Are we having fun yet?

whiterabbitWow, another one so quickly after the last post, you must be thinking. Yes, but there’s no time to waste, I’m thinking. I have to go back to BC next week to do some work on a proposal and theoretically, I won’t have any time once I’m there so I thought I’d better write something now. And yes, I even have some thoughts this week, it’s not going to just be (as much) mindless rambling.

We have a new Prime Minister in Canada, as I’m sure many of you know – Justin Trudeau. And he will put Canada back on the map. Most of the people I know are thrilled. It’s a huge change from our last fearless leader and it should be great for the economy and the country. Thank heavens for small favors – if Harper had won again, I may have burned my passport. Which would have been stupid, because it’s my Canadian passport that my Mexican residency is attached to, not my Irish one. Which reminds me that I really should go to Ireland one day. It’s wrong to be a citizen and not go. I was literally grandfathered in, or in my case, grandmothered in, and my father is also a citizen so I guess that makes me second generation Irish. Sheesh, no wonder so many things in my personality are like they are (trader, for one).

irishppI would love to have more money to travel. Ireland is on the list for sure (have cousins there!) and so is the Netherlands. I’d love to see Bruce in Helsinki in the summer if that worked out one year. I’d like to see Rio. Again, I’d like to see Bruce there, ideally. I’d like to go to Hong Kong again. It’s hard for me to go places because my preference is to stay for a while once I get there. It’s crazy to think you can get to know a place in a week. So that’s where Bruce comes in, I guess. Fly in, fly out. It’s an experience then, not so much an exploration. I’m pretty sure we’ll go somewhere to see him on his next tour, and somewhere that’s on our list. Screw it, we’ll use the line of credit  if we have to.

The world looks a lot smaller than it used to. I have an image of a globe in mind, spinning. It’s blue with green countries. And all these little tiny airplanes are flying in both directions around her. Makes me dizzy. I hate flying now. I used to like it but I really don’t anymore. My flight leaves at 6am to YVR though, so I imagine I’ll be asleep before the wheels of the plane leave the ground. It used to be ‘on his third drink before the wheels of the plane left the ground‘ – but things change.

julianI have changed a great deal in the past 20 years (and if you haven’t, then really, what have you been doing?). I hope I’m getting better, as they used to say. I drink less than I used to – but that’s a good change. Getting silly is one thing. But when we were younger, we drank a lot. Some of it was a lot of fun at the time. We used to have totally drunk fun at the Jerry Jeff Walker birthday bash weekends. Shit, we’d start drinking at breakfast (which was usually lunch time). And get stupid by night time. But we were young and on vacation. I’m talking 20+ years ago and under 40. When I remember those party weekends, I am always amazed at how everyone always had a drink in their hand. Like Julian from Trailer Park Boys. Sad to report that one of that group died from his substance abuse (including prescription drugs, but it all started with alcohol) and glad to say that another kicked it and at last check-in had been sober for a decade or more. But there were certainly heavy drinkers in that group.

brunchI was thinking about that because someone recently told me that I am not as much fun as I used to be. But being fun is lower on my list than it was back then. Having fun is very important. And fun? That’s subjective. If you like to walk organic markets, then you probably consider me fun to be with. If you want to walk the streets of Mexico City for hours, and explore the mercados – you’ll find me fun. If you’d like to discuss world issues – I enjoy that. If you like to have a nice dinner at a friend’s house with a good bottle of wine (or two), then you would find me fun (I cook, all the time – cooking is fun for me). If you like to slam tequila in a bar, then I’m probably not much fun for you to be around. I’m not the drinker I was, and I’m happy that I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I love beer and I’m good with a nice sipping tequila or mezcal. Emphasis on sipping.  But I don’t much like to be around people who are out for a night of drinking with intent. That’s not fun for me anymore. And that’s one of my big rules these days (if it’s not fun, don’t do it).

What else has changed in 20 years? My address, lots of times, but that’s kind of irrelevant to the core ‘me’. I am more aware than I was 20 years ago, of the value of my time. Probably because there is less of it left. And I’m becoming more selfish with it. I think I was probably more of a ‘people pleaser’ back then, as I was less secure. Today, I have much less trouble saying no to something that doesn’t interest me. Occasionally, I’ll go along but more often than not, I’ll decline those invitations. Funny, some of them – I’d rather pull my fingernails out. I dont’ suffer fools any longer. I don’t have time.

workingBack then, I used to work an employee/employer job, so when I was off work, I was in off-work mode. Today, I’m almost always working, or thinking up another scheme. I work a lot more hours – some on paid work, some on business development – but I have to. Or I’d have no money for the things I want to do. I certainly have more freedom than I used to. Not necessarily more money, but the freedom I now have from being dependent on a single source of income is liberating. And hell, I do it all from Mexico. Well, almost all of it. I love what I do now and how I earn money, even when it’s scant. And it has certainly made me less anxious to escape, I guess. That, and my physical location (my office above) helps.

But now, I’m on my way to Vancouver Island to kick start a new business with my old partner. That was the franchise from hell, but we don’t need to dwell on that. This one will be much different (for one, it’s not a franchise, although we have the back end in place). It’s a Naturopathic center for herbal remedies, homeopathic medicine, organic alternatives. What better place for something like that than Vancouver Island? I’ll be back and forth a lot in the first year, and probably on the Island more than here but I will come home (to Mexico) at least once a month for a week(ish). Hopefully longer, but that really depends on the team we get together, certainly the first few months will be key. I’m ready to go 16 hours a day. I think we’re looking at a mid-January opening – leasehold improvements and all – but maybe December 1. That would kinda rock, but not sure it’s possible.

duncanbcIt’s a good opportunity but I have no illusions – it will be a lot of hard work and there is a fair level of risk involved. There always is with retail. But I also feel incredibly optimistic. Maybe I can work this for a few years and get out with a nice number. That’s the goal. At my age – there’s always an exit plan. And I’ll get to hang with my Island friends for a while – one of the very few downsides to Mexico is how far it is from them.  And that’s my news for now – ding, dong, the witch is dead. And now we can invest in a business in Canada again. We are so happy with the election results that we’re putting our money where our mouths are – so try to argue with that. Go Justin, go Canada.

And just before I go, I want to say that I appreciate it when you guys drop me a note. Sometimes I think, ‘Geez, this is really boring, no one will want to read it,’ and then one or two of you will email me after I post and say how much you enjoy staying updated with our journey. I appreciate it especially after some of the nasty emails I got for daring to criticize a certain type of gringo in Mexico. Which cracks me up – I’m about 99.99% sure that the people with the nasty comments are exactly the gringos I referenced.  And after I get a chuckle, it makes me sad. For them. Because people who get all upset and offended over someone else’s opinion can’t have much of a sense of self-worth. I always chant for them once I stop laughing. And with that, I leave you to go work on a dream. Remember: Canta, no llores.

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