doug's, passing.

Doves by the sea in la ciotat
This image (taken here in La Ciotat) always brings a peaceful feeling. Enjoy, take good care, and à bientôt.

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you regularly enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am commited to sharing a sunny update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France, while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!

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To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.


Bilingual Post: se sublimer (and more about the creative process)

  stone house yellow hose painted sign dog picket fence wooden lintel italy aosta valley dog Love Well (c) Kristin Espinasse

The painted sign reads: "To live well, love well, and let the others say what they will!" Pour bien vivre, bien aimer, et laisser dire. (Picture taken during our family vacation in Aosta, Italy. I repost this photo often because the message is so good and a needed reminder!)

 se sublimer (seuh-soo-blee-may)

    : to transcend oneself, to go beyond one's limits

Example sentence
Dans ce délicat exercice, elle a le don de se sublimer pour produire une histoire qui va elle, engendrer un moment de bonheur à ses lecteurs. (see translation in the story below)

Audio File: listen to today's word in the following story, written and read aloud by Jean-Marc! Download MP3 or Wav file

***

Un jour dans la vie d’écrivain de Kristi... by Jean-Marc
A Day in Kristi's Writing Life... by Jean-Marc
. 
Aujourd’hui, je voudrai vous parler de ce qu’est le quotidien de notre chère écrivain.
Today, I want to talk to you about what is a typical day in the life of our dear writer.

Kristi se lève vers 6H le matin, ouvre la porte pour que Smokey (qui alors aboie et réveille toute la maison), puis Braise sortent quelques minutes) puis, elle va gentillement nous préparer le thé.
Kristi wakes up around six in the morning, opens the door so that Smokey (who then barks and wakes up the whole house), and then Braise, can go out a few minutes) then she kindly prepares us tea.

Ensuite, elle revient dans notre chambre pour boire le thé, consulter ses emails sans malheureusement pouvoir y répondre car c'est bientôt l'heure d'écrire son édition.
Next, she returns to our room to drink the tea, to consult her emails, without, unfortunately being able to respond to them for it is soon time to begin her edition.

C’est au tour de Jackie et Max de se lever et alors que je vais accompagner Maxime au bus, c’est Kristi qui le plus souvent s’occupe d’amener Jackie à l’école. 
Now it's time for Jackie and Max to get up and while it is I who takes Max to the bus, it's most often Kristi who takes care of getting Jackie to school.

Il est 8 H 30 et Kristi, le plus souvent, n’a toujours pas idée de ce qu’elle va écrire. Pour elle, l’inspiration est souvent synonyme d’improvisation.
It is 8:30 and Kristi, most often, still has no idea what she's going to write. For her, inspiration is often synonymous with improvisation.

Ce léger stress et la pression de devoir écrire une édition la plus parfaite en moins de quatre heures, tout en ayant à inclure sponsors, photos, messages vocaux, est une réelle prouesse d’artiste, surtout lorsque cela se produit en moyenne trois fois par semaine. 
This slight stress and the pressure to have to write the most perfect edition in less than four hours, all the while including sponsors, photos, vocal messages, is a true prowesse of the artist, especially when this is reproduced, in general, around three times a week.

Dans ce délicat exercice, elle a le don de se sublimer pour produire une histoire qui va elle, engendrer un moment de bonheur à ses lecteurs.
In this delicate exercise, she has the gift of transcending herself in order to produce a story that will itself engender a moment of happiness for her readers.

Pendant ce temps là, Kristi a un grand besoin de calme et ne se donne que quelques courtes pauses pour aller grignoter un fruit.
During this time, Kristi has a real need for calm, and she only gives herself a few short breaks to go and snack on a piece of fruit.

Une fois l’édition terminée, elle prépare notre déjeuner, va faire balader les chiens et puis, après avoir mangé son repas, elle va décompresser par une petite "sacro-sainte" sieste.
Once her edition is finished, she fixes our lunch, goes to walk the dogs and then, after eating her lunch, she goes to decompress by a little sacred nap.
 
Vient ensuite l’heure de lire les commentaires qui sont pour elle la récompense des efforts fournis dans la matinée. Elle va ensuite avoir un tout petit peu de temps pour répondre aux très nombreux emails et de s'occuper de nos enfants, de rencontrer quelques amis, de tenir la maison propre...
Next up, it is time to read the story comments which are for her the reward for her morning efforts. She'll then have a little time left to respond to numerous emails and to take care of our kids, meet with friends, and keep the house clean.

