Welcome to Mexico! – January 2014

Welcome to Mexico!

By Victoria Schmidt



new-year-resolutionAs we embark upon our new year,  people  make resolutions to improve their lifestyle. In all my years, I have only been able to keep one New Year’s Resolution: “Be it resolved that I shall never make another New Year’s Resolution.” I make resolutions all the time. I just don’t do them on New Year.  Why wait for one specific day to make changes? 

One kind of resolution is what I call the “stopping” resolution. People resolve to stop eating sugar, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop eating red meat. You know the type.  To stop doing something that is perceived as “bad” and therefore your life will improve if you STOP … “Starting” is a different type of resolution.  People resolve to start walking, riding bikes, read more, sleep more, organize their time better, or relax more.

In each of our lives, we have room to make changes.  We have the knowledge and the will. Why wait for a new year or a new season?  Each day we are granted a new day.

But change does not come easily to people in our age group.  Most of us have already made one of the most difficult changes.  We’ve retired and moved to a different country that is full of change.  It takes a special kind of person to consider living in a country away from all that is familiar.

We learn a new language, and a new culture.  These changes for me are something I revel in. Daily challenges in learning the culture, and understanding the ways of my Mexican friends keep me growing and learning.  I don’t always understand all that I learn.  I see both parallels and I see great differences.

Take laws in Mexico versus laws in the USA or Canada.  An example: As of January 1, restaurants in Mexico can not put salt on their tables.  Why?  Because the Mexican government has decided that salt is not good for their people.  Of course, the customers can always ask for the salt.  And they can put it on their food, while they drink their sodium-laced sodas. Go figure. That’s up there with Mayor Bloomberg’s super-size law.  Trying to save people from themselves is very difficult. 

But ask the government to label products that contain potentially harmful ingredients? Prepare for battle.  Case in point, GMO’s in the United States.  GMO’s are banned in most European Nations, and some states.  But we have been unable to have GMO food identified in products for sale in the USA.

There are other changes I find I have become more resistant to as I grow older.  Electronic devices are the biggest pain.  I don’t want to upgrade my electronic devices every 15 minutes!  I want my cell phone to be a phone.  My computer to be a computer and my electronic reader to be a reader.  I don’t want my cell phone to compute, get email, and show me movies. I may not be smart enough for a smart phone.  Yet my 8-year- old great-nephew can make it work with his eyes closed!  My electronic reader wore out, and now the new one doesn’t have any buttons.  I can’t figure out how to do many things on it.  It was easier before.  And before, it had lovely sketches of authors as a screen saver.  My new one has advertising.  Yikes!  Can’t I even get a book without having to see a toothbrush ad?

Resolutions and changes can be good, but make them when you want, don’t set yourself up for failure, and remember, too much change can be downright irritating.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: chapala.com

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