Some years back, when I was tiredly reciting all of the things I was doing at work and feeling a bit overwhelmed with not having had a vacation in ages and accumulating sick and vacation days to the point where I was beginning to lose them, my French friend said, “You really should be more French.”  “What do you mean?” I responded.  “Well,” he said, “I love my job, but I love my life more.  What’s the point of living, if all you do is work? We French take time for the pleasures of life. Vacations, time with family and friends. Time to enjoy our meals. We don’t live to work, we work to live. Be more French. You’ll be happier.” I won’t say I immediately began living this philosophy. I still don’t entirely. There’s still more than a modicum of the Puritan work ethic in my makeup. But this conversation was one of those critical turning points that you recognize almost immediately as one. And gradually over these years I’ve really tried to “be more French.” To the extent that I am, I like my life and myself more. To the extent that I backslide and neglect some of these very important pleasures of living, I’m less content.

Therefore, this blog. In it I will chart my efforts to live this French philosophy right here in the good old USA … with occasional trips to France for a dose of the real thing. And maybe some of what I discover in the process will be useful to someone else … or at least a little entertaining … or thought-provoking.

I am, as the French say, “une femme d’une certaine age” — well, maybe a little past. According to psychotherapist Lillian B. Rubin who popularized the term in a 1979 book (Women of a Certain Age: The Midlife Search for Self)  the phrase “has a long history in French, where it refers to women of fortyish and thereabouts who are able to initiate boys and young men into the beauties of sexual encounters. It comes from a society where sexuality is freer and more understood as an important part of human life.”  At any age!

But being a woman of a certain age is about much more than sexuality. It’s about wisdom, humor, confidence, style, and the ability to take pleasure in one’s life.

All the rest … I’ve been a teacher and am a nonprofit program director working in education. I am married. I’ve been to France 8 times, mostly within the past decade. (No, I do not have lots of money … quite the contrary. I’ve just made this a priority and I take on extra work to afford the trips.) I enjoy reading (always have and always will), photography (a new passion), cooking, teaching, and hopefully blogging (I do enjoy writing!). The rest I suppose will come out in the blog itself.

Location:  Midwest – Born and raised and live in Chicago.






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