Today’s blogging assignment is supposed to be simple; according to the instructions. Somehow I don’t think it is.
There are several suggestions of starting points but I’ve chosen a couple to write about:
- Think about a fact you decided not to include. The particular words you chose to describe yourself. The goals you laid out for your blog. A realization you had while writing it. A vision of what your fully fleshed-out blog will be like; and
- Are there topics you don’t ever want to write about? Why not? What fact was hardest to leave off your “About” page or widget?
Both of my choices are interconnected; a fact that I decided not to include. I’m going to work backward and write about Number Two first. I’d like to twist it up though and talk about the things that I don’t want to “not” write about. The fact of the matter is that living in Panama is not always birds twittering, sunshine on the ocean and beautiful flowers. This was driven home yesterday when one of my readers (actually a new reader) had a very strong disagreement about my post about the SPI (Social Progress Index). To condense his rather long and “copy and pasted” version he called me, in my blogger friend Pam’s words “a pinko communist”. And actually that label brightened my day up considerably. Why you may ask? I know the label does not describe who I am and I found it quite amusing. To me, this is my blog and I want to write about whatever I darn well feel like. If I want to talk about how socially advanced some countries are and do a comparison based on my two “home” countries, one of which I am a born and bred citizen and the other of which I am a legal indefinite resident, then I will.
The other thing that I will talk about and not hide is how darn difficult it is to live in Panama sometimes. We traded some of the things that we didn’t like about Canada for some things that we don’t like about Panama; for instance in Canada we enjoyed reliable electricity, in Panama, not so much. In Canada I know the language really, really well. In Panama I’m still learning a new language, for the first time in my life. Well, maybe the second time. I’m really proud of how we’ve adapted and I don’t regret our decision one bit but some days I long for how “easy” it is in Canada. On the other hand I don’t miss the high property taxes, high cost of food and high cost of utilities or come to think of it wearing long pants for ten months of the year. Moving here has given us a simpler lifestyle for less money and allowed us to have an active lifestyle while we are still young enough to enjoy it. The bonus is no snow to shovel and a closet full of flip-flops and sundresses. For me, not for SU, he wears shorts.
A fact I started to include but “whittled out” in my “About” which was also one of the most difficult to leave out is that I’m a mom. We have three lovely, adult children who are out in the world on their own. I think about them every day and carry them in my heart. Knowing that they are capable adults that are good and kind has made this journey easier for me but I still miss them. The other thing is that I have a great mom who makes me laugh every time I talk to her. I like to think that I got my honesty, stubbornness and tenacity from her. One of the reasons I feel secure about writing whatever I want is that I know that she reads this blog every day. And if I only have her to read, agree or disagree and give feedback then I am a happy girl. Actually I have to give a shout out to SU’s Auntie Shirley because she’s pretty faithful also.
Originally the goals I laid out for this blog were to document my life in Panama. What it has morphed into is so much more, at least for me. Yes, I still like to talk about everyday life, the birds, the weather the culture but; to not talk about other things that interest me such as the Social Progress Index or to post Ted Talks that piqué my curiosity and encourage dialogue would deny that part of me that makes me an observer of life. And I guess that what forms the core of me being me, whether I’m in the campo or anywhere else in the world.