Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lazy Sunday...

I am planning on having a lazy Sunday. That includes taking many naps and hanging out behind the computer and watching interesting, I hope, programs on the television. I want to have a day of sheer self indulgence and the least amount of responsibility. Well, I'll take care of the cats and walk the Überhund, but other than that I will contemplate my navel and stand in front of my closet and look for pretty clothes to wear. Maybe something good will jump out at me.

Then I'll look in the bathroom mirror and see if I have any stray hairs on my chin while wearing my extra strong set of spare reading glasses that I can't wear behind the computer, but that are perfect for rounding up stray facial hairs. Yes, I am at that age of confused hormones that can't decide if I am still enough of a woman not to grow a beard. It's the curse of womanhood and hardly ever talked about. Luckily, they are all blond and not easily seen by other people.

I will contemplate my navel while drinking mugs of decaf and smoking handmade cigarettes and think about such issues as will I part my hair to the left or the right, will I make it curly with the curling iron or just leave it straight and what will I do about the two kilos that I gained and will I be able to loose them by next week? See here the uncomplicatedness of my thoughts. I keep them that way on purpose and selectively think that way, leaving the larger issues for other moments when I am more willing to tackle them head on at braver moments.

I will pet the Überhund and have several cats sit on top of me and not be bothered by the addition of hair to my black cardigan, if that is what I end up wearing. I will wear my Pippy Longstocking leggings of which I have 3 pairs in different colors and feel amused and silly by them.

I will also, probably, contemplate the walls, which need a coat of paint, but the thought of that is too daunting for me, so I will not dwell on that too much. Better think of collages and colors and images and texts and that tomorrow is Monday and I can go to creative therapy again.

So you see, I will have a busy contemplation time and hopefully sometimes my mind will wander into an area of nothingness and be as blank as an unwritten piece of paper.

I was such a daydreamer as a kid, that very often I was oblivious of what happened around me and had to be called back to reality with some effort. This gave my parents the impression that I was somehow not quite functional, as in dysfunctional, and they worried about my state of mind. They expected little of me and were surprised when I did well. I daydreamed my way through grade school and didn't wake up until high school where I had to keep my wits about me.

Sometimes, I have a hard time understanding what people say to me and I either fake it and pretend that I heard them, or I ask them to repeat themselves. It all depends on how comfortable I feel with that person. Sometimes this creates misunderstandings, because I don't react in a way that is expected of me in response to what has been said to me. I think people must think I'm a bit of an airhead, when really I just didn't understand the words they spoke to me. It was the tower of Babel to me. I like people who articulate well and speak loudly. I've had this problem my whole life.

I learned to speak up and clearly when I lived in the States. I acquired one of those loud American voices. Hearty and cheerful. I could small talk with the best of them and no subject was out of my realm. It was a problem when I came back to the Netherlands, because I had forgotten so much of the language and I became timid and self conscious about speaking out my thoughts for which I had no words. I was verbally handicapped and could no longer small talk, let alone talk about the big issues. I always reverted back to English.

It split me in half and I was only half a person and I didn't recognize the Dutch one and had a hard time coming to grips with her. I reverted back to being a child in my dependencies and felt very helpless. I had to carve out a whole new woman. A Dutch woman with an American tint. It took me quite a while to give shape to this person and the mastery of the language was a very important part of this. The problem was that my thoughts and my dreams were in English, so I constantly had to translate myself.

I have been here 15 years now and I think I have made the transformation, but I still love the use of the English language and in a way, it will always be my first language in which I can say a whole bunch of things that I can't say in Dutch. Depending on the subject and the characters, I either dream in English or in Dutch. I can say endearments in Dutch now and swear in Dutch now also, so I have come a long way.

I don't daydream much anymore. I've become much too alert for that. I am constantly monitoring myself, as I always keep track of my inner self and its state of mind. Aberrations are dealt with immediately. I will keep an even keel. There will be no tilting to the right or left. My state of mind is like a child that needs a guiding hand all the time and needs to be led on the right path constantly, lest it strays away too far from its destiny. That's the kind of discipline I've taught myself over the past years.

