This Feels Familiar…

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This period of time, as we’re scurrying around like crazy people trying to make our new house just barely livable, is not a new sensation for me. We did this in California and our scurry to live in the newly built house may have been for entirely different reasons but hurrying to finish off just the basics to make it inhabitable is not so different right now. Back when we did this in the states it was ME who was making us rush to make our new home inhabitable. Because we had been living in a tiny little studio cottage in the backyard for two years with our daughter and two indoor cats! I had just about reached my limit and had finally put my foot down! And one thing that’s bringing it all back to me is how friggin’ exhausted we both are. Not only exhausted but I gotta say I’ve been a little on the , ahem…grumpy side and I hate to admit…. sorta weepy at times too…Gulp!

As you know I always like to find the optimistic side of things and so today I was feeling ever so grateful that I didn’t have to go to work and try like hell not to cut someones bangs too short as my mind wondered away from what my client was saying and I began pretending to hear her, only to be thinking about what I had to do after work. (what? Oh…nah…those bangs look GREAT! they aren’t too short! Really!) hahah! I gotta tell ya, when I was in the middle of this very similar process last time, I really had a tough time keeping my mind in the conversation at the salon about what new hairstyle would be best…. or if my client needed highlights or lowlights. Formulating color for my clients while thinking about helping with the hardwood floors at home was challenging. Remembering all the other things I had to deal with last time while we were building our home really gives me perspective and helps me to stop feeling so darn stressed. I mean…seriously…when the most stressful thing that is on my mind outside of our house project, is when my avocados will be ripe enough to make guacamole, well, ahem….you see what I mean? And, the other big worry on my mind is Why are my hummingbirds not eating all the sugar water before it goes rancid! Am I using too much vinegar to clean my feeders? Do they prefer the white, processed sugar to the natural sugar? Should I be preparing it in a different way? Gasp! Worries of worries! hah!

This time around our building project is so much less stressful in so many ways. For one, I don’t have a teenage daughter veering towards catastrophe to worry about! Hallelujah! As I’m feeling like a crazy person looking at all I need to get done in this next week and a half, I gotta say…”It’s not so bad”. I need to just take a deep breath and get a firm grip on that gosh darn Tranquilo!!! I swear! What’s the big deal? Right? I mean, just cuz’ we have people waiting patiently to move into our casita and we gave our word (when we give our ‘word’ we mean to do what we say we will do, come hell or high water!) it’s theirs by the first of May doesn’t mean I have to go nuts. We got this. I don’t have dozens of clients to please during the week and I have no more teenage daughter to worry about so, what’s the big deal? hahahahaha! (In case you can’t tell, that’s my ‘crazy’ laugh…)

Seriously, In the next few days the kitchen will be nearly finished, well ahem…you know what I mean by “finished” right? For the record, “finished” for us at the moment means JUST usable. No granite countertops, no drawers, no upper cabinets, plywood counters, no cabinet doors or shelves….but cabinet boxes and a sink and faucet, a working stove and a fridge…shrug…what more do ya need? right? Today my mother in law sent me the most comforting words. She’s coming for her first visit and arrives April 27th so, she says..…” Take a deep breath and pet Scruffy, We can sort boxes together & so what if they are not in the right place when I get there I know this is going to be camping with a roof HaHa💗”. She’s So sweet, she goes on to say…”I hope that my visit is not making you more nervous! Here is what I really need… 1. a toilet that flushes.. 2. some place to take a shower…the rest we’ll just plan as we go. No stove, we’ll use the bbq.. no washer dryer, we’ll use lady in town..You know I love to organize, so boxes sitting around is no problem no matter who’s room they are in. I had planned to bring some work clothes that can be thrown away if they’re not good enough to bring home . I am not coming for fancy! I am coming to spend the most time I can with you and Scott!!! Stop worrying, that it won’t be perfect. Who cares! I don’t ! I Just want to be with you kids, scruffy and Copper.” … So, you see, as I read these words I feel the “Tranquilo” slowly returning.


It’s times like these when the people who surround me make me realize why they’re in my life. I learned long ago to choose my friends wisely and I can see I’ve chosen well. Almost daily I get text messages from my friends here, just checking to see how I’m doing and if I need anything. I feel so supported and so cared for. When we built our home in the states I had so many other things in my life sucking my energy and very little that was feeding my soul. Between running a business, trying to maintain my professionalism at the salon and parenting a sassy teen, I tell ya, there really was not much in the way of ‘Tranquilo’ going on in my life. I may be stressed at the moment and my days are exhausting, but when I sit down in the evenings and look at my computer at the loving and caring messages from my friends here, and those who care about us in the States… I feel my heart fill with happiness.

So, while this particular time of scurrying around in preparation to move into our new house does feel sorta familiar, its also very different in many ways. And as I type this post I can feel my mindset begin to shift and my tranquilo begin to return. I only need to listen to all my friends and family, who remind me daily that there’s really more to my days than this project. We may be busy and working hard towards a mutual goal but it’s a project we’ve chosen to embrace together and something we know, in the end, will bring us unending amounts of happiness. And, guess what…this house we won’t have to sell! Nope! This is our dream home and the place we will firmly plant ourselves. After the hustle and bustle of construction and all the workers are gone, we’ll settle into a much more calm life and we’ll continue to come up with ideas of more adventures to dive into. There’s so much to look forward to and it’s all begun with this project. Well…but….first I gotta get us all packed up and moved out of our casita!!! ugh!! And…are those damn avocados ripe yet? I’ve got a serious guacamole craving that needs to be addressed !! hahahahaha! Come on “ Tranquilo” Don’t leave me now!

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About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

9 responses »

  1. Here’s hoping the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train! Seriously, it appears the end of your ‘no tranquilo’ is about at an end, congratulations! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  2. When ever I see the road you have built into your home I know you will have a magnificent home. I know what would be killing me all those months of living with a generator and finally you get electrics on switch and you have to move. That kitchen is huge can see many of Scotts’ dinners being produced,

    • Elaine! Yes, you know Scott will be cooking up a storm in his new kitchen…of course he’s has a ton of other projects too, so he may not be putting on any huge parties in the near future! Thanks for the kind words!

  3. Holly, you are a courageous, strong person and although I understand weepy as we live on our patio with the hotplate and refrig in the garage, it’s going to be so WORTH it when you realize your dream house in lush Boquete 🙂 Hugs Linda

    • Linda!!!! Sorry I haven’t responded to many comments lately…You guys are having very similar experiences as us these days! Love seeing your pictures! Hope your planning to visit us sometime soon!

  4. Holly & Scott, you’re doing an awesome job. So many benefits to the local community, from employment to purchasing supplies…and done with your kind, calm, positive manner. Well done. Enjoy Mom’s visit, she sounds equally cool.

  5. You go this, Holly, coming down the home stretch. Your mom-in-law sounds like an awesome person and will bring calm and organization to you. It is great that you can put things into perspective and compare the “stresses” you used to have and then realize there really is nothing to stress over now in retirement. Have a wonderful visit!

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