Tag Archives: Change

Lessons Learned

Have you heard it said that a change is as good as a rest? Well… I would certainly concur with that… The ten days I spent in San Miguel Allende and Mexico City have me energized and popping with new ideas.

I met original thinking individuals who have not allowed themselves to slide into their dotage. And I ask myself:  What is it that makes a person act and feel old?

As I look ahead, a new decade is not so far off but some of the vibrant people I’ve recently met passed that watershed thousands of moons ago. They assure me that “age is a state of mind.”

So how does one convince the mind to get with the program? From what I’ve seen it has to a lot to do with opening up to new experiences. So what if you have never painted before… you’ll never know what you have in you until you give it a go.

If you want to write, or learn to tango, speak another language, play a musical instrument, cook French cuisine… what’s stopping you?

Ah-ha… is it a little nagging voice that taunts: “Are you kidding? You? You’ll make a fool of yourself… you’ll be throwing your money away… you’re too out-of-shape…too old for that silly business…”

Refuse to pay attention to those conventions. Emulate people who have gotten over themselves and are saying: “Yes! I can do that!”

I had a taste of this freedom last Saturday… I went to Bazar del Sabado – a weekly craft fair held in Mexico City. My companions were two “ladies of a certain age” (who don’t realize they have reached that certain age) We tromped everywhere… talked to everyone… and took a city bus back to our digs…

It started to rain. The water poured in through the windows on both sides, through the rooftop and up through more than one hole in the floor. 70s and 80s music played (very loudly) through the scratchy speakers and one of those ladies started to sing along… Pretty soon, I joined her… and so did a young guy named Hugo who told us he’s a social sciences major at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Others on the bus got into it too. We all had the best time – under circumstances that could have been dreary, dreary, dreary…

I plan on looking for more opportunities like that! Fun (like rain) jumps up where and when you least expect it…

I hope you enjoy the slideshow.

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Filed under Vida Latina, Writing

A Mirror held up to my eyes…

It is the middle of the night in Mérida but I’m wide awake, partly because my body is still running on European time and thinks it is 7 hours later than it is. I hope that I’ll soon adjust to the time change and feel recovered from the homeward bound flights.

I am ecstatic to be home. Even if sleep is evading me, my own bed feels so comfortable and the long swim I took     yesterday soothed my travel-weary muscles and joints. Unpacking, finding places for the small Italian treasures I lugged back with me, and washing the wardrobe we wore for a month helped to restore the sense of normalcy I need.

The past four weeks have left me with so much to ponder… maybe I’ll be lucky to ever sleep again!

Many events and occasions made a deep impression. The old world looks as though it is going through major upheaval: shifting borders, a changing economy, religious conflict and cultural clashes. Just as on the American continent, the European nations struggle with immigration, political and economic issues, and a shrinking middle class. We’re all in the midst of the same dilemmas, and the insecurity we experience feels like something that has never happened before. But, these issues have always existed. “Things were ever thus.”

Back in the latter half of the XVI Century, an alliance between the Medici of Florence and their traditional enemies, the French (through marriage) defeated the aspirations of other powerful states. Today, the current Prime Minister of England, leader of the Conservative Party and the head of the Liberal Democrats Party formed a coalition to gain power as they did not have enough votes on their own. Here in Mexico, the right wing PAN and the leftist PRD want to join forces against the centralist PRI! “There’s not much new under the sun.”

Communication though, is the one variable that I believe has altered our lives significantly. With the Internet, social networks and surveillance everywhere, what happens in one place can instantly affect the lives of others who are thousands of miles away. Violence seems to be provoked by this phenomenon. The rioting in the United Kingdom got the restless stirring in other parts of Europe. The criminal bombing of a casino in Monterrey has been followed by a bank hold-up in Merida.

We watch events unfold before our very eyes, we shake our heads, and that’s it. ¡Que barbaridad! Impunity reigns and we stand by. Is our complacency the culprit?  Although lasting change has never been achieved in the world, the ambitions of governments and multinational power brokers need to be kept at bay… swatted back if you will. Much in the way we need to chop back the ever-encroaching vegetation in tropical Merida.

Going away held up a mirror, and helped me to see that our country’s ills are shared by others throughout the world. If we’re all in the same boat, it seems that we should try to paddle in the same direction!

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Filed under Family and Friends, Vida Latina