This is exactly why God is in charge instead of me

15 Jun

My girl Ang over at Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness had her own mini-campaign against texting while driving yesterday. I don’t have a car (yet!), but I have talked on the phone while driving a few times myself… and it was kinda scary. I can’t imagine what would happen if I were texting and had to focus on pressing buttons and correct spelling!

At my request, Ang made me this awesome button (which matches the flowers in my header… pretty cool, right?). If you want to participate, just steal the button, or shoot her a comment and she’ll make one in whatever color you want!

Anyway, on a completely non-related topic, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about life and happiness. I’ve realized lately that I am extremely happy with my life. Things couldn’t be better. I have almost zero stress (any stress in my life is related to my dogs, usually), I have a great job that pays well, I speak 2 languages fluently, I have hundreds of friends (as proved by my enormous wedding guestlist), I have an amazing family, I have an amazing future husband, I live in a city that I love… God has truly blessed me.

Most expats living in Mexico that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing (online or in person) have this same outlook. They tend to focus more on the joys in life, and they usually see the humor in bad situations.

Via Facebook, I’ve seen that such is not usually the case with my American friends still living in the States. There are many cryptic facebook statuses, working awful hours at work, self esteem issues, family stress, financial stress, and the list goes on. Not that they’re depressed… but they just don’t seem as happy. That was me, once.

Jorge and I had always planned on moving to the States when we have kids someday. I’m no longer so sure that I want to do that. People just seem happier here in Mexico. Everyday struggles don’t seem like such a big deal. Obviously Mexico has its issues, but I can’t deny that the lifestyle usually leads to a healthier outlook on life.

So what do we do?

Do we move back to the States once we have kids, where education is great (and pretty much free) and there are so many opportunities, but the culture seems to lead to stress and self doubt? (Target is also high on my list of reasons to go back.)

Or do we stay here, where a good education is gonna cost us, but the culture will allow our kids to feel more confident? I feel like here we’d also be more able to build a dream home in a great location. In the States, it could take decades, whereas here we could have it within a few years if we play our cards right.

I used to think I had to raise my kids in the States for the education. I wanted to give them every opportunity I had. Lately I’ve read so many blogs about Americans raising families in Mexico, however, and they just seem so happy. Maybe it’s not a bad idea after all?

Sorry if I’ve offended anyone, and maybe I’m generalizing a lot. I sincerely love both cultures, and the USA has given me so many opportunities. I love my friends and family there, and it has so many pros over Mexico. (That’s a blog post for another day!) But that’s just my observation, and that’s what’s going through my head as Jorge and I try to make these decisions.

At least we have a few years to decide (assuming everything goes as planned, which it rarely does in life).

Then again, maybe I just shouldn’t plan ahead anymore. Things usually turn out better that way (probably because God is so much smarter than I am).

If you’re still here, thanks for putting up with my random thoughts.

23 Responses to “This is exactly why God is in charge instead of me”

  1. foxy June 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    You know, that’s an interesting question… and thankfully one you won’t have to answer for a while! I think you can make it a point to surround yourself with happy people – or steer clear of negative people – no matter where you go. There are both kinds in every country. But I know what you’re saying… Mexico does have more of a laid back, happy-go-lucky attitude about it. But I feel that way about my life, and I’m here in the US.

  2. Ashlie June 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    It sounds like you are in a very good space these days. It is nice when you are feeling great about life, love, self, etc. I, too, have often considered returning to Canada once we have kids and I have played around with similar thoughts as you, the pros and cons. Don’t try to figure it all out just yet but rather wait and see how things play out. You make very valid points and often a Pro’s and Con’s list works but at the end of the day it may very well come down to what your heart–what a cheesy comment! 🙂

  3. Brooke June 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    wow, it sounds like you’ve already answered that. We are looking forward to moving our family to Mexico one day too! There’s lots of things that worry us about it, but hope it happens soon.

  4. Ronnica June 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    There’s nothing wrong with deciding that the fast-paced, success-at-all-costs lifestyle isn’t best to raise kids in (I agree with you, actually). In either place, you’ll have to fight for you kids, but against different things.

  5. sarah winfree June 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    well, if you stay in mexico and have kids, i will just have to move there and be “aunt sarah.”

  6. Leah Flinn June 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I am sure you will know what to do as time goes on. It wasn’t that long ago that I would have never agreed to live in Mexico and now I can’t see myself living in the US again. You never know what life will bring 🙂

  7. cheri June 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    you will notice this same disposition in a lot of non-1st world countries. coming from one, i guess since we dont have a lot, we tend to enjoy what we do have: family. we dont take things seriously. i mean, we have had the worst flood in the last 40yrs, and we’re waving at the cameras when it pans in our direction.

    an option maybe you can raise your kids there, then send them to the state for college. you’ll know what’s best when that time comes 🙂

  8. The Drama Mama June 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    I kind of agree with you. I mean I’m not hopping to move out of the US or anything but I think the general “unhappiness” here is because the country as a whole is so “rich” and everyone is so spoiled. I am glad that I have never lived in luxury. I think I am happier that way (Though struggling has it’s own stress too).

    I remember once upon a time someone told me that Mexicans are very hands on people. If they touch you when they talk to you it’s because that’s how they are. I LOVE that. Studies show that touching is the most positive affirmation of love, so yeah, I love that.

  9. Single and Sane June 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Parents have a role in determining how much or how little pressure kids feel growing up. Now that you have lived in a pressure where you don’t feel as stressed, you might be able to translate much of that feeling to life in the US – that’s up to you, wherever you live.

