Sunday, January 29, 2017

WHEN WE RETIRED IN MEXICO, IT WAS PARADISE, BUT NOW....

EVERYTHING ISN'T WONDERFUL

Watch for Chickens & Iguanas in the Road, Too!
     I usually focus on the positive aspects of our retirement in Mexico in my writing. But I'm feeling grumpy today and I want to tell you that it does not always feel like paradise once you've lived in Mexico for a while. It has been a little over a year since we moved into our cute little casita. The adventure has worn off and the reality of living in a Mexican neighborhood in a small town has set in. This life is not for everyone!
Hauling Our Laundry & Groceries in our Golf Cart is a Thing of the Past!
1. No More Golf Carts! There will be no more golf cart usage since the police came in and ticketed anyone driving one, then impounded the cart. We have to walk, ride our bikes, take a taxi, or take the bus to get anywhere. Our golf cart wasn't one of the unlucky ones that got loaded onto a giant tow truck and hauled away, fortunately. But unlicensed golf carts are no longer considered street-legal in the state of Nayarit, and there is no system for licensing them. So ours will just sit and rust away, I guess, along with the two sitting across the way that our Mexican neighbors own, and hundreds of others in the state. We have learned to expect the Mexican government to change the rules without notice.
How Will I Get My Fitbit Weekly Stats Report?

2. My Fitbit® pedometer is gone! The clasp on my four-year-old Fitbit finally gave out and I lost my handy pedometer sometime during Zumba class! Now I don't know when I hit my 10,000 steps for the day. I'm afraid to order another Fitbit while we are living in Mexico because it's a gamble whether the delivery service will find our Mexican home. How will I survive another 6 months without a Fitbit®?!!
A 4-Inch-Wide Moth Quivered on Our Outer Wall for Days, Soaking up the Sun

3. January weather has been COLD! It was only 63°F outside when I finally rolled out from under my 4 blankets on the bed at 8:30 this morning. There are no such thing as heaters in a Mexican house, only the brick and mortar to hold in the warmth, so it was only 68°F in the house in the morning. I had to dress in sweatpants, sweatshirt, and socks to get warm. My body is now acclimated to 80 to 85°F and anything below 74°F feels cold to me. I feel grumpy when I'm cold! I'm ready for spring.
Hanging My Zumba Banners Usually Makes Me Happy

4. Zumba class didn't even make me happy! No one came to my Zumba class one day last week. It was just Jon and me dancing and exercising together. Half of the students probably didn't want to leave their warm beds either. The other half, without golf carts, probably didn't want to walk a half-mile or mile to the Cultural Center. We swept the entire classroom, picked up trash, and put up our Zumba banners, but no one came to our party.
Paint Peeling Off the Base of our Outdoor Wall
5. Paint peels constantly in Mexico. The moisture causes the stucco to effervesce, lifting the surface and crumbling the paint. The walls with effervescence that I scraped and touched up with primer last year are crumbling again. Jon scraped one wall that needs repainting. How long will it sit like that before we get a painter here?
My Mexican Knick-Knacks Collect Dust & Look Dingy

6. Dust, dust, everywhere! My knick-knacks are dusty! Our bedroom light fixtures full of cobwebs--yuk! Our casita is all open to the yard when we throw the doors and windows open each morning once the outside temperature reaches that of the inside of our house. So, it's as though we live outdoors. Dust filters in from the dirt road we live on and from the yard, naturally, settling on everything indoors and out. Our maid is too short to see that the top of the refrigerator is covered with dust, cobwebs, and, yes, gecko poop. We live in a beach town so we track sand and dirt home every time we walk anywhere. Flip-flops must be taken off on the porch!
The Waves are too WILD this Week!!

7. The waves are TOO big and wild! The ocean surf was too high for us to boogie-board or swim this week. Only the hardiest, most skilled surfers are braving these wild waves and rip tides. Stand-Up Paddle Boarding is definitely out! We don't even have a way to haul the board to the beach now that our golf cart usage has been curtailed. No ocean time for us this week!
The Neighbor Boys "Making Music" in the Street was Cute at First...

