Spend your Attention Currency Wisely

Despite lacking some first-world conveniences, Mexico has provided me with an absolutely priceless lack of fucks to give. I still read about as much news as I did while living in Arizona but I care so very much less. With the next election dumpster fire taking place later this year, I feel my timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Apparently, there is another Democratic debate tonight. This is Number Seven. Is anyone still paying attention? Does anyone still care? I say this as a news and politics junkie. Party no longer matters. It’s just a different flavor of the same bullshit. Everyone is rooting for their team but both teams suck and all of the players are horrible people. It’s kind of like when the NFL welcomed Michael Vick back into the league and we just memory holed that nasty dog torture episode.

Has anyone noticed what’s going on with the global economy? How much physical gold is China really holding? Why is the US Fed considering lowering rates again when the Dow is at record highs and everything is going so well? Why is the New York Fed pumping billions upon billions of dollars into the overnight repo market? Has anyone made the connection between certain countries in the Middle East deciding they no longer want to trade oil for dollars? Seems like this could all be kind of important. Politics is just a drama-filled distraction.

My dog is having eye surgery this week for a luxated lens. We could either remove it or have a prosthetic lens implanted in the eye, which will resolve the glaucoma issue, so that’s what we’re doing. He won’t be able to see but the eye will look relatively normal and it’s less invasive than removing the eye altogether. The cost is just under US $800. Ask me again why I moved to Mexico. I really don’t know if I will ever live in the US again.

After I finish the breakfast my boyfriend is cooking for me, I’ll do a little Yoga on our porch overlooking the ocean. Then I’ll help him refine the pitch for a TV show he’s working on. Maybe I’ll go for a run if the sun ever makes an appearance. What I can say with absolute certainty is that I will not spend one minute watching that debate or following it on Twitter. I prefer to focus on what matters.

When Anxiety is Chasing You

Anxiety can be triggered by something or it can be triggered by nothing. What was fine five minutes ago is now one hundred percent not fine. I can go from zero to eleven in two seconds but getting from eleven back to zero can easily take two days…or longer.

I underestimated the amount of stress and anxiety I would feel in the process of simplifying my life but Mexico is growing on me. It seems like I solve a new mystery every week and I mostly don’t get lost when wandering around the neighborhood. I’ve developed systems for dealing with household issues and have learned how to pay Mexican utilities online. It’s been like going through childhood all over again but adulting in Mexico is possible.

It is imperative that this experience be a positive one. Dwelling on every bump in the road is simply not an option so I found myself squashing it all. Back in the box. Ignore. Deny. Pretend. That it caught up to me should be a surprise to exactly no one. I wasn’t getting enough exercise. I wasn’t writing enough. I wasn’t countering the stress. I had a couple rough nights as a result. All of the nerves in my back felt like they were on fire. Every single sound grated on every exposed nerve. I only slept for a couple hours and that certainly didn’t help my outlook.

The anxiety medication I take is old school and the dosage can be modified to counter mood fluctuations without severe side effects. After the dogs insisted upon eating breakfast this morning, I allowed myself an extra half of a pill. It made me dizzy for a while but it also stopped the buzzing. After lunch, I was able to take a stroll around the very hilly neighborhood. I’m writing this next to a pool with a beautiful view of the ocean.

If you’re daydreaming about attacking a heavy bag at the gym and you aren’t sure where the rage is coming from, say so. Stop trying to hide it. People around you can tell something is wrong and they will naturally think it’s about them. It’s okay to say you don’t know why you need to be scraped off the ceiling. Take some time to regroup. If you know what you need, tell someone. Don’t let the pressure build.

People always say we have to take care of ourselves but sometimes it’s hard to know what that even means. For me, it means not procrastinating until I find myself at eleven. Organizing your mind and emotions is just like de-cluttering your home. If you do a little work every day, it won’t seem like an overwhelming obstacle. Don’t let dirty dishes pile up in your head space.

Untethered

Last Friday was my last day at work. I cannot clearly articulate the relief I felt upon exiting the building. A neighbor caught me while the cargo box was being installed on my Jeep and asked me 20 questions. Among other things, she wanted to know if I’m retiring. I really didn’t have an answer for that, so I told her I am for the time being. I plan to mentally detox from that godforsaken environment until at least the first of the year and then see how I feel.

My house has been officially sold and I have received the proceeds. My departure from Tucson has been delayed by a tardy Amazon package, of all things. I’m fine with an extra night in a hotel but my psychotic hound wants to go home. There currently is no such place. Good luck explaining that to a dog.

