okay, maybe I do need to get a life.
It's so. many. things piled atop a big ol' heap of trash that's about to go up in flames. Ok, maybe a bit cynical, but I'm truly looking forward to being in PT and having a brief reprieve from the insanity. I may also have to take up sweeping, and I might need the sanitizing fat strip spray due to all of the stress eating & drinking. 🙃
Thank for this Shanna - thought provoking as always - in the mad maelstrom of the world, creating a sense, even if only small, of control in our lives, is so important. As you say the satisfaction of being able impose order, even if only temporary by sweeping up sand, is analogous to many other hobbies that seek tame unruliness - mine is patchwork - sewing random scraps of fabric into patterns - vaguely useful, but ultimately far more about the process than the product:-)
I couldn’t agree with you more about the state of the US. Stick a fork in it, it’s done. Sad to watch, but glad I escaped, and am so concerned for those I love there. Unfortunately when it goes down there will be worldwide consequences and a new world order will shift. Hard to predict what that will look like. We can see how bold Russia is and how China is quietly manipulating. I enjoy “menial” tasks as well and find its comforting to accomplish small things within my control. Chop wood, carry water.✌️
Thank you for these reflections. The final week of rulings in this session by the U.S. Supreme Court both anger and deeply sadden me. Not only did the court strip away a woman’s right to choose the destiny of her own body, they also rejected sensible gun regulations, and weakened environmental protections. And this reactionary court is not done yet. I implore your readers to vote in the U.S. mid-term elections this coming November if eligible.
Though I am looking forward to living in Portugal for many reasons, not the least of which is the regression (and suppression) currently taking hold in the U.S., I intend to do what I can from afar by making regulation donations to non-profit organizations and political campaigns which work in support of activities and causes which I believe in and value. U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. are legally permitted to make donations to political candidates and campaigns.
My one-way flight from the U.S. to Portugal is this coming September, and I have no doubt that I have made the right decision. Your reflections and writings have given me many insights about living in Portugal, and I very much appreciate your generous spirit in sharing them.
Gross, Shanna. You mentioned *him,* and then you used the word "flaccid." I heaved. I thought I couldn't finish reading, but then you closed out with "hibernation veil" and totally redeemed yourself!
Things are NOT okay here--and thank you for asking. It's in the air, it's palpable, it's The Thing People Talk About. The scariest part is the knowledge that this is the beginning of something, not the end or culmination. It's awful.
Your new hobby is brilliant. You're a modern-day, Portuguese-living Candide, cultivating and sweeping your own garden, flourishing with the wisdom and experience that assures us that, no matter what happens in the world, there is always sweeping to be done. You've come to Candide's realization, too: this isn't avoidance, this is acknowledgement.
Sweeping, writing, creating, thinking, discussing: You're out here doing the good work.
Thanks for this. Shortly after our move to Portugal, I took my my cleaning mania to another level. My husband noticed it first and I obviously denied it. After reading your blog post, I am willing to admit that moving to PT last year was more stressful than anticipated. Bless my little heart...
OMG ! I relate to this so much. My aunt Margie, my fathers much younger sister, used to really enjoy cleaning. In fact when I visited her after I was there quite a while she would go into the kitchen and clean off the appliances. With me, its the laundry. I really enjoy doing the laundry and feel so satisfied afterwards. I think its a control thing for me. I feel like at least its something I can control in these days where everything is out of control. While I watched our famous Macys fireworks last night I just could not celebrate the 4th of July. In fact I really felt like is was a distraction but so many Americans just love a distraction over dealing with reality. :(
Completely agree with your observations about the U.S..
It's frustrating, horrible and anxiety provoking but sadly not surprising at all nor novel as you point out so well when we look at history and human behavior. You can also just step one big toe into the country and the feeling of anger and aggression as a whole is overwhelming and impossible to ignore.
You posed two questions to your readers-
1. What are you doing to take care of yourself? I am limiting my time on Twitter, going to yoga in the park each Saturday, getting back off the booze for an undetermined timeframe, doing a nightly meditation before bed, eating lots and lots of fruits and veggies and enjoying the summer sun
2. What are you doing to help your community? Donating our things to charity and schools in anticipation of our move to Portugal. Not driving and texting.
Hi Shanna, you got it off your chest the political stuff! Men hey? What would they know?! That's my little rant! I mean what about women who get pregnant when they're raped? The ones who used precautions but they didn't work for one reason or another? Not forgetting health risks, women that would find out during pregnancy that having a child could be dangerous for them or the baby? I mean hell, I pity women in the US, I feel for them I really do! Anyway, you just enjoy your sweeping and all your other hobbies that you enjoy doing! Is it getting hot and unbearable in Portugal? I know it has in Spain! I certainly couldn't live with that now! It was debilitating when I lived there. As I'm getting older and feeling it!! No thanks, I'll pass on that one! Very enjoyable reading Shanna as we have come to expect! Take care and keep on sweeping! xxx
Just so you know, I think I invented the sweeping as meditative hobby after the 2016 election, but I'm happy to know others have found the satisfaction that is corralling of the dust bunnies and wall grit. Then RGB died and I needed something more powerful - enter ShopVac. And now this latest dumpster fire that continues to spread and devour the US feels beyond sweeping and sucking and so I turn to long walks, deep breaths, belly rubs given to my pup, and doing everything I can to get my affairs in order so I can make the move to Portugal as soon as possible.
You have a life, an amazing life, and I love learning about it!
Very grateful for the political insights. I awaken everyday with gratitude for my new Portuguese home, the people, and culture. My daily news habit affirms my decision to reside here while also filling me with sadness for my former American home and the ever widening abyss fueled by wealth concentration, media consolidation, false patriotism, corruption and willful ignorance. Thank you for having the courage to express yourself Shanna!
Yeah, we're not remotely okay. The stress is so bad, I've developed mules on my skin.
I became a daily meditative sweeper because of cat litter. I have one of those small brooms with a matching dustpan on a long handle, and that's my fave combo ever. (Hmm.. That set *would* fit in a suitcase...) I'm also a fan of meditative ironing, although that's more of a cool-weather practice. Works best on flat things like napkins and hankies.
😄 Yes, hope to see you in Setúbal!
I sympathize and agree, Shanna. I like the Zen approach. Thanks.
You're right. It is terribly difficult to refrain from political comments when we see the country of our birth going through such convulsions. Being an expat does not - despite what some "patriots" say - make one a traitor. On the contrary, most American expats in my experience are deeply concerned and still wishing for the best for the USA. Most of the time, my reaction to the latest and greatest news atrocity is mixed - anger and sadness. I feel some of my friends and family still in the US are deluding themselves by saying that "Well, it's not what I see out my window:." Like some of the other commenters, I am glad that I'm not back there these crazy days.