It seems I have to make a much stronger effort to become a more disciplined person. Not only in expressing my thoughts more frequently but, more importantly, to return to my regular Spanish lessons.
It isn’t even laziness (so much) as it is disheartenment at my recall difficulties. Given a predictable or familiar context, I’m able to make sense of written material, even actually understand a text on occasion. I can’t read a book, naturally, but I can usually follow the cooking instructions on a box of frozen quarter pound ‘tortas de carne’ – whereby I won’t admit that I ever bought such a thing. Just giving you a hypothetical scenario. We are, after all, in Costa Rica, where one eats fresh tropical fruits (mangoes are in season now!!), not packaged stuff.
If someone speaks in slow, short sentences, enunciating carefully while smiling encouragingly, I might absorb some vital information. More by osmosis than through knowledge, but I might get it, sometimes. But, and this is a huge “but”, I can not say diddly-squat. I can not speak. No hablo español. Those lovely Spanish words will not emerge from their holding patterns within my brain. I know perfectly well that they’re right there, poised in their little starting blocks, waiting for the starter’s pistol to go off, which, apparently never happens. It makes me feel stunted, cut off at the knees.
However, it seems the only way to improve, is practice, to which I MUST return more faithfully from now on. And with this positive thought, I bid you a good night!