So part of my job is risk mitigation. I don’t talk very much about my job, or at all really, on this site because I like to keep my personal and professional lives well and clearly separated. But I was thinking yesterday after work & after I published my last blog post on hating Spain (I don’t actually hate Spain, it’s a lovely country) that I can treat the causes of my unhappiness like I treat security risks. A lot of my aggravation can be boiled down to three main topics: Car/traffic, social isolation/house, and the language barrier.

What if I treat these like risks to my happiness?

Because they are. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they have long graduated from potential risks to actual issues, in progress, heavily impacting my daily life.

The other stuff, the problems with logistics/mail and making appointments and how things (don’t) work here, that is Just The Way Spain Operates and well beyond my control. Those I have to begrudgingly accept. No sense fighting the tide. The things I can control and the things that are giving me the most grief have about a 75% overlap.

This is very good news! 🙂 This means I can take action to mitigate the main issues that are hurting me, greatly reduce my stress and – best of all – increase my overall happiness and quality of life here in Spain.

So that is what I am doing. I am moving into the city, and I am giving up my car. Whew. Already feel better just thinking about it. Having a car in central Madrid is ridiculous, it’s like having a car in Manhattan. It only makes sense if you are a 90 year old half-blind billionaire with a driver. I just don’t need one, and it’s not worth the hassle (or the never-ending parking tickets).

I’m looking forward to being around people again, people who speak Spanish all day long. I’ll pick the language up much faster in the city with such an increase in exposure. I will get out of this IKEA-junked villa, away from the massive power bills and the random water cuts and horrid commute times, and I will downsize my life to an apartment and walk all over the city instead of driving. It’s time.

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