Greetings from Pital, San Carlos, Costa Rica. It’s hot and 90% humidity. Maybe that’s why I’m in a foul mood.
So up until now, most of these posts have been about travel and lifestyle and beaches and resorts in Central America and fruity drinks with sand between our toes.
We are going to talk about something real. A problem. A difficulty that I’m currently experiencing. Maybe you can help…
Unedited. Typing it right into WordPress. Just my thoughts as they come through at the moment.
I ran across this meme. It seemed very fitting, especially today. Most of what I thought would happen today didn’t. From the time I woke up, until the very minute I am writing this article, nothing went the way I thought it would. And I’m starting to learn that in Costa Rica, and likely many other countries, that’s just the way it is.
Don’t get me wrong, the pace of life here is what I long for. The problem isn’t so much the lack of urgency or the general spirit of “island time”. It’s that I am still living between both worlds.
In my day to day life I deal with housing. I’m a home builder. I’m a realtor. I’m a landlord. If it has to do with houses, I deal with it – in one fashion or another. It’s also a life built on timelines and urgency. In the real estate and construction arenas everyone needs something yesterday. You get used to by the minute responses, checking email 400 times a day, having to immediately respond to text messages. Wanting to throw your phone out the window…
I’ve gotten better. A couple years ago I stopped checking email over the weekend. Friday at 5 till Monday morning – if it’s that urgent, you’ll probably call. That was a major shift for me. It was for the better. I’ve learned that there are people that don’t respect your time. Those are people that you don’t want to do business with in the first place. So you let them go. I’ve also been fortunate to be able to delegate. We have great employees that work with us, and now they are the ones handling the majority of the urgency. No more 7am inspection calls… whoohoo!
But it is still there. I am still running the businesses. I am still taking the calls from the renters. I’m still at the top of the chain when a problem needs solved, or a decision needs made.
And there-in lies the rub…
I may physically be in Costa Rica. But my mind is in Charlotte. My mind is in one of the businesses. My mind is focused on urgency, and appointments, and handling all of the tasks as quickly as they come in so as to not get overwhelmed.
So I am geared to expect things to happen quickly. When you need them. And that just isn’t the case here. But it’s also what draws me to this place. A slower pace of life.
I do my best to live in both worlds at the same time. Trying not to be too lax with the people back home, and at the same time not being too demanding of the people here. But it is difficult.
Maybe if my only concern was if the newly arriving Yogis have clean linens and enough eggs it would be different, but I doubt it.
I’m reminded of the book Be Here Now by Ram Dass. I want to be here now, I want it more than you can imagine.
Of all the scenarios I worked through in my head, situations that may arise, unforeseen problems, this was not one of them.
Time will tell how I fare, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted…see what I did there?
How do you stay present? How do you switch speeds?
Feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.
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