  10. Single and Sane June 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    That was supposed to say “in a culture where you don’t feel as stressed.”

    I’m home today. I can’t blame my poor typing on stress…unless I’m worried about facing my desk tomorrow. 😉

  11. TGalvan June 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    I lived in Cancun for years and moved back to Canada 2 yrs ago….big mistake. Exactly like you say….there I never really had a worry or stress in the world, here that’s all life is. Just like you my husband is Mexican and we had talked about moving to Canada on and off and for a couple reasons we decided to come live back in Canada for a couple years. I think since the moment we got to Canada I have been counting down the days till we go back to Mexico.
    We recently had a son and I now more then ever want to go back and raise him in Mexico. Family, friends lifestyle and way of life are something I find much more important in Mexico then in say Canada or the US. Here it’s work $ work stress and more stress, people don’t put that aside to really enjoy what is close and precious in life here.
    I could go on and on on this topic but in the end to each our own but what I have learned from experience is that really really think hard about the future before you make big decisions and if you do that everything will turn out for the best!
    Sorry for the rambling!! hehe

  12. Julie M. June 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Great Post. I do agree that there are plenty of people in America that see the cup as half empty rather than half full. I think part of the problem right now is just the economic state we’re in. So many people have taken a hit financially and when you’re in a country where money is king, that can sour people.

    What people here need to realize though, is that money is not everything. There is so much more that can bring you happiness. My hope is that as people start to adjust to the “new and less rich” America, they will find happiness in the joys of life and not the dollars in their pocket.

  13. becca June 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    the pace of life is so different, and that makes or breaks your stress level. God is in control, no matter how many plans you make. i think y’all will figure out what is best for your familia. if you are content where you are, you can make it work for your future kiddos as well.

  14. Salt June 15, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    I think that when the time comes for you, you are going to know exactly what to do and it will be the right decision. A lot can change between now and the time you have children. Heck, something might happen here that is so huge that I’ll relocate my whole family to Mexico.

    Target is nice though. I would definitely miss Target.

  15. laurencancun June 15, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Hey amiga – I sooo get what you are saying!!! I always hear someone complaining about something back home, and here, rarely. I mean of course, well allll complain, but it´s different.

    Also, one of the reasons I agreed to live here with hubby was that we could have our ¨dream¨home sooner. I could be a stay at home mom. Back in Calgary, Canada …. would have had to give up A LOT in order to get those things…. years, and years later.

    You´ll figure out what to do when the time comes!!! Until then…continue enjoying life amiga!!

  16. KfromMichigan June 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    You have time to think it over. But life in the US is stress and more stress!

  17. Ang June 16, 2010 at 2:33 am #

    Hey, thanks for the plug!

    I’m glad you’re happy right now… just roll with it for a bit. Leave the future in the future and deal with it as it comes… or at least in a little bit. Happiness is fun, enjoy it!

  18. Megan June 16, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    Gah, life in the U.S. is stressful. There is a reason I’m always saying I should move to the Bahamas!!

    You know, you have all the time in the world to figure out what to do. You may change your mind once you have kids, or you may not. But the fact that you’re happy right now, with your life and where you are, is awesome. Enjoy it!

  19. Nikki June 16, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    I totally missed your post yesterday, and I love hearing other people’s opinions on this kind of stuff.

    What a tough question. You’re right, everyone in Mexico is kinda on island time and a lot more laid back. I wonder why that is? Less pressure? That can’t be. Because the cost of living is lower in Mexico you could definitely have more opportunities. If I were you, I’d stay. Who says you can’t start your family down there and then move. And then move back again if you hate it. Kids can be educated anywhere, don’t let that be the deciding factor. Especially if you love where you live so much. I think they’d have more diversity and culture outside of the U.S., or at least they might have a better chance of embracing it.

    At least you’ve figured out the kids part…I’m still working on that question. My DOGS, are crazy 😉

  20. Nikki June 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    P.S. I like what Julie M said. I feel like it’s my goal to teach my Husband that money is not happiness.

  21. GRRRL TRAVELER June 18, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    It’s good to look ahead but I don’t think you have to decide things just yet. You’ll get a better idea of what to do when the time comes. Life has a way of presenting things and opportunities…

    My two cents- I do think there’s a stressful and unhealthy lifestyle that Americans can grow to live. Values are different in the U.S. than they are in Mexico and this will shape your family. Even the idea of family is dff. My plan if I ever had children was to go back to Hawaii to raise them. I suspect Hawaii is a midway between U.S. & Mexico. LOL.

  22. Kate June 21, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    What is it that I always hear & frequently repreat “Americans live to work. Mexicans work to live.”

    I always liked that because I thought that it made perfect sense. We Americans are always pushing ourselves to have more money, to get that extra whatever. In my personal experience, the Mexicans that I have known have always worked to live meaning their focus wasn’t always on their jobs more than it was their happiness.

    It’s a complicated thing to type in a comment box, so I hope it doesn’t tick anyone off. The two cultures just approach living so differently!

    I always tell Todd that I would raise Lboy in Mexico in a heart beat! I know plenty of expats who raised their kids in Latin America & their kids went to state colleges, a few even went Ivy League, & they all graduated with honors!

    I think y’all can work it out based on what you feel is best for your family!

  23. Ceri May 12, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Hun, I think you’ll know exactly what you want to do when the time’s right. 🙂 Just take every day as it comes and, when it comes to the future, wait to see what happens.

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