“Forty, French and Fabulous”

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I’m not sure if I mentioned that I turned 40 earlier this year. Yes, it’s true. I was going to have a grand celebration to recognize this milestone, but then I got too busy and the fact of the matter was, I didn’t really think it was such a big deal.

I tried, really I did, to feel some kind of special way on my 40th birthday, but I had to take the baby to the doctor. The boys had homework and I had 20 quizzes to correct. Now, I’d be lying if I said turning 40 didn’t give me pause, because it did, but I didn’t have any sort of mid-life crisis or desire to leave my husband, inject myself with botox and have an affair with my high-school boyfriend. I didn’t lament the passing of time because, let’s be honest, these last 40 years have been great. I have three great kids. I have written three great (I think) books. I have a great job doing what I love most in life. And I still think el esposo is pretty darn cute.

And as a matter of fact, when I gave myself a moment to meditate on the idea of turning 40, the thought didn’t depress me. I figure 40 is my half-way point. If I live to be 80, I’ll be a happy camper. And since I’m a glass half-full kind of girl, I figure that means I have 40 more years to fill with new experiences. That’s a lot of living I still have to do. That’s like re-living the 40 I’ve already done, but with new stuff. And that’s what I’m excited about. I don’t even know yet what I’m going to do with part II of my life. Except one thing. Drum roll please.

I’m going to learn French!

I’ve always wanted to learn French. I learned a little bit of survival French when I lived in Morocco as an exchange student in high school. I have a vocabulary of about 15 words and phrases that served me well the two or three times I’ve traveled to France as a tourist. And let it be known, I don’t read French at all. You can show me a simple sentence in French and I’ll stumble through it like an idiot with a mouth full of marbles. (I still don’t really care if I learn how to read French)

I just want to be able to speak what I think is one of the most romantic languages in the world. I just love the way French sounds. I always have. I chose to study Spanish because my sister had already claimed French and I wanted to be different. Well, it’s part II of my life now and I say it’s time to pursue that other passion. And the thing is, since I’m going to learn the language for myself, I don’t have any pressure. It’s all about pleasure. I’m thinking about listening to CDs in my car, finding a language partner to parlais with, and wait for it…we’re going to Paris at the end of the summer. NOT!

Dear readers, how I wish a trip to Paris was in my immediate future, but it’s not something we can afford right now Five plane tickets? I don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean we can’t drive to a French speaking country. That’s right, I’m planning a Kinky Gazpacho family excursion to Montreal at the end of the summer. That will be my inspiration to keep learning.

Okay, dear readers. I need your help. Is there a language program you can suggest? Is the Rosetta Stone really all that? And of course, as the summer goes on, I’d like your suggestions for where to go and what to do in Montreal. With three kids.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me bon chance. And inspire me with your own stories of personal goals. And you don’t have to be 40.


*Note: This post originally appeared on the original MyAmericanMeltingpot blog in 2012. Check it out to read the inspiring comments.

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