Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Gift of Time!

We had an interesting discussion today with a couple who has lived here for ten years, and it made me think how differently my life has become. He said, "We are so fortunate; we have the gift of time!"

That's what we didn't have in the States and that's what makes living here so wonderful -- almost blissful. Yes, I'm still a writer and I have "deadlines," but they’re my deadlines!

This week, I've had a lot of e-mails from folks who are preparing to pack up the container and come to Cuenca. I smiled and thought, Yeah, they're doing it! They didn't let the naysayers stop them from coming.

The gift of time is elusive to some of you in the preparing stage because the activities to actually get you to Ecuador are almost mind boggling. That part was painful for me -- terribly painful. I don't envy anyone going through that stage; in fact, you have my sympathy.

But once you're here, the pain will fade and in its place is something we all treasure: T-I-M-E! That's not to say we aren't busy (some of us are busier than we've ever been in our lives), but it's a good kind of busy: picking out flowers at the market, going to concerts, eating out at five-star restaurants with one-star prices, taking a buggy ride through the city, enjoying ice cream with friends at Tutto Freddo, and listening to the sound of the river until we fall asleep to its "whispers." That's real living!

The couple—that came to visit us this evening—is in their 30's; he has a full-time business that he runs from an office in Cuenca. They have small children and yet; they have the gift of time. After four hours of visiting, he said, "Do you really think I would have had time to do this if I were in the States?"

"No, absolutely not!" I said, looking at my watch. (It's still a bad habit that I'm trying to break!)

He smiled and said, "That's why we live here, so we can enjoy life!"

Why do we have to wait until we're 55, 62 or 70? I think in some ways we're pre-programmed to work hard and not enjoy life because time stands in our way. In Ecuador, you'll learn a new pace of life that comes with great rewards. It might take some of you longer to adapt (especially the "Type A" personalities), but you'll get used to it. I promise.

Some of us have learned how to enjoy the gift of time through life-altering events (before we arrived in Ecuador), and the rest of us have learned it while being here.

Wherever you are in this journey—selling a house, packing up a container, saying goodbye to family and friends, waking up at 2:00 a.m. thinking you're crazy or waiting for the red light to turn green—know that we've all been there and we're waiting to give you hugs on this side of "zero"!

Until next time...enjoy the gift of time!

The Cajas

The Tomebamba

Cuenca at Night

Tres Cupolas at Sunset

Nueva Catedral

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