Bad attitude

So, I feel a bit badly about this post. It’s not happy and doesn’t sound like me. But, it is honest. It is where I am right now. Next week will be better, maybe even in a couple of days. Promise.

I know the phases of culture shock, and that settling in is just ahead. But, I can definitively state that the ‘honeymoon’ phase of living in the Spanish village of Gaucin is firmly behind me. Right now I’m stuck in ‘cranky’. Which is my nice word for it. Dreamboat and the kids may have other words to describe it.

Most of my friends think of this year of travel as a collection of amazing locales. And fabulous cuisines. And they’re right. I did too. But, you know who’s cooking and cleaning in each of those places? And doing laundry? And wiping dirty bottoms (not just my own)? Yep – me.

Right now, following my dreams looks a lot like being a housewife. Just with a change of location.

At this moment I’m in this little Andalucian village, perched in the mountains above the Mediterranean, and gazing over the spectacular views. It is even more picturesque than it sounds. Stunning. See…

View from my bedroom. Really.

View from my bedroom. Really.


Sun setting over Gaucin

Sun setting over Gaucin


Calipha, 'our' donkey.

Calipha, ‘our’ donkey.

And I feel stuck. Trapped.  And I feel badly for feeling badly.

And I wonder why we’re here and how long I can last.

I look back on the three months in Guinea with longing. Not really wanting to go back to life on the Africa Mercy, but missing the constant knowledge that we were making an impact in the lives of others. And missing the challenges of life in Africa. Truly. (I am one of those crazy people that thrives with obstacles to overcome.)  And I miss lots of activity. And I miss my friends. (And I miss having a scale. Where’s the reward in eating well and exercising daily when I can’t know how much weight is melting away?)

And, I have to admit, I’m a city girl. In addition to a certain level of activity and availability, I’ve gotten accustomed to a high standard of coffee (my mom’s entirely to blame for that one – and I’m grateful to her), which our drip coffee maker does not live up to. And that last cup, five hours after the pot was initially brewed, is simply gross. No matter how much heavy cream I add.

The nearest movie theatre is an hour away, and without a car, it’s unlikely I’ll see a movie while we’re here. Funny thing is, I don’t really care about whether or not I see a movie, but being unable to see a movie is a different story. That makes it feel like it wasn’t my decision. Back to being trapped.

And Dreamboat is loving it here. Which is irritating. He’s reveling in the quiet. In the beauty. And the older kiddo’s have just started in the local school and are immersed in Spanish, just like we wanted.

First day of school

First day of school

And, apparently, not in need of future therapy for it. They’re happy and making friends.

I’m obviously not like them.

Part of the issue is that I miss having a job. I know. Crazy, right? But I’m more comfortable in my role as worker-person, than house-wife person. I’m trying not to be bored, to figure out my new role. I know it’s good for me. For us. But, really, so far, I don’t like it much.

But, I think I’m going to start looking for our next place in a larger town, with easier access to trains and buses. With, stores big enough to handle the pushchair (stroller) without knocking people out of the aisles like bowling pins. Which sell both toothpaste and veggies under one roof…to keep from having to constantly apologize to my family for my attitude. Which I’m going to change. My attitude, that is. I’m going to focus on my many, many blessings. And the view. And how lucky I am. And I’m going to learn to slow down and enjoy the quiet. And I’m going to speak up more and allow Dreamboat to give me the perspective that I need. To help me get balanced again. And I’m going to continue enjoying all the many, many cuddles and kisses with my Peanut. Whom, by the way, is also thriving.

And I’m reminding myself, that even though I’m worn out by details of everyday life, sometimes that’s where victories are won. I’m in the right place. For now.



Filed under January 2013

9 Responses to Bad attitude

  1. Beth Krupp Bachran via Facebook

    Love the honesty. Still love that you’re venturing out for an adventure that will change all of you forever (not for your own benefit but for the benefit of others in the long-run, which we all know is what you wish for). I love that you’ll look back on this and sigh and want to be transported back to this exact season at this exact spot. I love that you’re going to reap the benefit of shaving off some pounds for a long time to come (who cares how many you’ve left here and there… point is, they’re long gone). I love that you’re going to find a niche and you’re going to settle in and sigh and wonder about all kinds of things. Who knows, maybe the “next big idea” will be born out of this and you can write books and share with everyone else all the rich ‘stuff’ you’ve learned out of this time… anyways… xox

  2. Wow. You really put yourself out there with every post. Thank you for that. I am proud to know you. You just called out my main fear about being a mom and what would happen if I quit. Love and hugs to you. I know you will come out on the other side of this with a new perspective. Definitely speak up more and try to take care of your needs. Where can I send a French press and some good coffee?:)

  3. Vonnie Folkers

    We all get “stuck” in the mundane chores of life…………no matter what our locations!!!! Seems pretty normal except the shopping for everything under one roof!!! Maybe a little homesickness too???? Normal!!!! Hang in there girl…… are giving a gift to your kiddos that many don’t get to experience. The coffee thing, can’t agree with you more, your mother totally ruined me and I am forever grateful too!!!! Lots of love to you and yours!!! Vonnie

  4. Marti Stevens

    Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your honesty. This time will pass as they all do. Love you, Heidi.

  5. Judi John Kelly Toland via Facebook

    Loving your transparency. You and I are in opposite places. You have left the work world and I have just re-entered. I think our reactions are about the same. It. Is. Hard! The change from the ruts we have worn and are familiar with are difficult to navigate out of. And, just maybe, I don’t want to get out of them. I LIKE being entrenched in familiar territory. Comfort. Familiarity. Ruts. BUT, I am reminded of one of the words your dad used often that would make me cringe…sometimes. Flexibility. Excuse me, I don’t want to be stretched. But after the stretching I was comfortable in my new path, and just maybe, I didn’t want to go back. I am hoping for you, and for me, that this is the case. Blessings on you…and on me! :)

  6. Jan Applegate Thompson via Facebook

    Love you!! And I totally relate. Being a ‘house wife’ myself… Its,easy to lose identity and focus. But I am sure you r amazing in this new role!! ( even if its only for a season).

  7. I really should spell check before posting…

  8. Dianne Fernandez

    Heidi, what’s good about your bad attitude is that you can talk about it. Many women struggle with these same issues and find a way to overcome that is unique to them. It took me years to get over living in Saskatchewan and not being on the ship with constant change and excitement but as soon (a very long time for me because I’m stubborn) as I realized that I had to change because I couldn’t change my environment then I poured my energy into that. I found more of myself in the midst of having to change myself but it took me about 8 years, I know you will get through this quickly and I sure appreciate your telling it like it is. I sure wish I had the guts to even write down some of what I went through. You are a wonderfully honest woman! I love reading your posts. Dianne

  9. Katie

    You most certainly ARE impacting the lives of others, my friend! I bet Peanut is loving this time with his mama- and you know he will be a better man for it someday! Love you, Heidi. Think about you so often! Can’t wait for the next step in the adventure…..xoxo