Feliz Ano Nuevo

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It’s hard to believe that it’s New Years Eve! After going to the gym, starting laundry, making Scott lunch to take up to him while he’s working on our property, boiling some more drinking water, making more hummer food ,watering the Basil plants, and cleaning the kitchen, I had a minute to stop and think about the year that’s passed as well as my hopes for the new year ahead , before I take a quick drive over to the coffee finca where we purchase our coffee beans. 2013 was a monumental year for us. For the majority of the early part of the year our focus was on this move and then starting in late May, getting ourselves settled here in our new home was our focus. This time last year we were spending a few nights in San Francisco and dreaming about what our new life in a new country would be like. It was a rather emotional time for us as well as for all our friends and family. Goodbyes, were looming in the nearby future as we were closing down our life in California to begin anew in Panama in just a few short months. We were exhausted. But we were also both full of the anticipation that comes with an adventure that’s looming nearby waiting to be embraced. Up until we actually drove off, on our way to the airport with our very unhappy cats in tow, we had a very defined plan, it was clear and fairly predictable. But after landing here, we knew everything wouldn’t be quite so straightforward. There were many unknowns, and things we just couldn’t plan for before we arrived, we would just have to get here and figure it out…. Things like.. Where would we live (minor details! ha!)? What cars would we find to buy? Would we be able to find property to buy? How will the cat’s adapt? Would we meet nice people and make new friends?(well me, not Scott, had that thought!) What will it feel like to live so far away from our families? But when I think back now on all those unknowns, I realize that’s just the way life is all the time. We may think we have a plan and that we’re in charge, but really, much of life just kinda works out the way it should, no matter how hard you may try to force it to fit into a box of your making.

And here I sit, it’s nearly 2014 a fresh new year is approaching and we’re happily living this new life that we worked so hard to make happen. And, it’s just that…it’s Life. It’s that list of chores at the beginning of this post, yea, the laundry just never goes away, does it? The amazing view that I have of the endless banana trees and the majestic mountains covered in coffee plants ,as I load the washing machine does soften the blow of the reality of laundry, a tiny bit though. I must say, this new life has turned out to be all I hoped it would be and more. But it’s also just the beginning and there’s still much to do. As I ponder what we accomplished in 2013 I feel very happy and proud of our ability as a team to set a goal, march towards it together and work side by side to make it happen. We’re slowly but very assuredly beginning to feel at home here in Boquete. We’re making friends, getting used to the often very different way of doing things here in Panama and generally enjoying the process of establishing our life anew as well as learning about and adapting to the culture and customs in this new place that’s now our home.

And boy is it ANEW! For me one of the biggest adjustments has been not having a job. Not having a place where I have to be everyday , all day is at first soooo wonderful and now, although it’s still wonderful, I must admit, 7 months later…I’m wondering what now? As Scott’s quickly getting immersed in the project of building our new home, I’m in the process of coming up with a routine for me and a focus that makes me feel satisfied, healthy, accomplished and balanced. I’m working on that, although I’m not quite where I want to be in terms of productivity and a sense accomplishment, I know I’ll figure this out and soon I’ll have re-defined Holly in a way that’s pleasing to me. I must just need a break for a bit. A break from being that busy busy gal who always has tons of responsibility and focus. One thing I know I’ll be getting busy with will be the book keeping of the employees that we hire to work with Scott up on our property. I’m pretty good and being organized and I must admit that tedious jobs are something I enjoy. I only need Scott (who has a background in Finance) to teach me what to do and maybe show me a system that I can use to keep track of all the hours the laborers work, their personal info, payroll, taxes, etc. This will be my job and I look forward to it. I may even get my own computer! Shocking! For those who don’t know me, I’m strictly an iPad girl! I really never use a computer and aside from knowing all the ins and outs of my iPad, I’m not technologically savvy at all. But I’m a good learner! And I’m sure I’ll have it down quickly.

