What I've Learned Since Being Back in the States

Brian and I have been back in the country for, well, an annoyingly long time it feels like. The Spanish adventure whirled by in the swipe of a debit card, and I feel confident there are picturesque Mediterranean beaches all along the coast of España crying out my name in longing even as I type this. I set my intention to return to Spain the moment I left after those 7 months in 2002, so after nine years of pining, planning and finally pulling the trigger, you could say I'm having a wee dose of cold reality that Spain 2.0 is all over. Poof. Just like that.

Since returning from our fairytale journey, we've spent our summer as nomads, me reveling in my unemployment, Brian cursing his. We feel like we've been kicked, stretched, slung around and diced up all in the midst of being checked on, built up, cared for and even doted over. Thanks to friends and family we're still alive and scheming, but it's been quite the test for two culture-shocked adventurers trying desperately to figure out what comes next all while trying to surrender to the fact that maybe we're not supposed to be doing all the figuring. Confusing, right?

And amidst the laughter through tears, I've started to realize that maybe I've learned a thing or seven in the discomfort we've chosen this summer in the name of being truly happy in life.

1. Two cars are always better than one. Although zero car payments are of course better than any. So one paid off car should be better than two cars and a car payment. But somehow that logic always fails me on days like today when I feel naked without the car. And as a woman you reserve the right to be irritated if there is a car payment, and pouty if the lack of one means you have to share a car temporarily. (Pout.) Now I'm exhausted and confused. (Pout.)

2. I can live on approximately 5% of my wardrobe. Who knew?

3. Yoga a few times a week does not mean wine calories are miraculously null and void. (The nerve, right?!) But it does mean you can wear stretchy clothes which have magical powers when it comes to growing curves.

4. All pools were not created equal. There's something to be said for the condo complex seemingly packed to the gills with senior citizens. Cleanest. Pool. Ever.

5. Flopping around in said pool as you heave yourself up on the kindly-provided, high-dollar float unfortunately does not constitute a workout. (I swear my heart rate was elevated for a minute there.) However running up three flights of stairs to the condo to pee (because who would want to be the heathen who pollutes this crystal oasis) should, in all fairness, get to count as a workout.

6. It's more exciting to struggle in a foreign country with gorgeous beaches and exotic sounding people who say your name like they're making love to it. 'Kay-eee-la' in Texan and 'Kyyyy-laaaa' in Spanish just don't compare.

7. Tan-orexia is a very real and formidable condition. (Thank you Abby for giving name to this silent killer.) Oh no! I think I might be losing my tan at this very moment. WHERE IS THE NEAREST POOL?!

So, at least I'm growing, right? Oh and I almost forgot #8....
8. There's nothing like a blog post to procrastinate from what you should be doing. Working on your book!