Saturday, August 09, 2008

there is a season -- קֹהֶלֶת

Factor #7 -- time to read; time to learn; time to rest

For some that will sound like the rhythm of Ecclesiastes. Those of us lost in the 70s will hear the Byrds' refrain of "Turn, Turn, Turn."

I had nothing quite so poetic in mind when I wrote down that factor. I was simply interested in some place where I could read, where I could learn, and where I could rest -- with no schedule. The time to do either of the three whenever I wanted.

When people ask me what I am going to do in Mexico (and it happened again today), I usually pull out these three practical pursuits: read, learn, rest.

One thing I thoroughly enjoy about Mexico is the lack of a frenetic pace. Now, fellow bloggers, I often hear you talk about relaxation, and the next thing I know you are posting schedules that sound very similar to mine in Salem.

I know the fill-up-the-calendar syndrome can follow us wherever we go. There will always be the business of living that often gets in the way of rest. But the balance, overall, appears to be in favor of rest.

The learning component does not have to be anything formal. I just want to keep my mind challenged by learning new things. Learning Spanish will certainly fill a large part of that need. But I want to learn even more mundane tasks -- how to wire a lamp, how to replace the trap under the sink, how to fix the hot water heater.

Reading is something of an addiction for me. Bliss of 1st Mate tried an experiment of not reading for a week. She learned a lot about herself. But she also learned the value of reading.

Is this factor still important to me?


Grade for Melaque:


My time in Melaque has convinced me that there will be time for rest and learning.

My only concern is reading. There is a book exchange in Villa Obregon. Buying books and magazines will be a challenge. However, I hope to keep up my magazine subscriptions through a mailing service, and several of you have posted internet sites for buying books. It might help to try to compile those in "comments" -- if you would be so kind.

Melaque provides nothing more than almost any place in Mexico could provide for rest, learning, and reading. But it is certainly no worse, either.

Melaque easily passes on this important factor.

Next post: daily learning to survive, and facing mountains of difficulties -- and being repeatedly crushed


Babs said...

Hi Steve - I presume, but don't know if there is a mail service for Melaque. I 'm sure in the ex-pat community there will be lots of "readers" and you can exchange books with them as I do here in town. In addition, whenever I go to the states I go to the Salvation Army and Goodwill and stock up on bags of books along with bags that friends save for me.
We have a HUGE library here but I never find the need to go there. In addition, the mail services here only charge for the "weight" of books and not the value if you order from Amazon or other book services. You'll have to check there in Melaque. I get lots of magazines........and have Dish Network TV so I can watch the old movies and documentaries that I can check into that also if you're interested.....You'll find out all of these things as you meet the "locals"......just "go with the flow"......

Anonymous said...

Hello Steve,
Have you considered the "kindle" (bought at Amazondotcom)? Many people living on sailboats love it because of limited space and you can get magazines and newspapers also.


Steve Cotton said...

Corrinne -- I have looked at the Kindle. My only concern was how long the technology will remain in place -- and whether service will be available in my part of Mexico. The first is unknown, the second I can discover.

Babs -- No television for me. I got rid of it over ten years ago, and I will not have it back. During the last year I have also stopped listening to music and watching movies. Neither of those were choices. But I just realized it is true. Reading and writing make up days.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

so we downsized EVERYTHING except books. We donated over 150 books collected from USA friends to Kids School - brought in 4 boxes on 1st trip. Second trip included about 7 boxes for us. The 1 thing we have had to buy are bookshelves. I brought another 97 pounds (2 bags ) on last flight . We have different kinds of books for the 4 members of our family so it is allot. My Husband thinks I am nuts but the kids have been enjoying their books so much. One of my many objectives is to have time read.

Babs said...

Wow, I can't imagine a world without music! t would be like a world without art........

Steve Cotton said...