I am Dutch enough now to care a great deal about what happens inside this country and I bend myself over the big issues and form opinions on them. It's a good country to live in and most people are of good will. The politics aren't obviously corrupt and when you vote, you get the feeling that you make a difference. Things could be better and there are a lot of conditions I would change, but I can only achieve that by voting. At least I can vote, which I was never able to do in the States, not being a citizen of that country.

The best part about being dutch is, that I have found my pragmatism again and my sensibility, but maybe those are European traits. I am not a flag waving, take it or leave it Yankee. I know that is a broad statement, but you get my drift. Things rub off on you.

I think if there is anything Dutch people abhor, it is nationalism, having come in contact with that in an extreme form during world war II, We suspect anyone who starts spouting that kind of nonsense. It goes against our grain, even though secretly we are proud to be Dutch, we don't like to be organized in a group of fatherland lovers. We don't salute our flag and hardly know the words to the national anthem, but don't attack us as Dutch people, because we do have our pride. We pour scorn on ourselves, but don't allow an outsider to do it.

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I've been out walking the Überhund. It isn't very cold out, 3 degrees Celsius. That does make difference between freezing and not freezing. It was almost balmy. You get used to anything when it is cold and appreciate any rise in temperatures. It was overcast, but it is supposed to be sunny today. A meek little sun that hardly warms the earth, but does its best anyway. Its going to be a bit warmer in the next few days. All is well as long as you wear layers of clothes.

Here in the South, people are very chauvinistic about their language and lifestyle. The language is spoken by high and low and the life style is Burgundian, with the emphasis on good food and drink. There are many good restaurants and many fun cafés. Downtown is a perfect area to get lost in and do nothing but move from one café terrace to the other to get different views of the old buildings. You can have cappuccinos with cookies all afternoon, though you can alternate those with glasses of white wine or good beer from the local breweries.

There is nothing wrong about being a woman on your own and going into a café. Nobody will bother you and you very leisurely can have your drink and enjoy the noise and activity around you. I have never seen cases of drunkenness during the day and everybody is in a good mood.

Th best thing about living here is that it is a city, but it feels like small town, because it is compact and you can get around by foot or by bike. Once you learn to understand the language, you don't feel like an outsider so much. A Hollander.

Well, that's about all I have to share with you today. Don't forget to read my post below about the medicines.

Have a great day.

Ciao...

5 comments:

Maggie May said...

Reading your post about having a lazy Sunday makes me feel a bit that way too! However, you have not been lazy with your post and it seems to be quite verbose!
Funnily enough, I can express myself in writing better than verbally!
We are all strange! Unique! Just as well really as it would be so boring if we were all the same.

Those hairs that have to be plucked out of the chin of a woman (of a certain age) are an absolute nuisance. Children are very quick to spot things like that and pipe up, *why is that hair growing out of that mole?* or *why do you have holes all over you face* or *why is your face so wrinkly.... are you really old? Are you going to die?* Always make you feel so good LOL.
Enjoy the rest of your lazy day. X

Ineke said...

O how I wish i could have one of those days again. Thing is, there is always a child coming up to me saying things like: He is bothering me. I am bored. Can I have a drink/wat lekkers/ a dog.

I do remember those days from about 10 yrs ago.
Only 10 more to go, before the first leaves the house.
Might even be me :)

Grit said...

well done irene! i am joining you in a lazy sunday. isn't it great? i have done nothing but cruise around the blogs, then one load of laundry, two of dishwasher and cooked dinner. and i still feel like it's been a lazy day! let's do more of them and next time i'll get in a takeaway!

Lane said...

You've had a rough few days. You deserve a good old Lazy Sunday, covered with a couple of cats:-)

I can't imagine dreaming in another language. But I wish I could. My language skills are non existent.

Cheryl said...

You so deserve a lazy Sunday! I hope you stuck with your plans and just hung around, relaxing and pondering.
It is so interesting to me how you still dream in a different language. The mind is sure a strange but beautiful place. Continued luck with your medication dance.
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