8. The NOISE! The dogs barking at every unfamiliar passerby, the neighbor boys playing their homemade drum set and trumpets all afternoon until they are called in for dinner (whew!), the roosters crowing because the sun is getting ready to set (that can't be right, can it?), and the loudspeakers blaring from trucks selling everything from mattresses to shrimp. Didn't I recently call this the "music of Mexico" and say that I miss it when we aren't here? This week it just makes me grumpy to hear the boys play their drums for hours!
Fresh Strawberries for Breakfast Again?

9. Where are the mangoes? Why aren't there any mangoes or blueberries in the markets? I am tired of eating the same fresh fruit with my homemade yogurt and granola every morning: bananas, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mandarins, grapes, and apples. OK, granted, all of the fruit we get here is picked ripe so everything is tastier and juicier than any we've had in the U.S. So what is my problem?
DONALD TRUMP'S WALL! Is He Crazy?
10. Donald Trump's crazy behavior! I blame all of my grumpiness this week on Donald Trump's behavior! How can this wall be for real? It is insane! The more I read about it, the more upset I become. The peaceful relationship between Mexico and the U.S. is being disrupted more each day. I worry for the Mexicans on both sides of the border. I wonder if the wall will disrupt our own travel between these two countries. Trump's insanity is making me feel crazy!

OK. STOP!

THAT'S ENOUGH OF MY "POOR ME" WHINING!

IF THESE ARE MY BIGGEST PROBLEMS, LIVING IN MEXICO IS STILL PARADISE!

IT'S ALL IN THE ATTITUDE! I NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, STARTING NOW!

     Life anywhere, even in paradise, has it's downsides and bad days. For me, when I'm feeling grumpy, that means it's time to get out a post-it note and write myself a list of a minimum of three things I am going to accomplish today. This always gives me a feeling of purpose and gets me back on track, enjoying today for what it is, and appreciating the beauty of living in Mexico.
      Since I whined about ten "poor me" things, I guess I better get a larger piece of paper for my list and give myself a week to achieve these goals. It needs to include ten positive things I can do. I live in paradise after all. There are so many positives in Mexico, it's all in the attitude and what you see when you look around. Making my list of ten things I will accomplish in the coming week will be the start of my attitude adjustment!
Riding Our Bikes to Take 2 Loads of Laundry to the Lavandaria

1. Ride our bikes and walk more! We may not have a car or the use of our golf cart any longer, but that just means we will be getting more exercise. We retired in a small town for a reason--so we could walk almost anywhere we want to go. Now we'll just ride our bikes more, too. It's time to take two loads of dirty laundry to the lavanderia, each bike loaded with a bag. Riding home, uphill, each bike will be loaded with a bag of clean clothes. Plus, we can pick up a few heavy groceries while we have our wheels--a few bottles of wine, a carton of milk, and some fruit should fill the saddle bags. That sure gives our legs a good work-out! One thing we learned from that first trip to town on the rough cobblestone road: we now wear our bike helmets every time we ride!
Fitbit® Charge 2 Is Available in Mexico!

2. I can order a Fitbit® from Best Buy in Mexico and have FedEx deliver it! The Fitbit Charge 2 would be an upgraded model from the old one that I lost, tracking heart rate as well as distance walked and calories burned! Best Buy has it discounted this week to only $3299 pesos (about $157 US), so I can order it and have it delivered by FedEx in 3 to 5 days! I am ordering my new Fitbit® today!
Winter View from My Home Office

3. Winter days are so beautiful here in Mexico, I must take a photo of our yard this morning. Even in January, the view from my home office gives me the feeling that I am sitting in a tropical garden while I write. The morning sky is so blue and clear, an amazing contrast to the greens of the palm trees and the various pinks of the bougainvillea in our garden!
Zumba Is Not Only Fun & Good Exercise, It's a Social Event!

4. Send Facebook posts to my Zumba students and to "Sayulita People" groups, inviting them to join me for my next class. Six people came to my next Zumba class, including a nice man and woman from New Zealand who were trying Zumba for the first time! It was so much fun! A positive outlook makes everything more fun!
Tough Plaster and Paint Work Calls for an Expert!

5. Call the painter and get on his schedule! I asked Jon to call the painter since Jon speaks much more Spanish than I do, plus he's a retired building contractor and can "talk the talk". He wrote out our work list in Spanish so he could explain what we need painted. Painters are very busy during the dry season in Mexico so it is important to get on their schedule and then keep reminding them. Next week Jon will schedule some painting on our house. Fresh paint always makes me happy!
Clean, Sparkly Knick-Knacks Make Me Feel Better!