Voilà, je pensais vous pourriez savoir à quoi ressemble une journée type dans la vie de votre écrivain. Comme vous le voyez, cela ne lui laisse pas beaucoup de temps de loisirs.
So there you have it, I thought you might like to know just what a typical day looks like, in the life of your writer. As you can see, it doesn't leave a lot of time for leisure.
Aussi, j’espère que vous serez indulgents si elle ne répond pas toujours aux très nombreux emails qu’elle reçoit. Sachez néanmoins qu’ils sont tous lus et appréciés.
Also, I hope you'll be indulgent if she doesn't always respond to the numerous emails that she receives. Know, however, that they are all read and appreciated.
Même si Kristi travaille énormément, elle se considère privilégiée de pouvoir être en contact avec de si nombreux lecteurs qui ont tous également du talent, de la sagesse et un grande âme.
Even if Kristi works alot, she considers herself priviledged to be able to be in contact with so many readers who all have, equally, talent, wisdom and great souls. 

 

 => Listen to today's story, read aloud by Jean-Marc! Download MP3 or Wav file

 

You've Got Mail! (c) Kristin Espinasse
Jean-Marc, standing next to a mailbox at our cousin's house near Aix. When André and Annie (aunt- and uncle-in-law) hung their boîte à lettres one this magical plane tree... the tree responded by reaching out... for the longest hug in history (it took a decade or two to complete the hug!) Maybe someone should contact the Guiness Book of Records?

Thank you! I enjoyed your translations to yesterday's example sentence. Search the comments box to see them here. Here, again, is the sentence:

Le bonheur des yeux lui ferait-il raccrocher son cœur comme le chapeau du porte-manteau ? (Philippe Rousseau, L'Or des ecrins)

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you regularly enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am commited to sharing a sunny update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France, while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!

♥ $10    
♥ $25    
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice

To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.


Le cerveau: the word for brain in French

Max in St. Tropez France
Max, back when he was nine, at a friend's house in St. Tropez.

Note: the following post was written in 2005.
My son Max seems to be over "le syndrome de la page blanche" or "writer's block." Today he muses about the brain. Find his column below, in French and English.


le cerveau
(sair-voh) noun, masculine

    1. brain; mind; mastermind
.

Letter From a Young Frenchman
9-year-old Max reports...

Est-ce que vous savez pourquoi Dieu à inventé la peau, les os etc? C'est parce qu'un cerveau, ça ne se balade pas tout seul dans la rue! Alors Dieu a crée les veines pour faire circuler le sang, les os pour qu'on tienne debout, les pieds pour marcher, les yeux pour qu'on puisse voir, le nez pour sentir, la bouche pour parler, les oreilles pour entendre, la force pour prendre quelque chose, les mains pour qu'on puisse attraper ces choses... et la peau pour couvrir tout ça!

*   *   *
In English: Do you know why God invented the skin, the bones and the rest? Because a brain doesn't just go walking down the street like that! And so God created veins to circulate the blood, bones, so that we can stand up straight, feet for walking, eyes, so that we can see, the nose, so that we can breathe, the mouth, so that we can talk, the ears, so that we can hear, strength, so that we can take something, hands, so that we can pick something up, and skin, to cover all that!

 

Expressions:
un rhume de cerveau = a head cold
un homme à cerveau étroit = a shallow-brained, empty-headed man
avoir le cerveau dérangé / fêlé
= to be deranged, mad, cracked, nuts
un cerveau brûlé = a hothead
le cerveau d'une entreprise
= the head of a company
c'est un cerveau = he or she is a real brain
la fuite de cerveaux = brain drain
un cerveau de mouche = fly-brained (absent-minded)
un demi-cerveau
= a half brain (a dumb blond, an airhead)


French Proverb:
Est bien fou du cerveau, Qui veut contenter tout le monde et son père.
He who tries to please the world and his father is a little crazy in the head.

French town of Buisson France platain plane trees
The French town of Buisson beneath winter's claws.

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you regularly enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am commited to sharing a sunny update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France, while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!

♥ $10    
♥ $25    
♥ Or click here to send the amount of your choice

To purchase our memoir, THE LOST GARDENS click here.