The In-Between Spaces
In 6 weeks, we will be boarding a plane back to the United States.
I am still here in Spain but my head is really in two places, here and there.
“United States” Stuff
I have booked airfare, a hotel in Chicago, a rental vehicle back to Kansas City, and a hotel in Des Moines as a stopover. Since our house will be rented until August 5, we found a small Airbnb near our daughters’ high school.
The Center for Disease Control currently requires a 14-day quarantine upon our return. This means our daughters will not be allowed to attend Band Camp, even if they test Covid19 Negative.
So why are we going back early and paying for an Airbnb there AND rent through July in Spain? Gonzalo couldn’t get on the July 23 flight so he is flying to Chicago on July 31. Maybe we should switch to the July 31 flight and return with him.
But no, I am holding onto the hope that a negative Covid19 lab result after an appropriate waiting period will be accepted by then.
Given the increasing coronavirus case count in the United States, we are unsure of what school will look like in the fall. Extracurriculars are also up in the air. This is beyond anyone’s control and all we can do is wait for District announcements and adjust accordingly.
Note to self: Create the study.com transcripts for the kids’ online courses and contact the school district to schedule an enrollment appointment. Once there, pick up their yearbooks from last year. Will there even be yearbooks?
Another note to self: Get health insurance! There is no way I’m getting on a plane to the United States without health insurance…
We are currently unemployed, despite pursuing many virtual job opportunities. We have also been proactive about applying for positions in Kansas City, knowing it takes time to interview and get a job.
Some economists have stated the US is in a recession. I’m not sure if that’s true, but the job market is definitely sluggish.
I’m not panicking. I’m not afraid. But I am aware.
We will have just enough money in our Valencia Fund and our Spanish bank account to pay July’s bills and do some traveling. When we arrive in the US, we will flip the switch and start spending down the Kansas fund, which is a separate bank account.
We have found a buyer for the used car that we purchased, but he is struggling to find reasonably priced auto insurance. He is an American who has lived here 6 years using public transportation but is deemed a “new” driver in Spain.
We are also fighting for a pro-rata refund on tuition for our unused Spanish classes. The Academy has denied the request even though they are legally required to honor it. We paid a lawyer $165 to send a letter and are hopeful they will respond favorably. If not, there will be more legal bills.
We are also waiting on a refund for a canceled flight to London in April. Sneaky people…they tried to issue a voucher after I declined the voucher and requested a cash refund. Ryan Air doesn’t operate in the United States, so we need our cash back, please.
We are fighting all these battles and more, but things take longer in Spain. They have their own pace and process here. And a lot of holidays. And siesta. And limited days and hours when businesses are open. Add in the quarantine business closures and you can imagine.
Things do get done eventually, but you have to stay on top of it. Thankfully, Gonzalo speaks fluent Spanish and is as fiery-tempered as the Spaniards. He minces no words and is in Type A, first-born-child overdrive to get all that money back into our bank account.
On a happy note, Spain moved into Phase 3 yesterday, which means we can travel outside of Valencia.
We have purchased airfare to Ibiza from June 21-24…Hurray, a trip!
Since the Balearic Islands are opening up for vacationers, it looks like the islands will be packed. I had hoped for lighter crowds and lower costs, but that’s ok. I guess we will all have face-mask-shaped tan lines this summer!
We also want to take a road trip through Spain and Portugal, so those plans are in process. It feels good to have something fun to look forward to!
When we return to Valencia from our travels, it will be time to sort, pack, donate, gift, sell stuff, and clean the apartment.
The dogs will need a travel physical and the documents must be approved. This will require a trip to a dingy government office near the Port within 10 days of departure.
We will weigh suitcases and switch out our rental car for a big van to lug us and all our stuff to Madrid. Déjà vu!
What To Do
I so want to be in the present moment and enjoy the last 6 weeks.
Instead, I am mucking my way through administrative tasks on 2 continents.
I’m also struggling with the tension of what was, what is, and what is to come.
Yet all of life in its multiple states and dimensions is held in a wise, strong, resilient balance.
Thankfully, not by me.
So if I’m not really in control of this wondrous universe I inhabit, why worry?
Can I just relax into that unsettled in-between headspace that is my present moment?
Actually, that isn’t just how my life is now…
Wherever we are and whatever we do, we live in those in-between spaces.
Looking back, looking ahead.
Then we pull our awareness back to right now.
And accept that life is lived in a continuum of in-between spaces.