6. Wash the knick-knacks if the dust is bugging me so much! So I ran a sinkful of soapy water and got busy washing my pretty Mexican glasses and pottery and cleaning the unseen top of the refrigerator. First of all, polishing my treasures used up a good amount of my grumpy energy. Then I stood back and enjoyed their fresh, sparkly appearance. Ahhh, I felt my grumpiness leaving.
Time to Get Those Golf Clubs Out and Clean Them Up!

7. Get the golf clubs out and plan to play 9 holes at Field of Dreams golf course. The waves may be too wild right now, but the weather is perfect for golf! I got my golf clubs out to clean them and sent a facebook message to Campo de Ensueno Golf Club to ask if Tuesday was a good day for us to play and what the cost is. They messaged me back immediately that Tuesdays and Thursdays are men's days and the cost is 250 pesos (only about $12 US!). Thursday or Friday we can grab a cab and head out to hit some balls around the course. What a good way to lose some of my grumpy energy!
Turn on the Music & Practice Zumba at Home to Block Out the Noise

8. Turn on my Latin music and practice Zumba on our porch when the drumming starts. Not only does the lively music cover the noise of the drums, roosters, and barking dogs, the dancing and exercise helps my grumpiness disappear. I finish an hour of Zumba feeling rejuvenated and happy to live here! The barrio sounds have become the "music of Mexico" to my ears again.
Woody Woodpecker Came to Visit This Morning

9. Make a fruit smoothie of fresh, sweet pineapple cubes, bananas, and my homemade yogurt and sip it while sitting in the sun on our upstairs terrace. The sun warms us as we gently rock in our porch swing and watch the jungle trees for tropical birds. Woodie Woodpecker settled into the mango tree to peck a rotten limb for bugs. His incredibly red head flashed brilliantly scarlet when the sun danced off his feathers, making me smile and forget that I was grumpy about not having mangoes for breakfast. We'll walk to town later and buy something new and exotic for breakfast, maybe passion fruit or star fruit. Mangoes will be in season soon!
Gardening Eliminates my Grumpiness! (What is this Pretty Plant?)

10. Focus on the many enjoyable things available to us here in Mexico and quit reading about that maniac running the United States into the ground and his horrible wall. I will make plans this week to do fun things in the next month. I have no influence over the insane things Trump does that make me grumpy, so no more focusing on him. But I can plan activities that remind me how much I enjoy living in Mexico. Here are a few things I have planned that will eliminate any residual grumpiness I had from reading about "The Wall":

  • Make a Mexi-trek reservation for a hike to Monkey Mountain
  • Make a reservation to see the Brittany Kingery Show in Puerto Vallarta and go out for a nice dinner to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary and Valentine's Day.
  • Take a walk with our backpack chairs to the beach, sit in the sun, and let Bella dig in the sand while we watch the surfers.
  • Plant a new flower in the garden and appreciate the many beautiful colors that surround us, even in January.
  • Splurge on Sunday Brunch and watching a polo match at La Patrona Equestrian Center and Polo Club in San Pancho.
Lo de Marcos Beach is a Tranquil Place--A Little Piece of Paradise!
Mexico really is a little piece of paradise. We chose to retire in Sayulita, but enjoy visiting Puerto Vallarta and other small beach towns in the state of Nayarit. We are happy to have retired here.
"Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2" eBook
To read more about our decision to retire in Mexico, take a look at my newest eBook, now available on Amazon worldwide! You, too, may find your little piece of paradise south of the border. Here is the link on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCMWMJL

25 comments:

  1. Terry this is written very well. I know what you mean about the negative things going on right now and would love to comment but decided I better not. Glad you're taking the positive side now. mom

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Mom. You are right, best to look at the positives.

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  2. That pretty flower you show is a desert rose. They come in multiple colors. Do not over water. When replanting, the big bulb at the base should mostly be out of the dirt.

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    1. Thank you, Islagringo, for the information on my red flowering plant. My biggest mistake with gardening is over-watering. Glad to know that I need to cut back before I drown that beautiful plant!

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  3. Another great article. Thank you. Keeping positive is a key to a good life. Glad to hear that you are enjoying living in Sayulita.

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    1. Thank you, Gringomike, for your compliments and for reading my blog. I had to work hard to get to the positives this week, but glad I did.

