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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Rat Race

I got my mitts on a North American style women's magazine this week. You know the type (if you are a woman) - "favorite family dinners", "easy decorating ideas, "15 ways to avoid colds and flu", numerous articles on style, family, health, food - it never ends. This and many other similar magazines come on the market every month, if not more - and they aren't cheap.

It was exhausting reading it - so much so that I was thinking about it while trying to get to sleep last night. I used to enjoy reading these magazines but never was able to achieve everything they told me I should be doing or saving or creating or wearing or baking or decorating or gardening or entertaining .... and so I always felt a bit as if I never measured up to what I was supposed to be.

And that is truly dreadful. Imagine believing that magazines should tell us how to be and how to live our lives. They are fine for the odd recipe or cleaning tip now and again or just for amusement when sitting in the dentist's office waiting for your appointment.

So I started thinking about how my life now in Costa Rica differs from my life in Canada. I buy clothes at Ropa Americana, a few things at the Multi-Plaza in Escazu, and I've also ordered clothing on line, which has worked out well. And I get family and friends to mule me down things we need.

I need bathing suits and shorts, cool tops, nice sandals, pretty cotton dresses, but not the latest suit design. I don't need winter clothing, spring clothing, fall clothing. I don't have access to actual English magazines - they are available in Spanish but I'm not up to that level yet and that's a good thing in this case.

I brought a few cookbooks with me, and bought a Costa Rican cookbook here, so I can make just about anything that is tasty and healthy. Not hard to do with the food available here. On line recipes number in the millions I think so no lack there if I want to look up Asian recipes. Oh, and by the way, I can buy my beloved Asian ingredients in San Jose.

Our rental house is furnished and clean, we have banana trees and mangoes, fabulous neighbors. I take Spanish lessons once a week and yoga/pilates/pool exercises twice a week. We have friends from all over - some are already here, some are on their way down, quite a few are Ticos. We have friends here from Germany, Canada, the USA, Brazil and Bolivia. The weather is terrific. Many social activities are available - our friends in San Ramon organize Beach Days.  Lots of local and excellent restaurants. It's fun to shop in Atenas and interact with Ticos and Ticas. My ears are becoming used to hearing more than just the English I grew up with. I am learning about different customs and foods.

My point? I don't have to live the trumped up life of magazines any more.


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