I’m an American mom living in the suburbs of Bordeaux, France. My life has so much to be grateful for. I have 2 sweet, funny, energetic, bilingual sons. I have a husband who is well-known in his profession and helps out immeasurably at home. Within an hour drive, I can go to the beach, eat freshly harvested oysters or homemade fois gras. I can sip on wine from hundreds of vineyards. I know I am lucky. But life isn’t postcard perfect.
Moving to the expat planet completely threw a wrench in my life plans. In the US, I had the 9-5 job in which I got to show off my skill and training and feel smart and useful. I got to go home at the end of the day to the snuggles and comfortable chaos of my family. Moving to France, I am an outsider. Having to learn the language and the customs in addition to the stress of also having to be a full-time caretaker of my children. My two graduate school diplomas are nothing more than expensive pieces of paper here. I cannot use them easily to find a job in what was my chosen profession. So I took a job working part-time as an English teacher (which isn’t my passion) and volunteering with an organization that requires more time and commitment than I had anticipated.
Two years ago, my me-time had so drastically diminished that I started to burn out. None of this did any good for my family’s wellbeing or my health. It got so bad that I developed stress-related reflux. Eating caused me pain. The doctor prescribed a prescription medication that worked but required me to take it after the pain symptoms presented themselves. So I stopped eating. I lost weight. Didn’t sleep well. Had low energy.
A friend introduced me to the health benefits of drinking aloe vera. In addition to its well-known skin-soothing properties (who hasn’t used it for sunburn relief?) aloe has been used for centuries as a digestive aid. I decided to try it for a month. A shot a day worked! It reduced my symptoms of reflux and made me feel more energetic. I have been a convert ever since and still drink my shot of aloe vera every morning.
I became a distributor for Forever Living Products because I truly believe in the company’s ethics and values, and, of course, the products which I use every day in my own life. And, with the extra energy I now have, I decided to start this blog as a way to share my story. To share the self-care tips I have learned and am learning. It is my truth. My attempt to be honest and open about the life I have and the life I want to live. The blog will not fix everything. And aloe is not a miracle cure. But, both are giving me a chance to live a healthier, happier, and saner life.
And I hope my story will inspire, encourage, and support you.
Thanks for reading!