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  4. Love reading your articles! Brittany Kingery is our daughter, we were just down from Washington state for a visit to Bucerias. Both of Brittanys's shows in Vallarta are fabulous! We really enjoy staying in Bucerias as it has a small town feeling. We are considering a move to Mexico, love reading about your daily life.

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    1. Thank you for your wonderful comments, Sandra! It will be our first time to see Brittany perform and I can't wait. So great to know that she is your daughter--I've met so many people through my writing! Good luck with your decision about moving to Mexico.

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  5. I'm glad you were able to turn your mood around. You did a excellent job of it. I am also feeling the same way for the same reason. It is a chore everyday to remain positive

    We were planning on escaping the u.s to mexico. And now..well. Who knows what is going to happen which makes me even more mad!

    Hope for the best!

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  6. I'm glad you were able to turn your mood around. You did a excellent job of it. I am also feeling the same way for the same reason. It is a chore everyday to remain positive

    We were planning on escaping the u.s to mexico. And now..well. Who knows what is going to happen which makes me even more mad!

    Hope for the best!

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    1. Hi Unknown, Thank you for your positive comments on my story about my moods. Best wishes with your decision about escaping the U.S. I used to joke about moving to Mexico before the wall went up. Now, it's not so funny. I'm glad we did it.

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  7. Nice article and yes, after the "rose-glasses" are removed, the annoying things appear more vividly - in plain sight. However, you also recognized/discovered the good things when you were overloaded with the bad things though. Of course, these things happen in every country worldwide, but it's good to see the silver-lining or the bad and negative aspects can weigh you down like a ton.

    FYI: Some smartphones have pedometers. My Hauwei P9 has and it's a great step-tracker as well! I suppose you could download 'em from the Android Play Store too.

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    1. Hi Zak, Thanks for your great comments on my article! Yes, I agree these things happen world-wide. A lot has to do with our outlook.
      FYI: When we moved to Mexico, we gave up our smartphones. Phones ran our lives in the U.S. so we escaped that, too. We use Skype to talk to our family and a Telcel cheapy in case of emergency and to call taxis. My Fitbit was my companion and motivator. Can't wait for my new one!

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  8. OK--people have lived without FitBits forever--just enjoy your life (I know you already do)! Maybe time for a small car....Nice article, Terry!

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    1. Hi Linda and Don, so good to hear from you! We are definitely not going to complicate our lives and budget with a car--the bus and taxi works fine for long trips. BUT, MY FITBIT...it was my motivator. I have lived without it for two weeks, actually, trying to convince myself I don't really need it. But, I do :) Thanks for the compliments on my article. Hope you are having fun in Maz!

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  9. Great article! If you think your golf cart is really just going to rust away, why not sell it Jalisco? I think it's only Nayarit that's gone overboard. As for your FitBit, I know what you mean! My youngest son bought me one for Christmas and I love it!! If this plan doesn't work out, you could simply order it online and have someone who's coming down soon from the U.S. or Canada bring it with them. Looking forward to your next post! JD

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    1. Good thoughts, Judith. We have hopes that the Nayarit government will change their rules down the road. The one constant in Mexico is change. Thanks for reading my posts! Terry

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  10. From a curious outsider who is researching communities to live in. Is it possible that the issues with the golf carts will go away? Is it possible that they will make it so you can license them or legally use them? Is anyone receiving answers on this?

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    1. It is possible that someday we will be able to license and use golf carts again in Nayarit, but we aren't holding our breath. If it happens it could be six months or a year from now, or maybe never. It actually is nice to see people walking more again. The golf carts did detract from the Mexican feel of the pueblo. I have mixed feelings about them, but we have decided we can live without them. Terry

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  11. I enjoyed reading this Terry! I'm glad that you managed to turn your mood around. I wish I could do the same--I wake up at night wondering what that monster is going to do next.
    Colin and I are looking forward to our upcoming trip to Sayulita, and hoping we can catch up with you while we're there.

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  12. Thank you for reading my blog, Elizabeth, and for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think living in Mexico helps us remove ourselves a bit from the effects of that monster. But some days it is still hard. One of the best comments I received this week was a reminder of the serenity prayer, so I printed it and pasted it on my wall above my desk: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!" It sure applies right now! Hope to see you and Colin when you are here! Terry

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