One thing I know for certain, I am not in a rut. Friends back in Denver constantly say, “I could never do what you have done, moving out of the country.” But then they often continue by saying how they are retired, unhappy, living a life they do not like because they are restricted by finances. They tell me they never thought that their retirement years would be spent trying to pinch every dime to make ends meet.
I constantly let them know how little we are living on, but how comfortable our lives are here. With everything I have been through to get here and all that I know will be hard to go through now, I would not have changed a thing about what we did. Why? Because I am no longer in a rut. No longer do I fear the unknown. I feel I have been set free from all restraints that traditional thinking about “what retirement should look like.”
Part of the reason that drove me here was listening to all my patients who did nothing but complain of their lives in retirement. Some had gotten unforeseen medical problems, others lost jobs before retirement still others had lost substantial money in the markets. All of them could not see past their predicaments. Even when they could have changed their lifestyle in order to make a better life they choose the rut they placed on themselves that in most instances they created themselves.
I know that getting out of a rut is hard but at least you can end it. Every person has the ability to make life better for themselves, but they often choose not to. They would rather complain. What they fail to realize is that “just putting up with current circumstances” will never make them better. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION. Nothing is gained without work, even in retirement.
I have no choice now. I am now a single expat woman living in Panama. At least for awhile. I can decide to make that experience a wonderful one or complain about it. I have control of the situation. That empowerment feels good. I am going to do everything in my power to make the next part of my life be”not in a rut.”
The challenges that lay ahead are big. But I am up for them. As I encounter each one and hopefully overcome them, I know I will feel good and that will give me more empowerment and encouragement for me to continue. I can’t say that I will always live here, because I don’t know what the future holds. But darn it, I can and will do this on my own.