All of the stress of preparing for this move and stirring up a ton of dust has wreaked havoc on my skin. I didn’t need a reminder of what being a teenager looked like. I’m also covered in bruises from carrying items in excess of my weight limit. My dogs seem determined to dislocate both shoulders by zigging when they should be zagging. It’s all 100 percent worth it.

My stress level is shrinking along with my to-do list. I feel pretty good about the fact that my biggest problem is Sherman’s continued refusal to do potties while on the leash. My temporary solution is to take them to a dog park a while after their meals so they can have their privacy. That won’t be a viable plan for much longer so I really need Sherman to get on my wavelength.

Speaking of waves, storms are still forming in the Pacific and I really hope we can dodge them on the way down through Baja. I’ve been told I should learn to surf in Scorpion Bay due to the little baby waves, which are the ocean equivalent of a bunny slope. I would love to stop there on the way to my final destination but the weather will decide.

For now, I’m waiting for an Amazon notification and my dogs to finish their afternoon naps. This is easy.

Flipping the Script

For as far back as I can remember, my parents drilled into my tiny little head that it’s rude to make people wait. This has condemned me to a lifetime of being the person who arrives ten minutes early and waits impatiently for everyone else. I was told to stay out of people’s way. This has condemned me to a lifetime of irritation with those who seem to think they’re the only people on Earth and can therefore take up as much space as they like for as long as they like.

Be quiet. Don’t touch anything. Don’t make a mess. I could go on for days.

In less than two weeks, I will no longer be on a schedule. German time does not exist in Mexico so why be in a hurry? I will not worry about my dogs barking. Everyone’s dogs bark. THAT’S THEIR JOB. I will not worry about breaking something that is absolutely replaceable. I will accept beach dust mixing with dog hair and coating every possible surface. I have to release myself from the subdivision mentality. These are the things I keep telling myself.

My current reality is quite different. I’m worried about the things I may have forgotten to worry about. No detail is too small! I’m basically walking around in a perpetually nauseated state at this point. I’m worried about whether or not I’ll be able to turn it all off when I finally arrive at my destination. Because I’m really telling myself that I have to change my entire personality in order to fucking relax.

No problem…it’s on the list.

Countdown to an Aneurysm

My calendar is killing me right now. I am not a fan of dealing with things or people and that is literally all I am doing for the next three weeks. Who knew moving to a foreign country could be so involved?

I recently received a federal grand jury summons for December. Hate to break it to you folks but I’m not going to be around for that. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Analysis paralysis is setting in hardcore. Big decisions are easy; the small ones not so much. I trashed all of my yearbooks and various items I’ve been dragging around with me for the past two decades. I definitely did not need to keep the stuffed koala bear my grandmother brought to the hospital when I was born. Or the stuffed shark headband I wore to a Jimmy Buffett concert circa 2003.

Anxiety and OCD. Rigid punctuality. Routine. Proper prior planning. Checklists. Chest pains. Nausea. Insomnia.

At this point, anyone who adds to my stress level is going overboard. I am not entertaining any nonsensical bullshit. I just have to get through this and if you’re not part of the solution, I can’t even with you.

Here’s one thing I do know: A month from today, I will run with my dogs on the beach. I will cultivate some motherfucking Zen if it’s the last thing I do.

Mexico or Bust

This is not a drill. Initiating panic attack sequence in 3…2…1…

I signed paperwork to list my house yesterday. It is being photographed in less than an hour and the listing will go live tomorrow. My realtor told me if a home in my zip code and price range stays on the market longer than 10 days, there’s something wrong with the property. Way to keep a girl away from the ledge!

Moving is always stressful but I’ve done it a million times. I have never moved to a foreign country, however. I have certainly never moved two large dogs to a foreign country. My anxiety this morning is at about a 7 for the first time in several months and my therapist is out of the country until the end of September.

Last night, I moved some items which must be kept forever into a storage unit and that is what I think made it really real. I’m not entirely certain why I still have my grandmother’s roller skates in the original box but I do. They should probably go to a cousin with children but I’m the only one who grew up actually using them. I doubt anyone else in the family would want them or even understand why I have been dragging them around from state to state for the past 20 years.

I’m excited about unloading the majority of my belongings. It feels like they have begun to own me and it’s time to let all of that go. My problem is with my great-great-grandmother’s china. An engraved pewter mug that belonged to a great-great-uncle who died as a toddler. Items which had been displayed in the family museum. For whatever reason, my grandmother thought it was a good idea for me to have these things and I still agree with her after all these years. But as God is my witness, my antique knife rest collection is not going to Mexico.

