Community for dummies – Food

We have been here for 5 full days now. The kids asked me today how long we’ve been there. For them it already felt like 2 weeks, said the eldest. The boys are doing great! Anyone who is a parent will understand that a happy child makes a happy parent.

Owenn learns from Juan to make a bench out of wood.
Javi and I accompanied Francesca to the garden and the chickens.

They adapt well to the climate and to being around “strange” people. They really seem to feel at home here. One thing that may take a little getting used to for them is the times to eat. The rhythm in Spain is so different from home. We are late eaters by Belgian standards, but the Spaniards really take the cake.

Add to that the fact that we often eat together and that this is not always something they know or like, can make for some grumpy children.

But all this indirectly creates interesting situations for me. Being used to doing things my own way and then coming into a community with more people to take into account are really two different things.

I’ll try to explain what happened. Yesterday in the afternoon we agreed that we would eat fries (fries = happy children). The five of us went to do some shopping in a village nearby. That took a long time and we were back late. I was under the impression that people would already be busy making the fries. But that turned out not to be the case. Dinner was made in the evening, but something completely different which I wasn’t sure who it was for.

Then several things happened. I am a huge conflict avoider. I don’t want to bother anyone with my problem and I don’t want to make anyone feel like they didn’t do a good job. But I was also annoyed that it was now late, the children were not getting what they were promised, they were hungry and grumpy and I, as a mother, had to deal with it.

What I should have done was ask. Ask what happened to the existing plan. Ask what was going on now. But the above mentioned qualities stopped me from doing so. So what I did was not communicate, make soup for the boys that they liked and solve it myself. This is how I’m used to doing things. There is a deep-rooted feeling in me that I have to do things myself and that there is no help or that others do not want to take care of me or us.

I know where this comes from and I also know that this feeling and behavior is holding me back to be the best version of myself. Both for myself and for others. What is beautiful and at the same time very difficult is that community living gives me a lot of opportunities to break free from these unserving beliefs.

But for someone who doesn’t want to make mistakes, it is sometimes a real challenge. Old pain surfaces and may be resolved. I think I knew this would happen, but I secretly hoped that everything would go smoothly.

Very unlike me, I had a conversation about this today and luckily there was nothing but understanding and support.

I understand that this sounds like something small to some, but for me it is the beginning of a new life, a different view and an interesting learning path.