Socrates may have believed that the unexamined life is not worth living.
But what about the unlived life? Is it worth examining?
Such parallel cul-de-sacs are inevitable these days. I spent the day sitting on a broad beige beach on Banderas Bay. It is a long way from perfect, but it is exactly the mixture that initially drew me to Mexico.
A mock paradise for people from around the world to set aside their busy lives and come to the beach to depressurize by doing nothing.
When I decided to retire in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is what I had in mind. It was the place that banked my best vacation memories.
But that was a mistake. I was retiring in Mexico, not moving there as a tourist. I figured that out early in my planning -- and Puerto Vallarta slipped from my list.
As a tourist, I valued that odd mix of sitting in the sand with no plans – interrupted only by manic bouts of ziplining, parasailing, waverunner racing, and dancing.
As a retiree, I needed to find a place to live a daily life. And, for now, I have found it in Melaque.
And that is where the unlived life comes in.
This visit from my German pal Hollito came at just the right time. I had fallen into the philosophical trap of believing that doing stuff gives meaning to life. I know better than that. Worth is not derived from great projects.
In fact, it is often the smallest things in life that give us purpose.
Last night and today, I sat with Hollito, his Mexican-born wife, her mother and step-father, her sister and the sister’s two children, and her friend from Argentina and the friend’s son. People I have never met before.
And everything worked fine. While driving north, I had visions of re-living a Lucy episode -- where everything would flow from Spanish to German to English and back again.
It did not turn out that way. English was the general choice of communication. And talk we did. I felt as if I was part of one of those Mexican family groups I see so often gathered at the beach.
Politics. Crime. Economics. Globalization. Relatives. Taxation. The philosophy of death (there were two physicians amongst us, and it is by far one of my favorite topics). Customs officials. Souvenirs.
One of the most humorous conversations were when Hollito and his wife described how his Mexican wife has become more German than he is, and how he has become more Mexican.
I am glad I had the opportunity to simply sit and talk with a new group of interesting people. That was certainly worth the four-hour drive north. I have Hollito and his friends to thank for that.
I know it is not an entirely new lesson. But unless I am willing to get out there and live my life through something other than mere activity, there will not be much to examine.
And now -- on to Oregon.