So, I find myself this morning in a bar in Mojacar Playa with a beautiful view of the sea, with palm trees everywhere I look, the sun shining and blue skies and it’s all rather lovely.
It’s 11.20am and I’m here preparing classes and doing Spanish homework. I’d normally be listening to my own ‘soundtrack’ on headphones, but it’s so nice that even the trashy pop of the local radio station can’t spoil the moment. Or who knows, it may even be weirdly adding to it.
What this experience makes me think of is to not take things for granted. Thursday mornings in London were rarely like this. London doesn’t have the beach, sunshine and tranquility, although it does of course have countless other advantages. However, as many self-help books and the more recent ‘mindfulness’ movement suggest, I’m trying to focus more on being in the moment.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to living in Andalucia. My wife and I have been here for almost 4 years and although I’m not expecting our life to disappear anytime soon, I often find myself under a strange type of self-imposed pressure to enjoy myself and make the most of being here as long as it lasts. Or maybe that’s just living wherever you are? Having said that, it is much easier to enjoy living the life we live, especially since we got a dog.
I’d never owned a dog before and never been particularly ‘dog-friendly’. However, we’ve had our rescue dog Grace for over a year and every day, she’s a lovely reminder of living in the moment. When we wake up, the most important thing in the history of everything is to go for a walk and sniff stuff.
And maybe, that’s it. The ‘answer’ if such a thing exists.
So, as Grace would no doubt recommend in her delightfully innocent, Taoist, Winnie the Pooh- type way, stop thinking about stuff, stop writing stuff, and get out there and sniff stuff.
And I can never say no to Grace. Could you?