Drowning out the Noise

Today, we’re flying back to Seattle, where we’re from. We’ve lived in Phoenix for the last year and a half but we’re FROM Seattle. So we’re going back to re-establish our residency. Even though we’re going to live in Spain, nearly full time, we need to be residents of one of the 50 states in the US. Why not choose one we actually like?

So off we’ll go. And we’ll get to see our friends. People we’ve known and worked with for over 20 years. I have missed them. Catching up will be wonderful in person. Seeing their exploits on Facebook just hasn’t been the same. Reading their Twitter rants hasn’t made me as connected to them as I’d like. And Instagram is just a snapshot of one trip or another. Or the fall leaves outside their house, or the Pho they just had for lunch.

It’s not like I don’t appreciate Social Media.  Even 10 years ago, if you moved out of town, you had to send emails or actual letters (maybe a text or two) to keep up with each other. Forget calling. But now we can do it any time we like. This is good and bad. It’s created noise in each of our lives. We have instant access to everything now. But most of the time, it’s access that doesn’t serve us.


When I came home, after walking the Camino this summer, I would meditate a lot. I would spend the entire day in my house in silence without checking social media, or watching the news. Yoga was my friend. I had gotten so digitally detoxed, I didn’t want the noise or the distraction, aside from listening to my own heart beat. It was in this period that we decided to make this move. But slowly, like an insidious disease, I have become pulled back. And the frustrations and speed of the world have crept back in. My inner peace has faded.

So I ask myself – Do I really need to know instantly that Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty? Do I really need to see the coffee my friend just drank? Am I so starved for information that something Geraldo Rivera just said really matters to me?  Can I care about everything? Or has everything now become nothing? Can I even hear my own heart beat anymore?

So I have made a commitment to myself. I’m putting down my phone and I’m not checking my apps throughout the day. The news is going to stay off and the incessant drone of negativity and distraction is not going to drip, drip, drip into my brain – wearing it away like a rock in a river. The noise of the rushing water out there, will not disturb the calm in here.

It’s quiet in my house right now and I feel better already. Namaste

Ticket out of Limbo Land

Its easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity, as our focus shifts to wrapping up our life here in the US, and starting a new one in Spain. But in the months before we go, I need to remind myself to live TODAY. Sounds sort of elementary, but the things that matter usually are.

While getting stuff checked off the ‘moving to Spain’ list, I’m writing a second book and editing my first novel. Although, if I’m honest I’ve been neglecting both of these last few weeks. I brought my laptop with me to Valencia, thinking I would write in the airport, on planes or in the middle of the night when jetlag was at its worst. But I found I didn’t. I was too keyed up, and I know myself. My best writing doesn’t come when I’m distracted. It requires focus. My characters deserve better.

I’ve been edgy and nervous about everything coming together. But today, I’m sitting down in our house, and getting back to it. Sometimes, I think it’s easy to set aside the things we love to do, so that we can just get through things that make us uncomfortable. Muscle through it – it’s what I know how to do. But I realized, I can’t put my life on hold so that we can get ourselves to Spain.

Part of why I’ve been so out of sorts is that I’ve not been living in the now, but in limbo land. That ends today. Today, I’m dedicating myself to doing what I LOVE – my normal writing routine. A good cup of Spanish coffee, my favorite breakfast, and my fingers to the keyboard. It’s a bit of muscle memory and it feels good.

It’s not a Sprint

Yesterday, I walked Valencia. Even as far as Alboraya – through the onion fields there. Valencia is a very walkable city. It was good to have a day off! I’ve been running since I got here on this quick trip, squeezed in right before Thanksgiving back home. It’s been overwhelming, at times.


I’ve looked at so many apartments they begin to blend together. And I just needed to get my bearings. Walked out of my hotel yesterday morning, and the Valencia Marathon was literally running by me. Oh Universe! How obvious you can be? I get the message.

I’ve been sprinting for the last few weeks, in a race that is really a Marathon. And now I’m feeling the effects. Bad cold, and the jet lag this time has been brutal. Not like me at all. So today, I stopped and smelled the roses. OK, not the roses – but a second cup of café con leche. And went to the local Mercadona and bought food, instead of eating breakfast out. I felt more like myself. More grounded. It slowed me down.

I came back to my room and did the daily mantra I wrote for myself after returning from Spain this summer. I’ve been neglecting it for a few days while running around like a mad woman. It was then I realized, what I’ve been saying to myself every morning for the last 5 months is beginning to come true. Just about every other thing I wrote down, that I said I wanted in my life, is starting to appear. Some are in sharper relief but they’re definitely there. Wow! Someone once told me ‘Where attention goes, energy flows’ so maybe that’s true.

Today, my PA is taking me to a few more apartments and I’m hoping that by tomorrow we will make a decision and reserve, to start the process of signing a lease. Today, I’m taking my time. No rushing through the viewings. Looking, seeing and being present. I’ve found my pace to run this race. At last.