I know that when you read this title your mind immediately jumped to an enormously popular country song about a marriage that’s gone a smidge cold, but fear not, y’all, my marriage is just fine. Spicy, caliente, the whole bit. Fear not.
For the great majority of you who did not get Carter’s Chord’s “A Little Less Comfortable” for free on iTunes and have just missed that offbeat redneck reference, what I am actually referring to is not a relatively unimpressive country song, but my new resolution. I’m not calling it a New Year’s Resolution, because for one, it’s now the middle of February (how exactly that happened, I don’t know), and two, I don’t really do those. I’m just as critical of myself on every other day of the year, so I don’t even bother.
To be honest, when I look back on my time spent in Sevilla, in the fall of 2010, I see a lot of wasted time. Most of those three months was spent wishing that I was back home, and I can’t say with certainty that I made the most out of my time there. Yes, I travelled quite a bit, and I got to know a fabulous Spanish woman whom I grew to adore. I explored a continent and visited friends in Germany, and that’s something. But I put little effort into making friends, Spanish or American, because I had enough in Texas, thank you very much. And yes, my language skills improved, but even that could have been more of a priority. Aside from great travelling experiences and a deeper appreciation for life back home, what did I gain except more student loans?
So this time is going to be different. I’m telling you all for accountability purposes: this is going to be a semester of significance. I’m not going to waste seven more months in this country pining for what I can’t have. And while I have had valid reasons for staying comfortable in my attic (a lack of monthly transit pass and a cold front from Siberia, literally, to name a few), the Lord has put me here, and I’m going to actually be used where I am. I keep being reminding of the time when God tells the exiles in Babylon to plant gardens, make homes, marry off their kids– to make lives for themselves in this foreign land. And Paul tells us his readers to make the best of the situation we are in, no matter what that may be. So that’s the plan. Because I am here for a reason, and I don’t want to add this time to my list of months already squandered, or at least partially squandered.
So the theme of this month is to live less comfortably. Quite a bit of my time here is spent in my attic, skyping, facebooking, watching tv, or playing Puzzle Express (a highly addicting Tetris-like game perfect for wasting time). And while I certainly don’t plan to do less skyping/facebooking, the tv and games could be cut back on.
So some things I’m going to do:
–Read all the books I brought with me. Seriously, I brought a million books that I didn’t have time to read at home, and I haven’t touched them even now. So I’m going to start those.
–I’m going to call the transit company and have an adult conversation in Spanish about the glove I accidentally left on the bus on Wednesday (sorry, Mommy).
–I’m going to get at least one intercambio (conversation partner).
–I am going to explore Valdemoro and will meet at least three people this month.
–I will research clubs or language classes in Valdemoro.
A lot of these are uncomfortable for me. Phone calls in Spanish are a bit unnerving, though I’m getting better with them now that Nuria has chastised me for not answering the phone. Meeting up with strangers for conversation will take some nerve as well; let’s face it, y’all, I am not always a people person. But tonight at church I felt deeply convicted that I was not to waste my time here, and that I needed to invest, so here goes. Hold me accountable, and I’ll keep you posted.