Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!
I saw in 2015 in London, all set for another year in the lovely neighbourhood we’d been living in for the previous 4 years. Then one short year later I waved goodbye to 2015 on a beach in Mauritius. Talk about a change!
2015 was a massive year for us. We made the first decision to leave London. We made the next decision to move to Mauritius. Then we made a final decision to move in with my parents for several months in between London and Mauritius. You could say it was a year of change.
I’ve blogged before about our move, our decision to move and about living with my parents so I’m not going to go back into that again. But I do want to say goodbye to 2015 which had some incredibly high highs and some pretty low lows.
On the low side I went through a bit of a dark period at the start of 2015 which I won’t go into now, maybe I will in a future blog post. The most important thing is I got through it with the help of some upbeat individuals, their blogs and by keeping a gratitude journal which forced me to see the light in every day. So thank you Karin from Embrace Happy and Michelle from The Joy Chaser 🙂
For those of you who saw me on a daily basis around that time you may not have picked up on this dark time. I’m naturally a happy, optimistic, positive person, so when things are not going well I deal with it behind closed doors.
I’m delighted to say for all the dark that I had at the start of the year things went up as the year progressed. By the end of 2015 I was at my happiest I’ve ever been, and that state has continued and increased day by day since.
Mauritius is literally a dream come true for Hubs, the girls and me. We are able to live a less rushed, far more fun, and interesting life here. Being on a paradise island surrounded by palm trees, the sea and the mountain certainly does wonders for your mental health!
So that was 2015 – saying goodbye to pets, changing schools, changing nurseries, giving up childminding and saying goodbye to the lovely little ones I’d been looking after, saying the saddest farewell to family, friends and neighbours.
But then it was all about saying hello! Hello to new neighbours, new friends and my new framily. That’s not a typing mistake – framily is what got me through hard times when I lived in France as an expat, and now I have a new Mauritian framily who I am so grateful for.
What is framily? Friends + family = Framily. When you live abroad as an expat your family is usually in a different country, sometimes thousands of miles away. In this case your friends become more than just your friends, they become your substitute family too: your framily 🙂
Now that I’ve said goodbye to 2015, it’s time to say hello to 2016 and to look at what I’ve got in store for this new year.
2016 is a big year for me.
2016 is the year I turn 40 (next week actually…).
2016 is the year my children are both in full-time school / childcare and I can fully concentrate on my work and a little bit less on my kids.
So what are my plans and goals for 2016?
Get out of my comfort zone
With my 40th birthday almost upon me, and with a whole new life in a new country and a new continent this has been a theme for me over the last few months and I’ll be carrying it through for the rest of this year.
I have two words for this year”Yes” and “Now”. So “Yes” is the word for getting out of my comfort zone. I’m saying yes to new things, new activities, new experiences. So far the main one is learning horse riding.
I’m pretty uncomfortable around animals. I used to have a phobia about dogs, but I worked on overcoming it and now I’m mostly ok around dogs. Whilst I’m not afraid of horses I’m certainly not comfortable around them.
So far I’ve had 4 horse riding lessons and I’m so far out of my comfort zone it’s not even a speck in the distance. BUT I’m not giving up. I told myself I would do horse riding lessons all this year, so I’m going to go at my own slow pace whilst I get confident. My aim is to be able to go horse riding out in the countryside just for the fun of it by the end of this year.
Until then I’m taking my courage in my hands every week as I face up to my discomfort.
Live in the now
This is where my second word for the year comes in: “Now”. I’m a planner. I spend a lot of the time daydreaming about the future. Then when I’m with my kids (and I’ve just spent a whole lot of time with them whilst they were on a 3 month school holiday!) it can be very tempting to not “be” with them, but to be on my phone. And I know I’m not the only one.
But you know what? L is 9, if she follows her parents’ footsteps then in the same number of years again she’ll be heading off to university and flying the coop. The idea makes me feel sick as the last 9 years have passed by in the blink of an eye. These years are fleeting and do I want to look back and remember I was on my phone and not “with” my girls.
So I try and keep phone time to a minimum when I’m with them, and to actually listen to them, watch them swim / do ballet / ride ponies etc. I try to be present and be in the now with them, because I won’t get that time back.
Onwards and upwards with my work
2016 is the year for me and my work. No more juggling around childcare and moving countries, and I couldn’t be happier about this next chapter 🙂 So what work?
Teaching Fun English to French-speakers online
About 6 months ago I launched Fun and English, a website and blog in French, about learning English the fun way online.
When I lived in France I taught English as a foreign language, to people of all ages, levels and walks of life and it’s something I really miss doing. But I couldn’t work out how to do it once I left France. Fast forward a few years and we have faster internet and the ability to do so much more online, which brought about the birth of Fun and English.
I already have a free training course for kids online and I will soon have a free adult training course too. These will be followed by 3 month online training courses per age / per level, the first of which comes out in March. As I’m so passionate about languages and language-learning I couldn’t be more excited about this!
Bilingual children’s books
Just over a year ago my first bilingual children’s book, Elodie and the Pirates / Elodie et les Pirates, was published. It was so amazing to see this dream become reality and I’ve loved the feedback I’ve had so far about Elodie.
2015 saw me going into several schools to do author visits and seeing the kids’ faces while I read my book to them was just incredible 🙂
This year I will spend some time working on “Elodie and the dinosaurs / Elodie et les dinosaures” and carrying on sharing the Elodie message online and here in Mauritius!
I’ve got quite a few plans and changes coming up for Franglaise Mummy. This blog was shamelessly semi-abandoned in 2015 whilst I sorted out my dark times, and got us ready to move from London to Mauritius via my parents’. However I’m back with a vengeance now and I can’t wait to share what’s in store very soon, so watch this space…
I may be turning 40 this year, something that spreads fear into tons of people I know, but I couldn’t be more excited, happier or raring to go!
2016? Bring it on!
How are you feeling about this new year? Ready to go or wanting to crawl into a cave and sleep?
Wonderful post darling, love your words, living in the moment, taking the bull by the horns and just doing it Nike style! I’m sorry you had some tough times earlier in the year and so glad you are feeling positive and happy. You guys are inspiring, lots of love x
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, that means a lot coming from a big inspiration like you 🙂 xx
Well we dovetail again my sweet! I’ve returned to horseriding this year after an accident 25+ years ago and it was scary getting back in the saddle to say the least! But like you I wanted to overcome my trepidation and it’s so exhilarating to feel the fear and do it anyway. Love the positivity and energy of this post, despite some difficult times, and while I miss my curly blogging girlfriend it’s just so inspiring that you’ve taken this amazing step for your family. Loving all your updates and can’t wait to hear more about your big hairy plans for 2016 xxx
I miss you lots too my lovely, just as well there’s the internet to keep us close 🙂 I can’t wait to share as things progress further… xx
What a wonderful life change you have made for the benefit of your family Sophie! Very HUGE changes but so much for the better. I am very pleased that Embrace Happy was a source of inspiration for you. You and your gorgeous family are Embracing Happy in every sense of the word now.
I love your words! They are so positive and action oriented. Your life looks pretty delightful right now. I will enjoy reading about your adventures and progress in paradise! Thank you for your support of Embrace Happy!
Thank you so much for bringing Embrace Happy into all our lives – you’re an inspiration 🙂 xx
I admire your spirit! It is amazing that you want to experience new things and that you are so positive about living abroad and adjusting to the life on a new place! Have a great life there! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much – we’re loving it so much here that it’s easy to be positive!