The kids have been back to school for a few weeks and Josh back to work. Josh's parents left 2 weeks ago to head back to the States after a wonderful visit. The last few weeks have overall been busy but mellow at the same time. And with everyone back in their schedules, I feel like we are back to la vida tranquila. Perhaps a little too tranquil.
Lately I've been at a loss on what to write about. With 390 entries to date, I've been posting at a minimum of bi-weekly for the last 3 1/2 years if not more often. But I'm running out of material. There are only so many entries I can write about my language barrier issues, you know? The thing is, life overall, has become mundane.
I think life for everyone is like that, not just here in Barcelona. Life is back to "normal" - cooking, cleaning, working, caring for the kids... you get the picture. And so with no new challenges on the horizon, life is just...well, it's just life. And sometimes life can be a bit boring.
Often times when life is mundane, you can overthink things because perhaps there is too much time on your hands. That's my problem. One if the things I've had a love hate relationship with Spain the last three years is the challenges she presents me with. And of late, I haven't had so many. I passed my drivers license exam, got a package out of customs, I went on a city wide search for hockey sticks (which were no where to be found and finally had to be ordered via amazon uk), learned how to use the car wash (it was much more simple than I anticipated), and hired a new cleaning lady. Not exactly a ton of big challenges here. However, they are things that keep me occupied which is good because I'm feeling a rut coming on...
But there are pros to life being a bit on the low key, mellow side too. I've been trying to refocus using work as my tool to challenge myself in new ways. I didn't take much time to focus on my business in 2012 and honestly wasn't sure I even wanted to continue with it. But with more time on my hands in the new year, I'm taking the bull by the horns and attacking it with renewed vigor. Having life not be too chaotic is a pro here - giving me time to focus on something that once held a lot more importance in my life and hopefully will again.
And with more free time in this new year, I'm also trying to once again push myself harder with my Spanish. I'm finding myself going outside my comfort zone more and more. My Spanish tutor has been a huge help in this. And while she's not super consistent when it comes to showing up for our classes, the amount that I've learned in the last few months makes up for that. I wish I'd hired a private tutor when we first moved here - I think I'd be worlds ahead by now. Perhaps even on to another language... ok, that might be kind of stretching it!
When life is mundane and you find yourself with more time, I find it's also a time to challenge myself. I started doing an intercambio weekly to challenge my Spanish capabilities and to hopefully improve them as well. I started speaking Spanish with a local friend that I had until now refused to speak Spanish with for "fear" of him thinking I'm an idiot. Barrier broken. My new cleaning lady, not a lick of English but it's ok, we're getting through it. Not a big deal.
Beyond work and Spanish, I can't say that I have a lot going on to make our lives more "exciting". We only have one trip, London, booked right now aside from our trip home this summer. While I'm certainly not travelled out, I'm ok with us slowing this piece down. When we thought we only had 2 years here there was this anxiety about trying to see as much as possible in that little bit of time. It was a relief when we extended not once, but twice. And so now with 2 1/2 more years to go, we can take the time to enjoy this life a little more slowly and savor our surroundings, taking everything in.
So while I don't have a lot to talk about at the moment, it doesn't mean that life isn't continuing on... it's just doing it at a slower pace with less chaos and for the moment, that's a good thing. I have no doubt that chaos will show up just around the corner just like he always does!!