This summer’s travels are my little happiness project. As I’ve gotten older I’ve given up the idea that happiness is found because we made the perfect life decisions or did creative work or have a great relationship with our spouse. I know for me, I am much more simple than that.

So biking my way across Europe means I hit almost all my happiness serotonin sweet spots… I’m outside in the sun, doing something physical but fun, traveling, which lightens my mood, makes me laugh more, which makes my kids happier, so they laugh more, which infects my husband with joy and he’s sweeter to me, then I love him more, while drinking wine, eating fresh bakery goods (or sweets) and having some of the best coffee in the world. Win, win, win, and win some more.

Day 1: Leave Pamplona at noon. Blistering sun overhead. Get on the highway, whatever, Google said to do it. Get escorted off the highway. Right. Detour to a minor road, popping a tire along the way. Slip a chain. Continue on. 15 km in, find a spot to stealth camp off the main road.

Day 2: Ride entirely uphill all day. Pass signs that say, 8% grade, 10% grade, 12% grade. Walk up hill pushing your bike so much that you have competing soreness from biking and walking. Make it 45 km, then after coasting down the most spectacular road of your life, blow your tire out completely, with no spare tube. Beg a farmer to camp on his land. Walk 7 km with busted bike to the next town. It’s Sunday. Nothing is open. Send husband off on bus after we’re told we can’t take the bikes with us, and hope he can find something in San Sebastián.

Okay let’s just say it: I’m a little depressed.

I realized it this week because I had a call with my editor and agent and thought, “oh god, I suck”. That’s called negative self-talk and it’s insane. Here are two people who are heavily invested in me, and yet I’m self-shaming and worrying about everything that comes out of my mouth. Why? Because depression is sneaky. It seems like it should be about laying around in bed and not taking showers, but sometimes it’s about just hating on yourself for no reason.

Drew, wisely, just nodded. But that’s the thing. When you’re a mom, you’re the center of the family. If you’re unhappy, even a little, it unbalances everything.

In this composition, the composer strived for a similar experience of encountering an (musical) object. This quest led to a research-oriented approach towards the musical material – an approach in which the chosen musical material is employed as a singular object investigated several times throughout the time-continuum of the piece.

This interaction creates more tension and concentration through constant listening & cueing between musicians and this, in turn, introduces ‘the second dimension’ to the piece.

In other words, the musical material is regarded as a prism viewed from different angles and under different lightings. Hence, the musical material is not used as a departure point that would ‘lead somewhere’; an entity that needs to be ‘developed’, ‘processed’ and eventually ‘transformed’ into something else.

They should have named this the Goat Islands, but really the Canary Islands weren’t named after the bird either.   A fact about the signs in Fuerteventura:  they don’t make goat crossing signs, so the resourceful islanders use deer crossing ones instead.  So I spent the first day driving past the sand dunes on one side and the beach on the other, wondering what kind of deer (!) I should expect to see bounding my way.

This was the view from my apartment.  At the end of the day, I would just watch the windsurfers and kite surfers battle the waves for an hour, and occasionally pull off some amazing jumps. The interior of the island is a mixture of mountains, desert and dunes, and often it feels more like a moonscape than an island paradise.