3. Island Time
Initial Challenge: I have to say, out of all the changes we’re experiencing, Island Time has been the hardest to adjust to. It’s no secret that I’m a person that’s always on the go. I’ve been hyperactive since I was a child, and it’s been a constant blessing and battle throughout adulthood. As a workaholic, and active dog mom, I’ve been able to balance 12hr days, being on call 24/7, vet appointments, errands, etc. Basically, every minute of my life was accounted for and used to be productive.
However, here on the island, things are done at a different pace – a slower one. It’s been incredibly challenging and frustrating at times.
Actual Realization: I need to slow down. Life isn’t always about the rat race, and one of the biggest reasons we moved to Puerto Rico was for a change of pace. Has Island time/life been challenging at times? Hell yes. Has Island time/life been rewarding at times? Hell yes. Sometimes we get so caught up in work, work, work, that life just seems to pass us by.
I needed a wake up call, and I got one. Not only have I slowed down, I’ve become more patient, more appreciate and overall more grateful.
One morning it was raining, and as I sipped my coffee I looked at B and said, “I don’t remember the last time I went out in the rain just to FEEL the rain on my skin.” I walked out into the rain, and just stood there to enjoy the cool drops on my skin.
Beautiful, small things that I’ve taken for granted, or I’ve overlooked while trying to get more work done – have suddenly reappeared in my life as if to remind me, to take the time and enjoy them.
4. Cable & Netflix
Initial Challenge: I want to prefix this by saying, we could get cable, but we’re only renting our place for 3 months. Why only 3 months? Because we signed the lease over the phone, and if it wasn’t what we thought it was – we’d only have to stick it out for a few months [Ps. The house looks like it did in the photos!]. Plus, we’re spending January touring the island to look and find neighborhoods we’d like to live in.* (If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!) Anywho! we opted not to sign up for cable, and our wifi is incredibly limited – which means, no Netflix either.
*With the earthquakes, we’ve pushed back touring the island. We’ve been staying safe, and at home with the dogs.
Actual Realization: Have I watched the second season of You? No. Am I hip to know all the new series out on Netflix? Also, no. But what I HAVE done is found new things to preoccupy my time with, like watching the sunsets, exploring the island, conquering my fears of the ocean, journaling and appreciating what’s in front of me.
I’m pushing myself to find hobbies, find my talents and to find what I love again! And it’s wild, y’all. I’ve been so caught up in the rat race, I forgot what that was. Clearly, I love my bf, fam, friends, etc. But I’m talking about what I love to do. I use to paint. I use to draw. I use to volunteer. I use to to dance. Why did I give all those things up? I’m so excited to get back into the balance of life, and challenge myself to do what I love.
So, how have the first 4 weeks in PR been? My life is changing. My priorities are changing. My thoughts are changing. My perspective is changing. I’m questioning what I thought was important, and beginning to find, that what I once thought I couldn’t live without – I’m doing just fine without.
Although I had already begun making these changes in my life since being here, the earthquake was a major wake up call. And even though I feel like I’m making strides, I can’t help but feel they’re minuscule in the scheme of things. Especially now, in perspective to what others are going through on this island.
For now, it’s one day at a time. Again, please keep Puerto Rico in your thoughts and prayers.
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