Covid reunions

Autumn in the Netherlands

Wow, my time in the Netherlands was a very welcome change of everything. Everything is so green!!! I arrived in proper Indian summer temperatures, so that was a very smooth transition. My plane arrived early (yes really) and my sister came to pick me up. It felt so good to see and hug her and my parents again. Even though at the same time it felt a bit strange with all the covid stuff going on. I noticed that in the Netherlands and the people I surround myself with, everyone tends to be more alert and I experienced more fear than where I live in Spain. Even within myself, when I would be in a shop or the few times I was in public transport, if I’d feel a tickle in my throat, I really felt uncomfortable to cough. It made me feel quite sad, that I’d become so conscious about my behaviour. It felt a bit uncomfortable to be outside now. Furthermore, I also felt a bit fearful of getting infected. For the risk towards my parents and also for myself. Even though I felt really happy to be back, I didn’t want to get stuck here. I find that quite funny though, that I was more worried of getting infected and not being able to back to Spain than of getting sick, which for me, being a higher risk person because of my kidneys, should maybe matter more. It’s just that I feel so good. And I guess that might be a big part of the pandemic problem, that so many people feel good and as long as nothing is wrong, there is no problem. There were quite some stories I knew, where people really had gotten very sick and the recovery took very long. At the same time, I also want to live and want to trust the process I’m in, where I’m taking the best care of my body since ever. So, there were many mixed feelings. In the end, I feel I was consciously careful. Not travelling all the time as I normally do and skipping on hugs with some friends, but still loving the time spent together. It was a much more peaceful stay because of that, which was really nice.

Before…

Several days were spent with my neighbours. This gave me time to fix some rotten wood in my windowframe, painting it and cleaning up the garden of my own house. Really nice to be part of the family there. Sharing meals, playing videogames and having great conversations. I could even take some milk kefir granules, which are very happily growing here in Spain (and at my aunt’s, who also wanted a bit :)).

After… without rotten wood and a new layer of paint 🙂

Unfortunately, my tenant told me they were moving out in November. That felt like a massive bummer. The idea of selling my house had been in my head and came back again. Although to set that in motion would mean I’d have to stay for at least another month, which didn’t feel right. I now have decided that I will sell it next year. It is a good time to sell and I’m running low on savings. At the moment it is also not a great time to get work in Spain. If I can’t go back in December than I do have to get a new tenant, otherwise I’ll have a financial problem early next year. So fingers crossed, for a new tenant or to be able to be back in NL for Christmas to set everything up.

My parents were another homebase to come back to. The nice thing about being there is that I don’t feel like a guest and don’t feel guilty if I spend half a day in my room (which is actually my sister’s old room, with a stable bigger bed than my old room). Over the years I’ve learned that I love staying with people and catching up with them, but I do need time with myself, to be able to switch off. My parents celebrated their birthdays on the 8th of October. We had a lovely take away meal from the restaurant my stepbrother is a chef at. We couldn’t go there for dinner because of new covid restrictions. Like all birthdays (and events where people gather) this year, it wasn’t the way it normally was. Also, because my other stepbrother wasn’t there and my sister couldn’t come over from Switzerland, because of quarantine for her work.

I also spent a week with my aunt, which is always great. We never run out of things to share and she is a great help with reflecting on my life, what’s happening in it and how to process that. And we have rummikub :).

My new extended home/workspace 🙂

Honestly, a lot has been happening. My time away from the finca, Charlie and the new relationship dynamics, gave me some space to reconnect with just myself again. And it was so nice to see what I found there. The nervousness I had been feeling in my van had left. Most of the mental noise started to quiet down. And I could connect again with a sense of gratefulness towards myself and the rich life I’m living. Becoming fully aware of being ok with myself. That my struggles were triggered at the place I was living in Spain and weren’t mine per se, but I was feeling a disbalance, which created a lot of resistance. In my (by now pretty elaborate) experience, arguing with what is, doesn’t work. I also realised that I had been choosing to live this, to stay. To go through this process, which I didn’t feel was entirely mine to process. So, what to do then if I didn’t want to feel like I was suffering (while living in paradise, isn’t that ironic ;))? Yes, I can leave, but being someone who wants to connect and who wants to stay in the area anyway, just leaving like that doesn’t feel like a suitable option for me. But I can choose to put more focus on my own needs and wishes and communicate clearer (the communication steps I’ve made… I’m amazed by myself sometimes). With that intention I went back to Spain. I was starting to miss the people and the life there, although I felt a bit reluctant to go back to the finca. Rain had been coming from the sky for quite some time too, which was getting a bit depressing ;).

My parents brought me to the airport on an early Friday morning. It was a more emotional farewell than normal. Happy tears of love and gratefulness to have spent time with them again and sad tears of not feeling the freedom and ease to come back whenever I want with the everchanging corona measures. Maybe we can celebrate Christmas together or maybe it will be the first one ever where I don’t celebrate it with them and that feels like a sad thought. The original plan was to drive to Zurich together with my sister, to spend time together there. But she hadn’t been able to come over and me flying there with increasing infections and pending restrictions also didn’t feel like a good plan. As usual, plans changed and I just went back to Spain.

Kombucha and milkkefir are happily brewing!

Going through the arrival checks at Sevilla airport they took (only) me to a separate room for an extra check. Everyone needed to fill in a short online health questionnaire before departure. Since I had worked a day in my old lab in Amsterdam, I had checked the box that I had been in a hospital. This is regarded as an extra risk and so they took my temperature and pulse (which was quite high since I felt nervous about what was happening and wanting to catch my train) and asked the same questions again. But all was good and I was free to go again and was perfectly on time for my train. Charlie picked me up there. It was nice to see each other again, but I also felt the tension again. Probably partly because I had anticipated it and I can then just crate it, but also because it was just there. The next morning the ‘everything is fine’ bubble burst. I went to the yurt to say hi, but I interrupted a silent argument that made a little bomb explode. In the end everyone shed some (or a lot of) tears. Good for reconnecting and clearing the air a bit, but also a great reminder of my intention. Interestingly enough, when they were away together to Sevilla for 2 weeks, I felt great on the finca. When I’m alone with either of them I usually feel more or less ok, but them together often gives me a restless feeling. I find it a disturbingly fascinating experience.

Surf’s up!!!

To honour my intention, I reached out to Hannah, my new surfbuddy, whom I connected with before I left. After way too much time, we got on our boards and back into the water. Wow, such bliss! The first wave broke my leash, but I managed to pretty safely have a nice session. It was surprisingly busy in the water that week, but we found a good spot. Less good waves, but also fewer people. One day, we also took Javi and Edu, who wanted to learn surfing, with us to teach them. That was so much fun and so rewarding to actually have them stand up and catch waves. Surfing together is always more fun than going in alone.

I’m also meeting up with friends more, doing massage exchanges again and working on my own network and projects, like putting up my vantent. It’s my extended living space and massage area with gas heater and electrical blanket ;).

Everything keeps developing and changing. The focus is back on my intention to give more attention to my own needs. Let’s see where that will take me in this last bit of 2020.

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