Since affirming our decision to move to the Philippines, it feels as if the earth is experiencing some form of rotational drag and is moving slower than a dead gunslinger. Some days it feels like if things were to move much slower, we would be going backwards. On the other hand, time is just flying by and everyday I am still here is another missed day of relaxation in my chosen paradise. To make matters even seem worse, I am reminded that the Mayan calendar has expired and begins anew – and we are still here in Mississippi!
Increasingly, it seems I cannot escape many of my recurring thoughts of retirement, whether good or bad. Thoughts related to the adventure of exchanging the real world that we currently live in, for a world we can’t stop longing for. Though one thought is for certain – and with much permanence – we are trading in a lifestyle we know all too well for a completely different lifestyle that we can’t wait much longer to enjoy. I had a nightmare of a dream just the other day where someone had removed all the palm trees from the beach closest to my new house…all because I was not there to protect them. Some days, a new thought or idea might creep up on me and, with all certainty that my wife knows the answer, I will turn to her with a question posed for a quick answer. Many times however, I get this blank look with the delayed response “how do I know, I don’t live there!” It’s precisely at that point when I remember that she hasn’t lived in the Philippines for nearly 27 years. It’s that same feeling that comes across a man when he says something really foolish to his woman, but nary does he realize it until the last word escapes his lips or until he gets “the look!” She knows that things have changed a great deal since we lived there together until 1986, the year we left.
Although we have been planning this move for several years, the time is actually upon us where we are now making decisions directly related to the move. Some thoughts become so intense they actually seem to set up permanently as algorithms in my brain, while other thoughts tend to be more emotional and can be dismissed rather easily. Some of these thoughts are very valid while others are as premature as Santa Clause showing up on the doorstep at Halloween (like where will I hang my hammock?).
So here we are still! I should let it be known – right here and now – that I’ve never had any intention of starting a website, blog, or even a journal that records our saga, let alone chronicling all the preparations (and as they occur) prior to launch. My biggest fear in doing so was in becoming a slave to my computer. Again! Please allow me to digress – the past few years of success that I enjoyed while working in the real estate business were attributed to my ability to think outside the box, helping to bring transformative change to an industry that has always been, in many an opinion, DOA (dead on arrival). (To date, the real estate industry refutes change and, except for prostitution, is probably the last remaining profession on earth that still operates under the same rules as from the onset) I was a leader in my market who adopted and applied the most recent systems and technology to marketing, advertising, digital presentation, internet syndication, blogging, and so forth. I was the first agent in my market to have a personal website, and establish a real estate blog (and to this day, am still the only dedicated blogger in the local area). I began a company social network campaign before many agents even knew what facebook was. I can remember putting to use the free ads that facebook provided [several years ago] to anyone who wanted to use them (that freebie didn’t last long). I introduced QR codes (quick response codes are the equivalent of square bar codes) to our market in 2008 and at a time when very few agents even had smart phones. I accurately forecast the end of print media dominance in our market 3 years prior to its abandonment by the local paper. I could continue with many more tribulations, but the point I am trying to make is this. The implementation of all that technology into my business model made me a slave to that same technology and my computer. It was not uncommon to sit at my desk for 10 hours a day, banging out blog articles, preparing online market analyses, or designing a virtual tour of a home, or working on a digital photo shoot or power point presentation. When the day was finally over, there was computerized bookkeeping and check writing, etc. Once integrated to the digital side of the business, the most difficult part became learning how to keep up with the “virtual Jones’s”. The move to technology in my life, my business, home and work, took its toll on me physically. Some people may look at it from their side of the fence and see nothing but greener grasses. Friends have said to me, “boy, I wish I had your cushy desk job!” But to me, being bound in servitude to my computer was, well….let’s just say these days, I’d rather be mowing the green stuff on the other side, again.
Digital, digital, digital! When everything you do is digital, It means you really never get to enjoy much time away from your computer. So now when I think of submerging myself back into the blog-o-sphere and all that it entails, I can literally imagine tall and wide roadblocks being setup on the street between my new home and the beach. Big detour signs will be installed and directed at me that will prevent me from fulfilling my dates with afternoon sea breezes. So, now you might begin to understand my resistance to all this and everything that is digital. Not that it really matters because why should you, the reader, care? Either you see this as entertaining or maybe it’s that you have nothing else to do. You see this as something or you don’t care one iota…but the chances are if you are here and reading this at this point, you are either enjoying my sufferance or I may be providing you with a least some inspiration. Then again, maybe it is you, the reader, that inspires me – to write – to inspire you.
Please visit my “Before Paradise” posts for insights into my navigation into paradise; from there and then, to here and now. Visit my continuing saga – of Retiring to Samar – to experience all the decisions and emotions. And know this – until I actually get there, the title of this Blog cannot truly be fulfilled!