Once again, other commitments and other outlets left this site gathering dust, almost three years to the day. But after the election this week, and the potential cultural shift in the US in the days to come, I’m feeling like 140 characters may not be enough. I’m debating whether to switch to another, more popular platform, such as Medium, but there’s something to be said for continuity, so I may just resume posting here occasionally.
Like many people, I’m still collecting my thoughts in the early days after the election (although Caterina Fake’s blog post rings especially true), so I don’t have much of substance to post just yet. But if our worst fears for the next few years come true, I expect to have much more to say.
Sofia has taken to making up “scripts” to be acted out in the tub at bathtime. Tonight’s was her version of the sinking of the Titanic, which, although she’s never seen the movie, makes for an interesting screenplay:
“Ok, I’m going to be in my boat. And I say, ‘What a beautiful boat.’ And then the boat is the Titanic, and it sinks. And I yell, ‘Help! Help!’ And then you come and rescue me. Then I say, ‘Oh, you’re lovely. Would you like to have a sleepover with me?’”
I have a Spotify account which gets heavy use during those times at work when I’m able to pop on headphones and get some serious coding done. However, since the same Spotify account is set up on Amy’s phone, and an account can only be used from one device at a time, there are times, particularly when Sofia is on the way home from school, when I get blocked because the account is in use elsewhere. In other words, I end up competing with my 5-year old to see if I can listen to coding music or she can listen to Daft Punk.
On a somewhat separate topic, I have some SmartThings at home (my reward for funding the Kickstarter campaign), including a presence sensor which Amy keeps in her purse. Thanks to a simple little ifttt recipe, I get an SMS every time the sensor goes in and out of range, essentially letting me know when Amy leaves the house or comes home. (All in the name of testing, of course…it’s only about half as stalkerish as it sounds.)
This afternoon I briefly fell into the dueling Spotify scenario until I surrendered and stopped logging in from my end. A little while later, I got an SMS saying that the car had pulled into the driveway at home, which usually means that music time is over and I can take the account back again.
If there’s a prize for the most convoluted usage of technology to solve the most first-world problem imaginable, this has to be in the running.
Today marks 27 days since we first arrived on a flight from Barcelona to San Francisco. In just shy of four weeks, we’ve gotten Amy’s permanent residence, lived in four different places, bought two cars and some furniture, started my new job, managed to get Sofia off to her first day of kindergarten, and eaten way too much junk food.
This morning Google reminded me that the return leg of our trip was leaving from SFO at 7:00am. Even though we never planned to be on that plane (a round-trip ticket was cheaper than a one-way flight), and we’re far too tied down to various leases and contracts to consider the possibility, it’s still a symbolic reminder that we’re now committed to making this move work. And so far, so good.
Now if we just had a sofa and some dining room furniture.
It starts with the most mundane things: canceling an embarrassingly-underused gym membership, or realizing that there’s no need to renew another year on the public bike sharing card. One by one, the clocks run out on one thing and another, and the invisible rhythms that take hold when you’ve settled in somewhere slowly begin to fall away.
It’s almost imperceptible at first, and then suddenly you realize that you’ve begun to say actual goodbyes to people, and the milestones start ticking past at an accelerating rate. Particularly around the summer months in Spain, the odds are that some people will be away for long stretches at a time, so you say these goodbyes early, all the while realizing that they’re a prelude to your own imminent departure.
Then, before you know it, you realize you’re doing every ordinary thing for possibly the last time, and everything is thrown into sharp focus. This last trip to the pediatrician, the last commute to work, the last meal at your usual lunch place, all suddenly take on special meaning by virtue of their finality. As you begin to detach yourself bit by bit from the machinery of everyday life, an almost weightless feeling takes hold. You imagine that impending 17-hour flight through limbo, momentarily homeless and with few possessions, before landing on the other side and beginning to shoulder the responsibilities of a new life.
For now, though, each little daily routine demands special recognition, as if to say, “this is your life, as it is now, as it will have been. Remember it.” Which is the real point of goodbyes, after all.