Back to Life... Back to Reality
But my heart is still in Spain.
Tábara, Spain is one of the places I can’t stop thinking about.
After a really unbelievable, whirlwind trip to Spain to cover Zamora’s Holy Week, I’m back home… setting out to write content for my blog, GoNOMAD.com, and hopefully a few other publications. I’ll sprinkle in a few pics and stories in this week’s newsletter, but watch for the majority of the content in the coming weeks.
I’d planned to make this issue all about Zamora, but the stories I want to tell are still processing… kind of like when you’re trying to load a website and you’re going one on one with the “spin of death” icon.
You can stare at the screen all you want, but we know how that scenario ends. You have to either step away or shut down and try again.
Well, thanks to a case of jet lag, I am that spinning wheel right now, hoping that my trip memories, pics, and creative juices come together for some great stories. I’ve learned that writing sometimes needs a bit of time to naturally come to life.
So, this week What I’d Rather Be Talking About is letting things play out and paying attention to the natural ebbs and flows of life instead of trying to force it. Spoiler - I’m not just talking about how this applies to my travel stories. I’m referring to the moments in life when we want things to go a certain way or think we should be able to do this or that in X amount of time. Sometimes we need to give in to the spin.
Maybe that spin of death icon isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s obnoxious, yes, but it could be churning up something really great, better than we’d expected.
While my stories of Zamora are processing, scoot down below to see what did show up on my browser now that I’m back to life.
P.S. Is it just me, or do you hear something playing over and over in your head?
Looking to slow your roll a bit? Then I’ve got something for you. I used to listen to a great podcast called The Slow Home Podcast, which was a husband/wife dedicated to slowing things down. Well, that podcast is now The Tortoise, which also digs deep into the power of slow but with a few new twists.
Did you know that every person has their own unique form of genius to bring to the world? Ozan Varol, author of Awaken Your Genius, talks about it in his book and in this episode of The Accidental Creative. (I listened in hopes of waking up my genius for my upcoming writing.)
If you’re trying to eat healthily and also like to eat out, you’ll want to give this episode of The Food Trainer’s Podcast a listen. Here, NYC-based registered dietician Lauren Slayton (who is refreshingly real and on point with how normal humans go about the business of trying to eat well) gives great tips on how to make better choices at restaurants.
A new podcast I *briefly* listened to but liked enough to post and add to my playlist - Soul & Wit, featuring a mother and daughter duo who talk about real-life issues. In this episode, they offer tips on simplifying your wardrobe.
If you’re like me and continue to gasp about prices when you grocery shop, you’ll want to watch this episode of Rainbow Plant Life, where host Nisha shares tips on stretching your food budget without sacrificing flavor or taste.
I watched “A Man Called Otto” on the plane home from Spain after I noticed the guy in the seat next to me watching it. He both laughed and got a little teary, making me think this flick was worth a view. Holy moly, is it worth a view. To see a beautiful story about life, grief, love, and friendship, please give Otto a view. You can watch it on Amazon Prime, in some theaters, or on a nonstop flight from Chicago to Madrid (or vice versa) via Iberia Airlines. (I recommend the latter.)
Speaking of my trip, one thing that I don’t need to process is my realization that even after many trips to Spain, I still ended up packing too much and not quite the right things. I ended up getting the most bang for my buck with the simple black sweater (kind of like this one from Zara) and jeans I brought along from my favorite store, Evereve. (Shoutout to Gabby at the Corners location!)
While in Madrid, I discovered my people and my food in Chueca at this amazing grocery store… Colmado de Bienes. If you happen to find yourself in Madrid missing your coconut milk yogurt or other plant-based eats, come here.
Speaking of shopping… if you’re headed to Madrid & want to do a little shopping while you’re there, I’d recommend visiting my favorite neighborhood - Chueca. It’s full of amazing shops, healthy restaurants, cafes, and hot yoga studios, and it’s within walking distance of Gran Via and Retiro Park. (Here’s how to get there via transit.) I especially love Desigual, & Other Stories, all the shoe stores, and for gifts (self or others), nothing beats Chueca’s Energía Positiva.
Also, when in Madrid… why not get your hair done, right? Amigas, you might want to consider it if you’re there because my bayalage cost… wait for it… $89! And I love the results! Now to find a free flight to Madrid in 8 weeks or so…
Bayalage complements of the lovely Lucia (upper right) at XIQUENA Salon in Madrid. Also pictured - Living La Vida with my amazing amiga, Rocio. *You can find Rocio at Fundación MAPFRE, (Paseo Recoletos, 25). Head there for fantastic art & photography exhibitions.
Well, I started out this newsletter thinking my brain was stuck & I wouldn’t be able to share any of the things I saw or did while in Spain. After a good night’s sleep (I started this newsletter last night at 8:00, which in Madrid is really 2:00 a.m.), my creative juices were a-flowin’. At least a little.
So I’ll leave you with two thoughts to ponder:
WE NEED MORE SLEEP. Whether you’re jet laggin’ like me or just burning the candle at both ends, I think it’s safe to say most people don’t get the Z’s they need, which really is no bueno. The quote below makes sense and made me stop, think, and rework my schedule for an earlier bedtime today.
Real rest feels like every cell is thanking you for taking care of you. It’s calm, not full of checklists and chores. It’s simple: not multitasking; not fixing broken things. — Jennifer Williamson
Things work better when we let them simmer a bit. Am I done with my writing for my Spain trip? Not even close. But, after a bit of rest and taking the necessary time to decompress, reset, and remember all of the events of the past weeks… my stories are starting to spill out. I’ve found that with writing or any project, it boils down to getting in sync with one’s own natural rhythm and pace… some things can’t be forced. (Yes, sometimes we need to work more quickly even when it’s hard because of outside demands.)
But when we can choose to sync at our own pace, I think we’ll find the wheels move much slower. Speaking of getting in sync…here’s a piece my dad wrote called In Sync. And, btw I still have the car he talks about, and its system still sometimes gets out of sync- which will make sense if you read the piece. (I’ll add a letter to Ford to my list of projects.)
With that, it’s time to get back to life, back to reality, and catch up on my Z’s.