Happiness is…

Happiness is…empty rooms

Just a short post this time to note how close we really are to returning to Boquete Panama. Forty-six days from now we’ll be landing at PTY, overnighting there and then on to David and Boquete the next day. We’re writing this brief blog post more to assure ourselves than anything else, an inventory of sorts. Friends who’d been there told us how difficult becoming expats would be, and the various necessities of moving so far, with so little. But until you’ve done something… The effort has taken a toll, but there’s light at the crooked tunnel’s end, and sometimes it comes from unexpected sources. For example: Milling about in downtown Columbus last evening we received a call from Taxi Luis, phoning all the way from beautiful, downtown Ciudad Panama. Luis (senor Arce) was checking up on us, our arrival date, flight number, airline etc. He said he’s happy to meet us at Tocumen, take charge of our bags and see that the courier service transports them for us clear to Boquete–overnight! If we’d had any concern about the bags it vanished. In fact, as it turns out, our bags will arrive in Boquete before we do. We’re assuming that much else will follow this pattern.

We’ll be looking for these kinds of mind-comforters a lot. It’s funny how little it takes these days. ( I should mention that at this point in our packing & preparing the wine rack is nearly empty) Here are a few non-fermented examples:

Happiness is…

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No more living out of suitcases…

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Goodbye disruption…

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Final packing…

Move 3

No more camping out…

(Note the nearly empty wine rack)

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Knowing where stuff is…

Here’s a question we’re sure every soon-to-be expat has asked at least once: “Where did all this crapola come from?” Yikes, we’ve given away, trashed, Craigslisted (is that a verb?) and donated so much stuff we’re feeling like the Ford Foundation of cheap American merchandise. And there’s still more! But we can see the end.

Happiness is…

                           Empty closets…                                       Empty cabinets…

Our world has shrunk to the desire for clean shirts, packed bags and secured airline reservations. We’re seeing and feeling the downside of modern consumerism. It’s hard work ridding ourselves of accumulated stuff, and there’s no blueprint for the endeavor. More and more products are being manufactured with a life-cycle in mind, so they’re more eco friendly and recyclable. Apple, for example, has attained exemplary levels of sustainability in their various iProducts. This is a very good thing. Consumer goods ought to be crafted to be more pass-thru/across/down/sideways friendly. In other words, easier to get rid of when they anchor us like they do. Can’t we just share those dinner dishes, cars, tool kits, patio furniture?

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Happiness is…good advice!

In any case, we’re just over forty days till the wheels touch the asphalt at PTY again, we cede our baggage to senor Arce, AKA Taxi Luis, and make our way across Panama to little Boquete. It’s been a grind, and more taxing than we imagined it might be. The emotional price is high as well, and we’ve had to stare down some things that showed us just how good our relationship is. One thing for certain. If you’re not good friends heading into an expat trek, you sure as heck won’t be in the middle of it. Phew!

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Keeping rituals…and knowing what day it is!

We often don’t realize how important ritual is to our everyday composure. Rituals and checklists even keep us safe at times, allowing muscle memory to take over when performing familiar actions. I learned the value of ritual in my long, safe aviation career, and they’re hard to ignore now. (A side note: speaking of rituals & checklists and such, as I write this I recognize that 47 years ago today humans first stepped on the surface of the moon. Ritual and practice made that possible.) Moving takes rituals and thrashes the daylights out of them. Recently, I misplaced my nail clippers, and the ensuing drama would have qualified me for a role in the next Freddie Kreuger film. It wasn’t pretty. Ritual is important, and it’s never good to ignore it. The morning after the great clipper caper moving meltdown I had trouble finding my drug packet. I did manage to avoid another nightmare on Elm Street rampage, but I hadn’t realized how much my daily prescription drug ritual meant. Plus, that silly little packet helps me know what day of the week it is. Happiness is…knowing it’s Wednesday! Damn, I feel better.

Here’s an upside to the struggle to move on, another reminder of how sweet and endearing it is to surround ourselves with good friends, and how much we’ll miss them.

Happiness is…

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Hola, Boquetenos, hasta pronto! 

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4 thoughts on “Happiness is…

    1. ME BE in Panama

      We have really taken that to heart John. Thanks to you & others when we were there this spring we went “window” shopping to identify what would be a challenge to replace. As a result of a this we will be heading there with suitcases only! Hasta Pronto Amigo, hola a tu novia

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  1. We always said if we could make it through multiple moves during our marriage we were good to go but you’re right – preparing, traveling and expating can be disruptive, full of irritants and worries and just plain trying. But your new life is just around the corner with new friends to ease the bumps and new routines to establish. Only 40 plus more days … but who’s counting? !!! Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ME BE in Panama

      Anita, we are very much looking forward to meeting you two in person one day when our traveling paths cross. Your blog is an inspiration. Ciao, Mariah

      Like

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