I haven’t made it a point to write for pleasure for so long, and that really took its toll! I feel like a piece of my soul was being rented out by law school applications, and I’m finally returning home. I feel more alive simply by writing this intro. I have so many pieces on the back-burner, including a summary of my first foreign Christmas/NYE, and I promise it’s coming! In the meantime, enjoy these scenes from winter in Spain! ❤
2017 as I know it.
There are many reasons I took a little break from blogging. The main reason is that I was deep in the law-school application process this winter, and despite blogging for pleasure, I didn’t want to add anything to my already very-full plate. I decided it was best if I dedicated my time to perfecting essays and resumes than even trying to squeeze out one post a week. I procrastinate a lot by blogging, and although it’s good for the soul and my readers, it’s not so good for my time management or to-do list. However, I learned the hard way that you have to make time to do what you love, or you will end up stressed out, sick, and less sane!
I finally found a place of my own– a perfect flat that I share with a German girl, who has quickly become a close friend. We make colorful dinners together and talk for hours. Sometimes we go running together. Sunlight floods the apartment during the day, and you can see the whole city from our living room window. You can see the Arabic fortress, the Cathedral, among many other church spires, the classic Malaga Centro hotel, the ferris wheel, and a glorious sliver of the sea. It is grand.
I’ve been sick!
I don’t want to dedicate a section of this to a pity party, but I’ve been down for the count a few times since 2017 has begun. And I’ve learned a lot about myself in all the time I’ve had to lay in bed in misery. Among some other questionable allergic reactions I’ve been having, I had a stomach virus last week that put me out of commission for FOUR days. I actually started to write a post bragging about what I was able to accomplish while being sick, and then I realized how American that was of me. I think my recovery time took longer because I worked while I was sick. As a freelancer, it’s hard for me to shut my laptop when I’m feeling ill. My friend asked, “If you had an office, would you go to your office feeling the way you do?” My answer was no, proving her point that even though I work from home, I need to learn to shut it down for my own health. You can take the girl out of America, but you can’t take the America out of the girl. Yikes.
It happened during my highest stress week of the year so far. I had made it a goal to finish all my apps by a certain date, I had a big deadline for work, and the weekend marked my first year with my BF so naturally I wanted to celebrate. It was also set to be my highest mileage week in half marathon training. My immune system weakened from stress and fatigue, and I became unwell when I really really needed to be well.
In a nutshell, I wasn’t writing because I needed to make more time for my professional deadlines. When I became sick I had to stop running. On top of that, I couldn’t bake, cook or enjoy any delicious food. All around, I felt pretty deprived of the things I love. That was terrible. Don’t do that.
Lessons learned in 2017: ALWAYS make time to do what you love.
Maybe you will get sick a little less. Seriously. Chill a little.
I’ve been running!
I’m training for a spring half marathon- it’s actually quite early for a spring goal race as it’s the end of March! But it’s in Spain, so it needs to be early, since it will probably be a 70-degree sunny race morning! I won’t ramble on too much, since y’all may not be too keen to read about running, but my discipline is back. I’m trying a new training method, and I can already see results. I’ve adopted a new mantra in this training cycle. “Fight for it.” I repeat this to myself in speed intervals and tempo runs. I’ve also applied it to all other parts of my life. You want it? Fight for it. At the end of the day, I’m hungrier and more tired than ever, but I’m also stronger. I’m learning to love the process, like my sisters before.
Things I’m working on:
-My temper. I realized long ago that not everything requires my comment; however, I’m trying to put this philosophy into action. It is not easy, but I try.
-Letting go of things and people who make me feel bad or ashamed.
-My Spanish. 🙂
-Taking everything a little less personally.
-Practicing mindfulness – Today I went to one of my favorite cafes to work, but I could not get my computer to detect the wifi. That forced me to just drink my coffee and enjoy my surroundings rather than ruin the sensory experience with my computer. It was a wonderful mistake. I will do it again, but next time on purpose.
-Writing for pleasure, not productivity. You may notice I use the word pleasure a lot in this post. Pleasure is important. Also a beautiful word in all languages. In Spanish, it’s “placer.” Annnnyway, even though I’m writing this post for pleasure, it’s still about productivity. It serves a purpose. I’m more interested in writing something everyday, whether or not it serves a purpose. Ramblings that won’t turn into anything, descriptions that make my soul feel good. I’m not trying to be a novelist here (yet).
-Writing love letters. To anyone and everyone. You don’t need a lover to love.
I will end this post on the note it deserves. It’s after midnight. I am so sleepy, but I am writing. I am so happy to be writing.
Goodnight, folks and lovers.