Questions and Quandaries

Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: To be or not to be, that is the question. My question is similar: Do I sell everything and move or stay put in my tight, but comfortable, nest? I think it would be a terrible thing to come to life’s end and say, “I wish I would have.” I’ve read that people come to regret what they did not do much more than what they did do.

Without a lot of money to spend visiting Ecuador before moving there is not an option I can afford. It’s all or nothing, and doing nothing is not so appealing. Not that I am complaining about my life. Canada is a wonderful country! I have a pension after years of work that lets me eat every day; afford a movie on occasion or a small dinner out with friends. Health care is excellent and I feel safe in my neighbourhood. My nest feels tight, but padded and comfortable.

Yet… Yet, there is that little niggle that tells me there is, and should be, more to life than mere comfortable existence. The times in my life that have been the most memorable have been experienced outside that zone of comfort that presently envelops me. Those times that I value most were initially shrouded in trepidation. Stepping off the gang-plank into waters unknown took courage (or an external push), but I was (almost) always the better person for having made the plunge. It was sink or swim.

To date I have swam, perhaps clumsily; but I made it to shore. I have gulped down the sea waters of experience, become breathless from exhaustion, but emerged with a renewed joy of having lived and grown through it all. I’ve had some cuts and bruises. I’ve made some mistakes, paid the price and still went on breathing.

So… what is it now? Fear? Definitely fear, but what’s new about that? Age? It could be, but time will only increase that as an excuse, and I recognize it as an excuse. Health? So far, not a huge concern. It could be in the future, but then again if I had a crystal ball what fun would life be?

What will my family think? That’s a big one. I value their opinions and advice. Unlike the character in Simon and Garfunkel’s song: I am not an island; I do feel pain. My children and family are important to me. However, they certainly do not ask my permission to live their lives, and I would not expect them to. So, should I care what my family may or may not think? Perhaps. They do know me quite well and may be able to point out what I cannot see. They could also be blinded by their own wishes and expectations about me and for me.

In the end only I know only I can live my life, which leads me back to my question: should I pack up and move overseas or stay put? My heart is saying, YES, move on to new life, new adventure. My head counters with all the negatives, which I suppose is its job. My heart says forget all that and LIVE. The battle will rage on until I decide to choose: will it be, should it be, Sensible Head or Sensitive Heart?

What would you do?

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2 thoughts on “Questions and Quandaries

  1. How about volunteering for a period of time in a country like Uganda for the Watoto organization? Haiti is another country that welcomes volunteers. I’m sure there are many other volunteer opportunities that would welcome somebody with your skills. I caution you not to make a hasty decision. I suggest that you check out various organizations via the Internet and see if something appeals to you. You could put your belongings in storage with family and/or friends and then you would still have options. Take time to walk before you leap!

    • Thanks, Anne, I have considered your suggestion and looked into many opportunities for volunteering in my field. There are many organizations that have volunteer teaching opportunities in Ecuador. Some require money up front and a contract that would obligate me to a fixed term. I want to spend some time exploring before considering this option. Thanks again.

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