Atrocities. Impeachment. What Next?

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Photo by Hampton Lamoureux on Pexels.com

I am rarely at a loss for words. But tonight, I was utterly speechless.

Two significant events have left me unable to comprehend our un-humanity:

First: Close to a million civilians in northern Syria are fleeing bombardment. They have nowhere to go. The Assad regime and its backers – Russia, Iran, Hezbollah – call this a cleansing operation. Others call it genocide, or at the very least, atrocities on a massive scale.

In an extraordinary feat, the international community continues to simultaneously wring its hands and sit on them when it comes to Syria. 

Second: After months of boycotting U.S. news about – what else, the impeachment hearings – I watched Donald Trump’s post-impeachment speech. I listened for what seemed like forever but was probably about 5 minutes. I tried to understand what he was saying, but I couldn’t.

I thought just listening to Trump’s speech would help. But looking away from the screen actually made things worse. Because when I wasn’t looking, the sound of applause and laughter was amplified.

Behind that merriment, I could hear fear. Hell, I could almost smell it. 

I bet those dozens of lawmakers in the audience so intent on pleasing Trump were doing so out of fear that they would be his next target. Would he tweet insults at them in the night? Would they go from being “helluva guy” to some teenage version of “poopy head”?

Times like these call for deep thought and…PIZZA. And wine.

I realized I was feeling let down by America. The America I have always loved; the America that had been – in my mind – the world’s greatest hope to become the land of the free.

We all know that racism abounds in America. Just look at the prison system and you’ll see institutionalized slavery. Check out Big Pharma and you’ll see a perfect dealer-user dynamic.

But what I thought we had – what we always would have – was a group of politicians that would dare to speak uncomfortable truths. That both parties, no matter how radical and divided, would put their country before their choice of party. That representatives elected by the people would not lie down in the face of justice to avoid their president’s mockery.

I’m not sad because Republicans showed their support for their candidate; I’m devastated because they let their greed, lust for power, or weakness (or all three) stand in the way of Doing. The. Right. Thing.

I know Syria isn’t America, and Donald Trump has not murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents. I know nobody in their right mind would ever call Syria a democracy.

But I do know this: my split Syrian-American identity knows there are two authoritarian presidents, both willing to destroy their countries to stay in power.

What do YOU think? 

 

Pure Love

Yesterday I was feeling really down: depressed, anxious about work, questioning the future, not sure of anything, not trusting myself to make decisions. I managed to pull myself together enough to go for a walk on the beach. After all, I moved to Malaga to be by the beach!

The 15-minute walk did me a world of good. I was feeling much better when I found a little grassy hilltop where I could sit and watch the brave swimmers and sunbathers (it’s warm, but not THAT warm!). In front of me was an adorable family, what looked like two sisters and their babies. The mothers were chatting and the little ones were playing. The youngest was particularly cute. He was staggering around in that I-just-started-walking way as he played with the other kids.

Suddenly, he started to whine, then cry. His mother tried to distract him with toys and a song, but the cries were getting more insistent. I recognized the sound – “I’m tired and hungry so will you please just whip out that boob!” The mother recognized it too, and within a few seconds feeding her baby.

Once the baby’s hunger subsided, he relaxed. He stretched an arm, extending it towards his mother’s neck. His fist started to unclench. The waves provided the perfect background noise. The baby opened his hand completely, laying it gently against his mother’s neck. She was looking down at him, completely mesmerized.

I was mesmerized too. I finally forced myself to look away. It probably looked creepy, me staring at a stranger breastfeeding her child. If the mother had asked, I would have told her that just seeing the two of them had removed my dark mood. That the beautiful transformation from cranky to at-peace baby had soothed my nerves.

The walk and the sun had soothed me. The waves had made me relax. But witnessing the purest love of all – well, that lifted me. Thank you, mama.

Day Trips

Here, There 'n' Everywhere

Introduction

After our two day stay in Torremolinos, my family and I went Fuengirola, where we will be staying until the 15th of July. While in Fuengirola, we took 4 day trips (as of July 4, 2019) to Malaga, Mijas Pueblo, Marbella, and took a second trip to Malaga

Malaga (part 1)

Malaga is home to many interesting houses, castles and buildings. This building was one I found to be interesting due to the fact that it was several hundreds of years old and was in a “modern” area of the city.

Fuengirola is maybe an hour from Malaga, so on June 28, my family and I decided to go explore it since we had heard good things. My mom (who I’ll be moving with in September) quickly fell in love with the city. We walked around and decided that we needed to live there so my mom scheduled an…

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Countdown to Spain

I’ve decided to move to Spain!

WHAT?

I’ve decided to move to Spain!

Step 1: Decide what kind of visa I need.

After reading literally hundreds of documents, blogposts, guides, and advice columns, and firing one lawyer, I have decided to apply for a Non-Lucrative visa in Spain. This type of visa will allow me to live in Spain for up to 1 year. The catch is I can’t work for a Spanish company. I can still work online and support my US-based clients though.

Step 2: Apply.

In progress. I’ve done the background check and am waiting for my FBI-and-fingerprint-check to come through. I’ve made a doctor’s appointment to get the health certificate. I’m talking with my insurance company to make sure I have full coverage for the year in Spain. I’m gathering bank statements to prove that I have enough US work and income to cover my expenses. I’ve booked an apartment through Spotahome for the initial trip that involves the family – well within the 90-day Schengen visa – so we have a place to stay. I’ve written the letter that describes why I want to live in Spain. I’ve found a service that will translate and certify all my documents.

The real work begins once I go to the Spanish consulate in Washington, DC. I’m told they don’t give appointments, so I’m planning to spend a lot of time waiting in line…WISH ME LUCK!

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Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on Pexels.com

The first post…

Wow! I’m excited to finally be writing about something, anything that is not related to  Syria!

I’ve decided to start this blog to discuss issues that affect those of us who are in the 50+ range, in the prime of our lives.

Every day I hear from people who are considerably younger than me lamenting about their “old age.” I hear, “Oh man…I’m turning 30! It’s so scary!” or “Shit, I’ve hit 40 and I still don’t know what I’m doing!”

Well, let me say this: I’m actually loving being my age. I’m 50+ and I’ve never felt better! I’m reinventing myself and learning about who I’d like to be for the next 50+ years. Well, okay, maybe 20 or 30 years.

Do you want to know why I’m reinventing myself?

Because I can! Because it’s impossible to define ourselves in a few simple words. Because as dynamic individuals, we are capable of positive change. We evolve. We mold ourselves into who we want to be in any given time span. And when we’re sick of that, we move on and become someone new. We take stock of all we learn in a given minute, hour, day, week – heck, decade – and gain new perspectives on life.

Being 50-plus has all kinds of advantages. We may be more confident at this age than ever before. We may be more secure in who we are, realizing that we have the power to change who we are. We probably know what we don’t like. And best of all, we’re old enough that we don’t have to take shit from anyone. That in itself is incredibly liberating!

So for all the 50-somethings who see this site, please let me know if you’d like to contribute any of your thoughts on any subject at all. For those who have yet to join this 50+ club, please read on – you’ll be here soon enough. Who knows – you might find some advice that helps you!

Thanks for reading!