So What will 2014 bring us? I know one thing for sure… If all goes well, we will have a house up on a big hill overlooking Boquete and I’m pretty sure I’ll have a repeat of my Los Altos house…(as I roll my eyes Big Time)…. Scott’s building all the cabinetry so place your bets now on just how long I’ll be living without any cabinets!!!! Laughing….(a crazy laugh!)! We only have a lease on this current house until July so in a perfect world (Not!) we could move into our casita in July! That’s not gonna happen, but wouldn’t it be great! So we will likely be looking for a new place to rent that will let us have our two cats until our casita is complete. I plan to get in shape this year by becoming a regular at the gym! I’ve already gotten a good start by going everyday this past week! In this new year I will have two very strong ankles and I will be more fit so that next time my foot decides to slip out from under me, I will be able to catch myself differently and possibly not hurt myself so badly. Another thing I hope to accomplish in 2014 is on a personal note. I hope to figure out a way to redefine the way my relationship with my darling daughter works with this huge physical distance between us. We have both shed some tears over the phone about the heartache of being so far from one another. It’s a hard one but not an insurmountable one. I think it’s gonna take a bit of dedication on both our parts to find a way to connect via Magic Jack, Skype, or FaceTime with more frequency so that we have more of a feeling of being a part of each other’s lives. This is a big goal for my 2014 ! Holding onto important relationships from such a distance is not an easy task, something I couldn’t have ‘really’ know until I was here. Another big one for me is my Spanish! I’m struggling like crazy to learn and boy can it be frustrating. I have a goal for 2014 to surround myself with more Spanish speakers and getting more practice! This will be an ongoing journey, this language learning, of this I am certain! And If I sound frustrated , well, I suppose I am a bit frustrated but I’m mostly just anxious to connect more with these Panamanians who are so kind and welcoming. I’m a visitor in their country and I really look forward to using the language fluently someday. I’m gonna scream if I use the word Libro instead of Libra when speaking to the butcher at the deli counter at Romero’s! Geesh!!

Feliz Ano Nuevo, Happy New year! May it be a good one for you! I hope it’s a healthy , peaceful one and that it’s a year filled with lot’s of adventure, and many many smiles! Never stop trying new things and being curious, life is too short! Love and lot’s of hugs from Panama! Cheers!

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9 responses »

  1. Thank you Holly and Scott for blazing the trail that we will follow, about one year behind you. You guys have been such a source of knowledge and encouragement to us and we are forever grateful. The honesty and transparency of your blog has been so “real” that we know we too can make this journey. Blessings to you and your family in the year to come. We look forward to joining you in 2014.

  2. Happy New Year Holly and Scott. I have thoroughly enjoyed following your adventures for a year, now. I am sure there will be many more to come! Maybe we’ll have a chance to visit in 2014. I’d love to come back to Boquete, especially when it’s really, really hot here. Have a fantastic new year.

    • Many Thanks! I hope your New Years It Wonderful and I would be soooo happy if you would come visit!! You have a place to stay, if you dont already ! I must get to your beautiful island too!! Cheers Mi Amiga! And Hugs too!

  3. Happy new year Holly and Scott! You have made such a wonderful change in your life — I look forward to all the magic that will take place in 2014! I am so glad to have been able to read avout your adventure, and am so proud of you Holly to have been brave enough to make the move and then write about it so honestly and beautifully! I look forward to seeing you in the coming year!

  4. I have just started reading about your adventures to Panama and I have loved meeting you both. As i am going through your past journaling, I love your sincere honesty when you write. I look forward to reading more, getting to see your progress on your personal happiness, and your fantastic building adventures that you are both throwing yourselves into…someday, I look forward to sharing your Panamanian life, scenic view, sunshine…aghhhhhhh. I’m even working on my Spanish too now! (Hugs) And take care of that ankle!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Laura. I’m so glad we got to spend a little time with you and your family. I’m sure we’ll see you again! I’m glad to know your enjoying my blog, cuz I really enjoy writing it! Cheers mi Amiga!

  5. Moving here is a really big deal, especially when you consider all the preparation that went on before you left. I know it took me a really long time to just regroup and feel rested up again, not to mention all the learning and adjustments that go on after you arrive. And for me, even harder was leaning that it’s OK not to be productive all the time (and I still am no where close to having that mastered!)
    And the Spanish *sigh* I know you think I have it all together just because I’m a bit further along but still, after all the study, more than a year here, and living among Spanish only speakers, I still have a hard time on a regular basis expressing myself or understanding what someone is trying to tell me. It’s a hard thing to learn a new language! I think you are doing really well with everything, and it will be interesting to see where we both are in another year!

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