Is summer really gone?

feet

My sabbatical was not planned; it wasn’t intentional. As I boarded the flight that carried me to the land of tapas, I naively believed this summer would be different; that my beloved little beach town would finally have a reliable Internet connection. But alas, this was not so.

Time after time, I attempted to connect, only to lose my connection after only two seconds.

Don’t think I didn’t try, folks. I did. But in the end, I found it was easier to give in to the paella comas and the lull of the waves, than to harbor frustration and irritation.

Now, two and a half months later, I am once again in the place I call home. Sadly, it feels like it’s home that I’ve left behind.

Looking out the window, my eyes taking in the gray and gloomy clouds, I can’t but miss my beloved land of Don Quijote. My eyes tear at the thought of having to wait nine months before I am once again reunited with my mother and her furry friend, Olivia.

It’s barely been three weeks since I arrived, and already I yearn for the sun’s warm kiss on my skin and the tantalizing smell of salt in the air.

The sea. How I miss it! I miss its ability to lull me to sleep; waves gently making their way to the shore, peaks of white foam reaching up to the sky.

I miss the happy disposition of the Spanish and the courteous way they always greet one another with “¡Buenos Días!” or “¡Buenas noches!” Good morning! Good evening!

I miss the little bakery that serves the most delicious “cafe con leche.” I miss its colorful decor, the little rattan tables, and the group of people who gather there every morning for pleasant conversation.

I miss the music, the chatter, the noise.
I miss the passion of the people, the culture, the country.

I miss the fish, the paella, the wine.
Wine that regardless its cost, always tastes like ambrosia.

I miss the Spanish “telenovela” my mother and I watched faithfully every afternoon. I miss guessing which character would marry, die, or become a nun or a priest at the first sign of a lover’s betrayal.

I miss it all.

A heavy sigh lingers in my lungs, unwilling to escape my lips, afraid that if it does, the realization that all that has been left behind will become tangible. Concrete. Real.

Nevertheless, life goes on, my friends, and so must I. I’m grateful for the opportunity to reenter the blogosphere and once again become acquainted with your creative genius.

Reading glasses perched on my nose, I reach for my mouse.

old town 1

old town 2

old town 3

How did you spend your summer?

XOXO,

Note: If you want to see more photos of Spain, visit me on Instagram!

And what is the comatose state?

coma

The comatose state.

The state of being incapable of moving a muscle.

Absolute lethargy.

Disconnectedness from people, things, and the environment.

The inability to process information.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that if I’ve entered this state, it can only mean one thing: I’ve made it to Spain.

Land of Don Quixote.
Place where tapas abound, where vino flows freely, and where coffee is known as “cafe con leche.”
A land whose food is so rich, you cannot avoid falling into a coma.

A paella coma.
A churros coma.
A tapas coma.
An Iberian ham coma.

The sky is the limit regarding the variety of food that can suddenly induce one to enter this catatonic state.

Unlike the state of “dolce far niente,” you don’t plan it, you don’t see it coming, you can’t prepare for it. It simply hits you.

You know when you’re at its mercy when your eyes begin to close; when your head dips forward and you look like a bobble doll.
All you want to do is sleep.
This malady doesn’t have an antidote; a prolonged siesta is the only cure.

Don’t fight it.
Don’t try to control it.
Don’t think you can outfox it.

Once it has you in its grip, you’re a goner.

It’s best to simply surrender
To inhale and exhale deeply.
To let it lull you into a state of oblivion.

The effects are temporary but the rewards are many.

Like Sleeping Beauty, you’ll wake up refreshed; ready to incorporate yourself into whatever you were doing before becoming its prey.

The comatose state: one of Spain’s greatest gifts to unsuspecting visitors.

I’ll be here all summer, folks and when I’m not in a food coma, I hope to regale you with tales from this magnificent land.

When was the last time you fell into this kind of state?

Reporting from sunny Spain,

Roxy turns five!

