Just over a week ago, a friend passed the “One Week of Positives” challenge to me on Facebook. Surprise, surprise, I found it easy to do. Yes, you’re thinking, but Martine lives in flipping’ Provence with her soulmate and her dogs and her horses… of course she has loads of positive things going on in her life.
Sure, I’m very lucky – but I made it happen.
Twelve years ago, things were at a low ebb for us. The LSH had lost his job. I had a couple of livery horses, which just about covered the keep of our own horses, but I had no income otherwise. We weren’t entitled to any benefits. Emigration was looking like the only solution, but we were determined to allow our daughters to finish out their education in Ireland. And we managed. The LSH worked as a carpenter’s assistant for a year, until he got another tech job, and I got a job as a dental nurse and also increased the size of the livery stables (thanks to my friend Denis who I keep referring to!).
Five years ago, when I was debating whether I’d get back into riding or not, I could have decided no – it’s too expensive, I’m having too much trouble with my back, it’s too dangerous, it’s too much work, it’s too much commitment… etc…etc… Buying Flurry and getting back to riding seriously was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m not sure I’d have settled so well here in France without the horses.
Just over two years ago, I was not in a good place. I’d had a couple of personal issues (which will remain that – personal!) and I was pretty much single-handedly clearing out our house and preparing to move here. I was close to saying feck it, we’ll stay in Cork, but I didn’t. Making that moves was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also, again, one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that, even when I haven’t been 100% happy, I’ve made my choices, I’ve looked to the future, I’ve been positive about what I want and I’ve done everything I can to make it happen. I guess I’ve been lucky in that it has usually worked for me.
For what it’s worth, here are my positives from the week gone by :
DAY 1: (Weds)
1. My mum is in great form after having surgery today
2. I have an amazing friend who is prepared to be a surrogate daughter when necessary
3. Although I felt like I’d been run over by a train this morning after my visit to the osteopath yesterday, I am feeling a LOT better this evening.
DAY 2: (Thurs)
1. The Mammy is home from hospital
2. I got in touch with friends from waaaaay back today & we’ll see them next week
3. Had a yummy dinner with tomato sauce made with our own cherry tomatoes
DAY 3: (Posted on Sat)
1. We live in a lovely place that people like to visit
2. Two old friends arrived on Friday and we did loads of catching up (hence I didn’t post any positives on Friday itself)
3. Scaramouche – Artisan Glacier – Adventures in Ice Cream, the fifth-best ice-cream maker in France (as voted by TripAdvisor users) is just a ten minutes walk from our house.
DAY 4: (Sat)
1. Aero concentrated very hard when I worked him in the morning, despite the attentions of hundreds of ravenous horseflies
2. I swallowed two flies (not horseflies) while working with Aero, thereby reducing the overall fly-population of Provence.
3. My inability to post three positives on a daily basis proves that I am a strong, independent woman who will not blindly follow along with the latest internet trend
A fourth positive – I had typed ‘latex internet trend’ by mistake. Well, I’m positively thrilled that I spotted that one before I hit the ‘POST’ button.
DAY 5: (Sun)
1. I am very lucky in that I am sitting here thinking of all the good things that happened today and trying to figure out which ones to post
2. Had a really nice morning with our friends which ended up with us sitting in the Café du Cours with a nice bunch of people for quite some time
3. had an interesting discussion about the power of positive thinking and why it’s better to be a ‘glass is half full’ sort of person so I’m looking forward to seeing what John makes of this positive thinking challenge! (John has just written a self-help book. He’s a pretty amazing guy, but I’m still waiting for him to do his Daily Positive challenge!)
DAY 6: (Mon)
2. I had a lot of fun playing with my little ponies this morning
3. Temperatures are dropping and the flies will soon be gone. DIE YOU HORSE PESTERING BASTARDS, DIE!
DAY 7: (Tues)
2. Flurry was much better than expected when we did some ‘serious’ schooling today #notentirelyshite
3. My very last positive and the biggest one of the whole lot – I have the very best family without whom my life would have been radically different. Love you all.