Babs -- Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against music. It just seems that it has walked out of my life. I noticed this yesterday as I was walking over to the church and heard a neighbor playing his guitar. I just do not turn on music in the house. I listen to NPR (my station is without music) on the radio, And I have not put a CD in my home player for well over a year. I continue to buy season concert tickets, but I don't go. The urge may return when Jiggs dies. (He hates music in all its forms. He literally moaned when I would play the piano.)

American Mommy -- I am going to need to cut down on books if I decided to move every six months. I would love to bring along my entire library. But I am realistic enough to know that is not going to happen.

glorv1 said...

Wow, no music? Maybe if you play a lively jig for Jiggs, he might like that. As for music coming back when Jiggs is gone, I don't know about that. In time music will come back in your life, but if you shut out music now, you won't want to hear it then, at least for a while. I am starting to listen to music again, still sometimes it is hard. I am sure you will be able to get all the books you want. Hasta luego.

Calypso said...

Steve there are so many EBooks and more all tne time. I wouldn't seat the reading factor - the Internet will only continue to be a still ebtter source.

I'm with Babs - music is important beyond measure - wouldn't be without it ANYWHERE. In my career life music was my mistress - now it is part of the equation for the bread of life...

Steve Cotton said...

John -- Music has always been a center in my life. I use a lot of it in my training with spoof lyrics. But that is all functional. What I mean is that I have not sat down to really listen and deconstruct a piece of music. In that same sense, I have not sat down to analyze films. I suspect that most of my analytical juices have been directed at this move to Mexico.

Gloria -- Jiggs has always hated all music. And I make it worse: I sing to him each morning with spoof lyrics. Such things as: "Jiggs is the dog at the theatre door." Or when I get home: "It's the Jiggs Show, the Jiggs Show." I think I do it simply because he gets so annoyed. Our relationship is far closer to roommates. I just finished reading Merle's Door where the dog loves to sing. Jiggs merely rolled his eyes when I told him about Merle.

Once I finish with this move to Mexico, there will be time to analyze music -- and films -- once again.

islagringo said...

Must everything in life be analyzed? Just put some music on and forget it. Let it permeate your soul without really knowing why. Enough with the music. You have taken enough flak about that!

What I wanted to say was don't forget hotel lobbies as a good source for obtaining free books! Not just in Melaque, any town you happen to be visiting. I periodically make the rounds here and most hotels are glad to get rid of them.

islagringo said...

I also wanted to say that I think the reason everybody has to fill up their schedule, at least with us baby boomers, is because to be still is to be lazy and a non-accomplisher. It is really much harder than you think just to sit still!

Steve Cotton said...

Wayne -- I analyze everything. I suspect it is a professional hazard. I always need to know why I am enjoying or not enjoying something. For that reason, I do have trouble just sitting still.

Books from hotels. Never would have thought of it. Makes sense. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hola Steve,

You get so many good comments on your blog posts that I am always afraid that my point will have been made. But not this time.

Don't overlook reading in Spanish. It was my own re-reading (first time in English) of the first Harry Potter book that really helped develop my Spanish.

Since you'll be retired, it won't really matter how slow it goes, nor will you be tested. So you can just breeze over words you don't feel like looking up. Eventually you'll either figure out what they mean, or you'll break down and look them up.

Buena suerte,

Kim G
Boston, MA

P.S. I'd be VERY surprised if the Amazon people abandoned Kindle. They are very pleased with how well early sales are going. They're also fanatic about customer satisfaction. And all you need to use it is a computer and internet connection.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Thanks for the information on Kindle. Of course, it will be one more electronic device to face the ravages of the salt air.

I started reading the Psalms in Spanish -- thinking I knew them well enough in English that the reading would go fast. That did not work as well as I had hoped because the language is a bit more advanced than my current level of Spanish.

I need to start watcvhing familiar movies with the Spanish track on -- both subtitles and oral.

Steve Cotton said...

I don't want to lose this in the shuffle. There are several book-buying options. Amazon and Powell's, of course. They ship. And