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Originally composed: Nov 21, 2012 – Revised: Feb 11, 2020
A Blog is Born.
Shortly after making our decision to move to the Philippines, it felt as if the earth was experiencing some form of rotational drag and was moving slower than a dead gunslinger. Some days it felt like if things were moving much slower, we would be going backwards. On the other hand, time was flying by and everyday we were still in Mississippi was another missed day of relaxation in paradise. To make matters seem worse, each day that passed reminded me that the Mayan calendar had already expired and has begun anew – and we were still here in Mississippi!
It was becoming increasingly tough to escape the many recurring thoughts of retirement, whether good, bad or indifferent. With the idea of exchanging the real world that we currently lived in, for a world we couldn’t stop longing for, the idea was for certain and the act would hold much permanence. We had opted to trade in the lifestyle we knew all too well for a completely different lifestyle that we couldn’t wait any longer to dive into, learn about, and enjoy. I remember the nightmare of a dream I had one night where someone had removed all the coconut trees from the beach closest to our new house…all because I was not there to protect them! Some days, a new thought or idea might creep up on me and, and with all certainty that my wife knew the answer, I would turn to her for some clarification. Most times however I would get this blank return look with a delayed response “how do I know, I don’t live there!” It didn’t take long for me to re-realize that she hasn’t lived in the Philippines for nearly 28 years, and that this adventure would be a new lifestyle for both of us. And when I would ask her another question again, It was akin to that same feeling that comes over a man when he says something really foolish (or stupid) to his woman without realizing it…until the last word escapes his lips! She knew all too well that things had changed a great deal since we lived there together up until late in 1986…the year we left for the U.S.
Although we have planned this move for several years, the time was actually upon us where we were now making decisions directly related to our move. Some thoughts became so intense they actually seemed to set up permanently as algorithms in my brain, while other thoughts tended to be more emotional and could be dismissed rather easily. Some of these thoughts were completely valid while others were as premature as Santa Clause showing up on the doorstep at Halloween (like the thought of “where will I hang my hammock?”).
So there we were, just buying time in Mississippi waiting for karma! It was about this time that I had the notion to write about our adventure however, without the intention of actually starting a website or blog. It was to be only a journal that recorded our entire saga (chronicles of our preparations and events as they occurred) prior to our departure. My biggest fear in doing so was becoming a slave to my computer… again!
Please allow me to digress – the past few years that I enjoyed while working in the real estate business were attributed to my ability to think (and leap) outside the box, helping to bring transformational change to an industry that has always been, in many an opinion, DOA (dead on arrival). (Up until this time, the real estate industry had historically refuted change and, compared with prostitution, is probably the last remaining profession on earth that still operates under the same set of rules as it did from the onset.)
I was a leader in my market who adopted and applied the most recent technology and systems to marketing, advertising, digital presentation, internet syndication, blogging, and so forth. I was the first agent in my market to have a personal website, later establishing a “real estate blog” and, believe it or not – five years after retiring and blogging, I’m still a leading blogger across the state of Mississippi. (That just goes to prove my comments above in red.) I began a company social network campaign well before many agents even knew what facebook was. I can remember putting to use the free ads that facebook provided to anyone who wanted to use them (that freebie didn’t last long). I introduced QR codes to our market in 2008. By now everyone is familiar with Quick Response codes that use the same old bar code technology but have been re-designed into square digitized schematics.
Believe it or not, this was still a time when very few agents in our market used smart phones. I accurately forecasted the end of the print media (newspaper) dominance in our market 3 years prior to it’s demise and the nearly total abandonment of ads 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 the latest technology into my business model made me a slave to that same technology, and to my computer. It was not uncommon to sit at my desk for 10 hours or more a day, preparing online market analyses or designing a virtual tour of a home, or working on a digital photo shoot or power point presentation, or banging out blog articles. And throughout the day, there was more computerized stuff like bookkeeping and bill paying, agent training, and other office functions that needed tending to. Once my business became fully integrated into the digital side of the business, the most difficult part then became learning how to stay ahead of the “virtual Jones’.” 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. I’ve had friends say 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 simply rather be mowing the green stuff on the other side of that fence.
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 these tall and wide roadblocks setup on the street between our new Philippines home and the beach some 50 meters away. Big detour signs are sure to be installed and will direct me away from fulfilling my dates with the gentle surf and visiting afternoon sea breezes. So, now you might begin to understand my resistance to all this (blog) and everything that is digital. Not that it really matters because why should you, the reader, even care? Either you see this as entertaining read or maybe it’s that you have nothing else to do. You may see this as something meaningful or you don’t care one iota… but the chances are if you are still here and reading this at this point, maybe I am providing you with some inspiration, or… you are willingly enjoying my sufferance. Then again, maybe it is you, the reader, that inspires me – to write – to inspire you.
The thought of creating this Blog eventually settled in and was justified – at least by using methods I already knew. And from my perspective of living a “Retired Life,” I could maybe make a little Beer Money!
UPDATE to this Page: Please visit the “Before Paradise” section of this blog for insights and articles about my/our personal navigation into paradise; from the planning stages to the execution – or more simply from the there and then, to actually getting here. Or, visit the Living in the Pacific “Blog” regularly to witness first-hand our everyday life in paradise, from the “now” perspective. Come back and visit as I continue the saga – of the retired life in Samar…because now that I am actually here, the title of this blog is being fulfilled, one relaxing day at a time. I’m Living it up in the Pacific!