Well, it happened again. The slower days of summer are here and with them comes an annual opportunity to slow down and take stock of all that we have. I swear sometimes I look at the calendar in November, and when I look again, it’s May. High season on the Bay of Banderas is so full that I can hardly get our swimsuits dry between events. From circus training to horseback riding to whale-watching-birthday-parties, my kids’ lives are even busier, and we rarely make time as a family to enjoy lazy, schedule-free days. But then June hits and all the visits from friends and family stop, schools and classes wrap up, and we find ourselves back on Bucerias’ nearly empty beaches, making sand castles, burying daddy, and recalling all the reasons we moved here in the first place.
In these times, I like to think of all that we do have—from our health to a roof over our heads—remembering what is truly important. I learned this from watching and mimicking Mexican families who regularly gather on the beaches, making ceviche in unison, and catching up on all their news face-to-face. Sadly, this is becoming a lost art as smartphones transport our work lives in our pockets, and the constant communication from social media takes us away from what’s presently happening. Our minds and hearts are so inundated with all that is occurring elsewhere that we’re forgetting how to be in the moment.
This week my family and I spent some serious downtime, offline and paying attention to each other’s words and needs. We went into Vallarta to experience the celebrations of Mayo Fest and the Centennial Expo, commemorating the creation of the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta on May 31, 1918. One hundred years ago, the pioneers of this fantastic city could have never dreamed of the fast-paced world we have created today. As we walked the Malecon hand-in-hand, taking in the incredible Sand Art painstakingly carved for our viewing pleasure, our world shrunk and time decelerated. I realized that everything I valued was right there and right then.
I am immensely grateful to Mexico’s people and culture, for showing us how to live again fully; for reminding us to focus on what we already have and not just on what we want; on being where we are and not just where we’re going. Like the fleeting sand creations, our lives are only temporary; we will all eventually return to the earth in some form or another. In the time we do have, let’s all take a cue from Mexico by taking stock of our blessings, planning long, lazy beach days with those we love, and leaving work at the office…lest we end up missing our lives entirely.