One word to describe our holiday in Barcelona these past two weeks: Ambivalence.
Never in my life have I meet so many sweet, open, caring people at once – and never has a holiday been so full of frustration.
Background: Marcus was going on a Permaculture course in Barcelona, the kids and I tagged along, and was to join him on the practicum in the last weekend after the Permaculture Design Course. I figured we could go sightseeing, hang out at the Permaculture centre he was doing the course in – and then hang out with him in the afternoon.
ARGHHHH!!! Was my feeling almost all through the first week. Big city sightseeing with two small kids was just too stressful for me, and for the kids – especially two tired little kids – we had to get up at 7 to drive Marcus to the course – or he would either have to juggle public transportation from a suburb or we would be left in said suburb all day without a car (yes we could do public transportation from there – but again with two small kids I knew it would end in a “not today” kind of holiday). Marcus did not get time of from the course untill 7 or 8, and had homework after that. And the room we had rented was in a crowded apartment (8 people in a 3 bedroom flat…). And the place the course was being taught was not (and never will be) a Permaculture farm – and there was no room for me and the kids there – we felt very much in the way of the staff… And I’ll admit it – I was insanely jealous of my husband who was on this wonderful course with these beautiful people having all this fun. ARRRGHHH!!!
And then there was a change – first I got upset with my husband for not being with us, and instead of being defensive and angry with me for not understanding, he just got his things and came and met us. He understood, he saw my frustration and he met me right there. The next day we talked again and I told him how this being around other people all the time (at the flat we were living, in town, and at the course) – was stressful because I was constantly gauging their expectations, never resting. And how jealous I was of him learning all these things and all these great people, and me feeling left out. And there – out of my honesty, and his acknowledgement of what was happening to me came the change – I relaxed more, took more days at home with the kids in the suburb – watching TV and going to the pool. And some evenings we just hung out at the center, with the interns – making dinner with them and just chill’n. It’s not to say that all frustrations ended right there and then – but I could share it with him, and later actually some of it with the other students at the course, because they also noticed that my kids and I were not welcomed at Can Valdaura, and they were also frustrated with the place.
And these people are some of the sweetest, most generous, loving people I have ever met. It is like hanging out with some of my best friends, even if I just met them. Meeting them has been a gift – and it has made this stay in Barcelona worth all the turmoil. Some of them are coming to visit, some will stay for a longer time – helping us with our finca, some for a short while, just stopping by on their way out in the world. And we will be going back to Barcelona to meet some. We now have a network of people around Europe, some actually live around the world – and we will come and visit 🙂