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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon (Anticipations) -- December 12, 2010

The Sunday

Do you ever feel that you are so looking forward to something, but you also don't want that something to come by, because it will be over soon, and life is going to go back to being as boring as ever? Which doesn't make any sense, because why would you not want that delightful something to happen? Or is the whole pleasure in the waiting and not in the actual happening? Someone once told me this - she was planning for an exciting event for days and weeks and just couldn't stop talking about it. Until the day came and she wanted to go back to the beginning. Now that it was here, she could no longer feel any excitement in it. It was going to end soon, whereas when she was preparing for it, it felt so good waiting for the day.

It's almost like a little kid saving up a piece of chocolate because he doesn't want it to get over. Or tasting a tiny portion every hour, until the delicacy is lost.

For instance, I can't wait for my Christmas vacation to come. For those ten days, I'm going to pack my real life away, and instead be with family (both immediate and extended) and have the time of my life. Or as close to the time of my life as possible. I can't wait to go to Disneyland (the happiest place on earth) for the fourth time in two years. I want to be dazzled by the city and lights of Vegas (I'm not into gambling but more into visual effects). Then there's my favorite nieces and charming dog to cuddle around with. No worries about work or groceries or anything, well at least I can delegate them to the older and abler people in the family. And while my eyes get glazed over thinking of these potentially wonderful days, for some reason, I also begin to think about the end of the holidays and trudging back to routine. Sigh...

Yesterday, a friend said in his Facebook page that you know you are having a wonderful time when you don't realize the day passing by. The good times really zip by like the scenery when you are in a speeding car, and before you know it, you are back home and driving to the office, chanting over the sound of the radio DJ in your car, "Five more days to the weekend", "One day down", all the way to "It's the weekend tomorrow"!

I don't always feel this way. I used to, previously, a lot. But then I found a wonderful system that helped me get over it. I call it the Silver Lining technique. That is, I wrap up any unpleasant thing in a silver lining. Worried about the exams tomorrow morning? Think about tomorrow evening, when you'll be partying with your friends and celebrating the end of exams. Is that much-anticipated meeting with your boss giving you sleepless nights? Think about how you can impress him with your numbers and confidence and yada-yada, your corporate life could just be getting a makeover. Worried about that unpleasant call you have to make? Go out soon after the call with your girlfriend to the mall or boyfriend to the bar and have fun for good-times sake. Going for vacation and feeling sad that there is no more vacation for months after this one? Think of your daily routine and the predictability - the books and the blogging and the twitter chats. Or the daily morning coffee. Hmm.. I still want the vacation.

Okay, maybe it isn't that bad. I actually like some control and predictability in my life. Which I've been missing for a while. So, I spend my time thinking of the holidays - doesn't help that everyone is also doing the same thing. At least I am grateful (very very much) that I have a ten-day vacation. That wasn't in the company plans earlier, but now with a mandatory shutdown enforced, I'm glad that I don't have to take vacation from my depleted vacation hours.

What are you doing this Christmas vacation? How much are you looking forward to it?


Tales of Whimsy said…
Wow. What fun! You go girl! Take pics :)
Oh, I can totally relate to what you're saying. I think that the whole "anticipation" thing is why we're let down. Over the weeks or months of anticipation, we build up the event in our minds until it is almost too fabulous to be real. Then we're underwhelmed.

Or when the event happens, it goes by so quickly, while the anticipation lasted and lasted....

I like your "silver lining" way of looking at things. I also call that "reframing," in that I try to look at things in a more positive way.

Hope your holidays live up to your anticipation, though. While you're in the moments, savor them. Then they'll last longer!

Here's my salon:
I can relate to that. I anticipate a great event and THAT particular day, I want to go back to the beginning!

Here is my Sunday Salon post!Wishing for you to come online.....although my net cuts me off every few seconds!
Great post! The anticipation is often so much more fun than the actual event. But, your vacation sounds wonderful! Vegas overwhelms me with the smoke and casinos, but the shopping, the hotels, the shows are such fun (and the visual is amazing!). And Disneyland in the winter, full of lights and happiness. Have a wonderful time.

I am off to Oman on Friday for a week. A totally different vacation from what you're going to have.
Anonymous said…
I can totally relate to this, as I'm sort of in this position right now. I'm so anxious for this semester to end and for winter break to get here, but all I can think of is how awful it will be to go back for my last semester.

But then again, I do the same "silver lining" thing that you do. I just think about how it's my last semester, and how at this time next year, I won't be bogged down with finals. Sure, I'll have work obligations, but that doesn't seem so bad because at least I'll be making money for what I do! haha!

Here's hoping you have a great vacation!
Ash said…
I'm going backpacking for two and a half weeks! Okay you already knew that, but I'm just so excited about it. I leave in 16 days! 16 days, that's just nothing. And totally a silver lining to the week of studying for my anthropology exam. Plus I get to see one of my best friends from high school this weekend and we rarely get to see each other because we go to different schools and she is always traveling.

I feel better about studying already-- thanks!
I like your silver lining technique. I don't really like the idea of always rushing away my life so that I can get to something more enjoyable. I too am looking forward to spending time with family and savoring the days.
I am SO SO SO looking forward to my 12/23 - Jan 2 off as well. I would not trade it for anything.....well let me think about that again...LOL

bermudaonion said…
I just got back from my parents and we're going to see Carl's parents next weekend, but other than that, we have no big plans. I hope you have a great trip!
I am definitely looking forward to my Christmas break, even though it's on a few days this year. Even just a few days off from work is going to be a lot of fun though.