Monday, February 13, 2017

Time for a change of venue!

Here we go! It's that time of year when we head south to our home in Mexico to spend a few months in the sunshine - wish we had left before the snow in February but it's all good. At least we weren't trying to leave in the middle of all that bad weather. As much as I love my Canadian hometown I just can't tolerate the grey, wet, dreary way it looks most of the winter. It really depresses me. If it were just cold, even with snow on the ground, and sunny or at least bright, I would be okay. This is one of the reasons that we head south, the others of course being the beach, all our family and friends that live down there, the beautiful Mexican people and their food!

It's funny though when we share with people that we go to live in Mexico for 2 to 3 months out of the year the common reaction is - wow that's a great vacation. You must run out of things to see or money to pay to see everything! People usually miss the whole way we say it - we go there to LIVE - so just as we live here, we do the same there. We own a condo so all the regular household maintenance needs to be done and we work, that's the beautiful part about having an online business - so our days are filled much the same as they would be here. Yes, we take time out to enjoy a walk on the beach and a swim or dos cerveza con nachos (2 beer with nachos) at a local watering hole but we are still doing our work. Up here it would be coffee at Waves with friends and chatting with new people - in Mexico it just switches up a bit but we're still living the same pattern (mostly). Yes, it is more relaxed down there but that comes from the sunshine and the spirit of the people. 

Honestly we love Mexican people, they are so relaxed and to our eyes seem so content. When I go out for a morning walk and all the ground keepers are working in the gardens I make a point to greet them in Spanish and tell how beautiful their gardens look. To see the joy on their faces that a "gringo" took the time not just to notice them but to speak with them and complement them - that fills my heart with joy. We live in a tourist town and I think that the tourists just don't appreciate the people who make their stay in Playa as pleasurable as it is. 

We don't see ourselves as tourists - Playa is our home so I think we look at it with different eyes than the tourists. We actually love to play tour guide when our friends come to visit but sometimes they are surprised when they are packing up to go to the beach and we tell them that we might see them later but we have work to do first. We have quite a team of business partners in the Playa and Cancun areas so it gives me a good opportunity while we are there to build my bonds with them and learn how they work their business in Mexico. Each culture has some unique ways of viewing life which reflects in their business practices. One example that I can think of off the top of my head, which makes me fail completely as a Mexican, is that the women embrace their beauty and are always dressed very nicely and spend a lot of time with makeup to look their finest when they go out. Me not so much, I figure makeup - if I really must, which usually I don't, consists of mascara and lip gloss, that's about it. Besides I have an awesome husband who tells me I look beautiful all the time, even in flipflops, swimmer's hair and sand stuck all over me! Oh well I am what I am and if I started trying to be something else it wouldn't ring true and we MUST be true to ourselves!

So for now it's hasta luego Canada nos vemos en unos meses!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Why the J.O.B. when you say you're successful?

I love living and thinking outside the box!! Years ago my brilliant husband taught me the importance of multiple streams of income - I talked about that in my recent blog about my story and my whys! This way of life has been with us during our entire journey through the years. We are always, always expressing the importance of this to our children and all the young people we interact with.

Especially nowadays with how constant the changes are in the workforce. Back in my parents days, it was that men would (sometimes) finish school and then go into the workforce and work securely with that particular company for the rest of their lives. In this day and age we hear that people will have an average of 7 careers in their lifetimes - that is certainly stress creating!!

What I really find hard to understand is some people's attitudes towards their jobs; their incomes and their lot in life. They complain bitterly about not being able to get ahead and about living pay cheque to pay cheque. Yet as soon as they get a raise or a promotion what do they do? They decide they should move to a new condo and pay more rent to live in a nicer place; they decide to buy or lease a nicer car because they can afford it now; or go out more frequently for a night on the town.  Guess what - they are not really any further ahead because all the extra income they received with that raise or promotion has just been absorbed by their change in lifestyle! If their lifestyle wasn't requiring a better living environment or vehicle, why not keep their lifestyle the same and have that extra income developing some savings for them? With an occasional treat like a night out on the town or a weekend away! Don't you think that would make them feel more like they are getting ahead? Another example I see often are the people where I work who get up in the morning and come to work but the first thing they do on the time sheet is to say Yes to leaving early if work is slow? Again I don't get it! These are the same people who are stressing because they don't have the extra money available for things but here they are giving away that same money? Or they are stressed by their financial issues and don't enjoy their jobs and just "can't handle it" so they decide to take a week off?? Can't they see that they are shooting themselves in the foot? They may have, for a week, given themselves a break from their job but at the same time they have created more financial stress for themselves by giving up their wages for that week??

When we talk about our travels and the lifestyle we have we often hear ... oh it must be nice; or you're so lucky. You know, for one thing, luck has nothing to do with it - our lifestyle has come from the determination and the understanding that there is life outside the box. Just because something has been done one way all these years doesn't mean that it is the only way or that the way can't change!

I find it quite funny when I talk to people at my J.O.B. - yes I still have one of those! People look at me oddly when I say that my job is just for fun and to get me out of the house. I tell my customers I have a business that I work from home and that this job gets me out of the house and away from my computer for a while. Some have even said to me well, if your business is doing so well why are you still working here?? Once again it goes back to having multiple sources of income - not only that but also the fact that I have a union job and I've been there for 17 years now so I'm making a really good wage as well as getting medical and dental benefits. And really, why would I throw away hundreds of dollars of income a month just because I have money coming in from another source?? I have structured my "availability" at work so that it doesn't interfere with my business events. There will never be a time that I can't attend a business function or a personal event because I have to work! That just won't happen! So once again I am maximizing the benefits of both income producing aspects of my life to get the most out of everything!

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