There are a million decisions which will have to be made in a relatively short time frame and I’m really feeling that right now. What am I doing with the proceeds once my house sells? Will my employer allow me to work remotely? If not, where do I move my 401(k) funds? Do I fully embrace the digital nomad lifestyle? How much money do I really need to live comfortably in Baja? My dogs’ food is unavailable in Mexico so what will I feed them? Do I keep my cell phone plan? Why is Babylon Berlin unavailable on Netflix when I log in from Mexico and how do I get around that if/when a new season is released? These are pressing issues.

My strategy for today is to focus on the next item on the list. I’m breathing. I’m doing yoga. I’m acknowledging it’s normal to feel anxious about this whole process while also feeling like I want to load my dogs up into a scene from The Grapes of Wrath this very instant. Mexico or bust.

Stop the Ride

Figuratively speaking, the world is burning and I’m just over here thinking about beach yoga. I’ve been a news and politics junkie for many years and I’m just too tired to pick a side. Have you ever tried to run in sand? I’m really pondering the best way to run on the beach with my dogs without aggravating scar tissue in my foot from The Great Pitbull Attack of 2015. Don’t worry about the Dow; Worry about my Plott Hound being terrified of the ocean.

I have no control over central bankers or their evil machinations but I can absolutely choose how to spend my days. I’m jumping off this ride because it’s expensive and it sucks. I’m taking my dogs to a small town where I will hardly have to drive. We’ll all be in better shape and I mean that in every sense of the word.

Lately, The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand has been on my mind. I’ve never really gotten into the philosophy of Objectivism but I certainly can identify with so many of Rand’s fictional characters. I’ve never lived my life the way people thought I should. Why start now when I can catch mangoes falling from the sky?

How Do Grown-ups Make Friends?

Serious question: How do qrown-ups make friends? Captain Obvious would probably tell me not being such a raging bitch would be a good start. Okay, point taken. But then what?

As children, we made friends at school or in the neighborhood. Or at grandma’s house. Or at McDonald’s. We didn’t fucking care; we were kids! In college, we made friends in the dorms or commiserating over the greasy cafeteria pizza. Maybe we made fun of the douche canoes at the frat parties someone thought would be a good idea. Maybe we had some lame retail job and all went out and got shitfaced together afterward. I even remember dozens of faces from the bars in Wichita that I saw every week but couldn’t tell you one of their names. It didn’t matter.

When we entered the real workforce, we made friends there. I was introduced to my ex-husband by one of those people. Never mind that she turned out to be a scandalous whore who got an Airman Basic kicked out of the Air Force for adultery and her husband had to be recalled from Turkey to get her ass under control. I worked at larger companies in my twenties so it was easy to find people with common interests even when I got divorced. I had people to do things with in a strange city and really didn’t give it much thought.

But then I didn’t remarry. And I didn’t have kids. And I started working for smaller companies. And then I moved to the desert. Oh shit. Now what?

Don’t say church. I tried that in Kansas and felt like I was being pounced on and interrogated before I could even get inside the door.

Don’t say the dog park. Have you even been to a dog park lately? Those people are awful! Dog moms are just as bad as soccer moms. I hate dogs parks. My dogs hate dog parks.

Don’t say in the neighborhood. No. The last thing I want is someone ringing my doorbell unannounced and uninvited. I don’t like people knowing where I live. I especially don’t like people thinking they can just…come over.

The hair salon? The coffee shop? At yoga?

You know what? Forget it. I have dogs.

Irascible

Irascible. Put it on my tombstone.

Sometimes, it’s just never going to work. I’ve been testy this week. For whatever reason, that reminded me of a guy I used to date who once used the word “irascible” to describe me. Hello, Captain Obvious. But it seriously took him entirely too long to figure that out. He looked great on paper. In reality, he wasn’t all that interesting and he didn’t like my dogs. Fuck that guy.

Prior to him, I dated a guy who was just looking for a placeholder. He could take me out in public and I didn’t have any drama. You know what? Fuck that guy, too.

I don’t really have a point other than this is one of those weeks when I wish I had a heavy bag hanging in my living room. I wish my hearing wasn’t so finely tuned. Every sound is like sandpaper on my last nerve.

I suppose I could be a better person. But then people wouldn’t need four-syllable words to describe me.

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