When Life Gets in the Way

Being busy isn't so bad if it's because I've survived another year.

(This blog is the English translation of this week’s primary blog, which was originally written in Spanish.)

Today is my birthday. I don’t say that because I want well wishes or anything, but this week’s been busy for me. My friends wanted to celebrate with me and so did my parents, so I didn’t have much free time. I’m not trying to complain or anything, the week was fun, and I liked taking a break to relax and chat with everyone. But, really, this type of interruption is not uncommon, I feel like every day there’s something else to do besides my Spanish studies.

And, well, that’s life, isn’t it? There is always something to do. Between work, social activities, food, sleep, appointments, and going to the bathroom, it’s easy to believe that there’s no time for anything, and often that feeling isn’t unfair. Work is hard, and it can make everyone tired, no matter what type of work, and nobody can or wants to be a hermit. Our friends and family are an important part of our lives, and to say to them, “oh, I’m sorry, I can’t go out tonight, I need to read this book and watch Netflix in Spanish for two more hours, maybe I’ll have a few hours free next Tuesday?” doesn’t feel that good.

Nevertheless, learning Spanish is still important to me. I want to do it, I like the whole process, and the thought of quitting seems much worse than losing a dinner with friends from time to time. It is a balancing act. You can’t throw all your real life out the window, and if you never follow a goal, you never achieve anything. I think the most important thing is to choose your battles.

A birthday comes once a year. To be honest, I don’t care much about my birthday (I’m now 33 years old, a boring and inelegant age, why should I care?), the festivities are for my friends and family, not for me, and that’s fine. I like those people, no problem, I can hang out with them, and it’s not a big thing to say “Sure, let’s go to a bar, have a drink, and chat,” even if that means I have to miss a day of Spanish. That’s life.

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to the movies with some friends, and I told them no. I was having a bad day, and I hadn’t read or watched enough television. If I went with them then, I wouldn’t have completed almost any of my goals for that day, and my goals are important to me. So I said no, I read a little, watched a little, and had an okay day. I choose my battles, it’s a balancing act.

There is no concrete rule to determine which choice is the right one in every situation, and I know that I make the wrong decision sometimes. Some days, I’ve gone to bed feeling annoyed because I knew I should’ve studied more, or that I should’ve spent more time with someone, and I’d made the wrong choice. Of course, other days (and really, most days) I go to bed feeling content, but I can’t win all the time. The best option is to keep moving forward, try to learn from your mistakes, and take everything in good cheer. No one is perfect, and something like learning a new language takes a lot of time. There’s room for mistakes, just like there’s room for friends and family.

Well, let’s see this week’s numbers.

Tuesday 8/13

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 10% of Cartas en el Asunto, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Miraculous, 1 episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, 1 episode of Los Simpson, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Wednesday 8/14

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 14% of Cartas en el Asunto, ~110 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Miraculous, 1 episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, ~80 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Thursday 8/15

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 9% of ¡Zas!, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Miraculous, 1 episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, 1 episode of Danel San GMR, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Friday 8/16

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 9% of ¡Zas!, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 1 episode of Miraculous, 1 episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events, 1 episode of Los Simpson, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Saturday 8/17

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 3% of ¡Zas!, ~30 minutes
  • Writing: 1300 words written, ~150 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Sunday 8/18

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 6% of ¡Zas!, ~60 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: Invazer Zim: Enter the Florpus, 1 episode of La Zona Cero, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes

Monday 8/19

  • Duolingo: 20 XP earned, ~0 minutes
  • Reading: 9% of ¡Zas!, ~90 minutes
  • Watching/Listening: 2 episodes of Daniel San GMR, 1 episode of OhNoMaria, ~90 minutes
  • Speaking: reading out loud, ~30 minutes
  • Total Duolingo: 140 XP, 0 minutes
  • Total reading: 2/3 books, 560 minutes
  • Total watching/listening: 5 youtube episodes, 1 movie, and 10 tv episodes watched, 530 minutes
  • Total Writing: 1300 words written, 150 minutes
  • Total speaking: reading out loud, 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 hours 40 minutes

As I said in the main blog, it was a hard week. The days weren’t a disaster or anything, but I had to make compromises. Saturday and Sunday were the strangest days. I spent Saturday with some friends, we went to a bar, we had dinner together, that kind of thing, and on Sunday I went to brunch with my dad and some other people. Both days I had to plan my schedule carefully. The weekend doesn’t affect my numbers too much, but it wasn’t easy. I’m guessing the worst day will probably be today, but we’ll have to wait and see the numbers for next week.

After several months, I finished A Series of Unfortunate Events this week. The series has always been interesting to me, but it took a long time before I could follow it well, and an even longer time before I could reach the end. Now having watched it, I can say that I really like the series. The performances are good and the writing is clever, fun, and bleak, all at the same time. I am glad that I watched it.

This week Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus came out on Netflix, and I have been looking forward to it a lot. I admit that I watched it in English first, but it was so good I wanted to watch it again. The Spanish version is not bad at all. I missed Zim a lot.

I also finished Cartas en el Asunto, which was fantastic, and I started reading ¡Zas! another book in the City Guards subseries. I love the Guards subseries, and I’ve enjoyed the book so far. I’ll soon run out of Discworld books, and that makes me very sad. I’m not sure what I’m going to read after finishing the series, and I’m soon going to run out of time as well as books.

In Duolingo this week, in the sentence “Nuestro avión despegará en diez minutos,” the translation that Duolingo suggested was, “Our plane will be taking off in ten minutes.” This translation isn’t direct, and is more like, “Nuestro avión estará despegando en diez minutos,” which I know is an awkward phrase in Spanish. Someone asked why the suggestion is like that, and it’s because that form of conjugation, the future progressive, is common in English with future events that won’t conclude rapidly, like the process of taking off. And … why is it like that? Well, English is dumb.

It’s a bit strange to write this part of the blog in these Spanish entries. On the one hand, I try to keep these Spanish blogs a bit separate from English blogs. I don’t think the audiences for them are necessarily the same, not everyone is an English and Spanish speaker. I write translations of these entries, but I don’t have enough time to write translations of the English entries, so if someone reads only Spanish ones, this blog section probably seems strange, without a clear or easy to follow progression. I’m not sure, but it seems weird.

Well, that’s enough for this entry. Cheers, TTFN.

2 thoughts on “When Life Gets in the Way

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