Roxy birthday

Hello Everyone,

Our little Miss turned five this weekend! Our celebration was nothing short of spectacular as Roxy was finally able to return to the dog park. I’ve spent the last six months curbing her little outbursts by rewarding good behavior. Unfortunately, munching on too many homemade peanut butter doggie treats has resulted in a slight weight gain. While the extra pound makes Roxy all that much cuter, she now has to lose it to fly in the cabin when we travel this summer.

On another happy note, the Son graduated with a Bachelor of the Arts in Communication. And with Magna Cum Laude to boot! Like the Grinch, I felt my heart grew three sizes upon seeing my baby’s name on the graduation ceremony program. Indeed, it was the moment that finally allowed me to exhale.

I also want to take this opportunity to offer an apology for my absence. A shout out to Monica and Nan, whose support have helped me through these past ten months. Thank you, ladies! I love you! Much like Lemony Snicket, my life has been a series of unfortunate events, ranging all the way from surgeries to the unexpected death of a family member. It has not been easy, folks, but I’m still standing.

I have missed blogging, writing, and most of all, visiting your blogs. Please forgive my absence. It has not been intentional. However, with so much worry hanging in the air, my muse took to hiding. Nevertheless, things are looking up and guess what? Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means!

Yes, another summer of blogging from sunny Spain! I look forward to getting back in the writing saddle and catching up with your blogs. I have missed you!

XOXO,

Do I have time for a selfie?

New Yorkers love themselves ... who can blame them?

The selfie phenomenon.

All the way from Istanbul, to Buenos Aires, to one horse towns and villages all over the world. It’s here. And it’s here to stay.

From the young to the elderly, from blue-collar workers to the Commander-in-Chief.
The selfie taking practice is being embraced by all. So much in fact, we can’t but wonder if it confirms we’re a narcissistic society.

Looking over my son’s shoulder as he browsed through Facebook this morning, I couldn’t help noticing the dozens of selfies of his young friends. Young women, in an array of poses, ranging all the way from the “head cocked to the side” position, to the “OMG, is this still going on?” duck lips.

Later today, just seconds after I posted my own selfie to Instagram, I pondered the reasons that motivate us to share our mug with, for the most part, strangers.

Do we do it as a way of recruiting external validation, or does vanity propel us to use the selfie to document our beauty?

Were these selfies to be unedited and “au naturel,” perhaps the subject wouldn’t bother me.

Yet, looking at my own Instagram selfie, edited with various filters and a blur effect, I realize we aren’t presenting our “true” selves to the world.

The selfie appears to be another way to conform to society’s definition of beauty; one whose sad message is that you’re only beautiful if you look a certain way.

“Not everything is motivated by the evils of society, mom,” chided the Son when I broached the subject at the dinner table. “Sometimes,” he said, “a selfie is just a selfie.”

But is it? Thinking back to the heavily edited selfies I saw this morning, I’m not so sure.

In all fairness, I’m certain there are those who take selfies for the sake of documenting a bad hair day. Others might take them to evidence what they look like at a certain age.

Yet the fact that so many of us partake in the selfie phenomenon raises the question of, do we need others to tell us we’re beautiful?

And that makes me sad.

Sad because, even words like “You’re beautiful,” aren’t going to help if we don’t believe it ourselves.

Sad because we may always depend on someone to validate us.

Sad because we are placing so much importance on physicality and so little on what truly establishes our worth.

Sad because the majority of selfies aren’t true representations of what we really look like.

Sad because in hiding behind an edited selfie, we fail to show the world our true beauty, complete with enlarged pores and imperfections.

We may not be able to stop the selfie phenomenon, but we can refuse to play by the rules of peers, society, and our own insecurities.

We can turn the selfie on its head and instead, use it as a tool to affirm, “This is me. This is what I truly look like and I am beautiful.”

Inspired by my sister, who posted a selfie of her beautiful, unedited self on Facebook, I took a selfie tonight.

No make up.
No edits.
Just me.

Join me in the effort to turn this phenomenon into something positive by posting your own beautiful unedited selfie.

Let us effect positive change in how the world defines beauty.

Show the world the beauty that is you!

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XOXO,

Note: If you post a selfie, please leave a link in the comments section so other readers can see it.

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