Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What Matters

It's already been an interesting, eventful year. All two-plus weeks of it. Broken pipes, moldy walls, and hotel rooms. A mild flu or bad cold. A joy-filled, heart-warming visit with our nephew and niece-in-law. Dinner parties. Light shows. Three Kings. City walks. Public markets. Music in the streets. A trip to the beach to look for a new place to live.

Before it all started, we had begun to plan our next move. We love Sevilla. I could imagine living in the city forever. Well, that's a stretch. I have never imagined sticking with anything forever — except San Geraldo! But, I do love Sevilla and have no emotional or mental need yet to move on.

The thing is, San Geraldo and I have never in the past been very good at making decisions based on practicalities and planning for the future. Good health (mental and physical), happiness, and adventure have always been more important to us than financial security.

We've learned during our first year and a half living here in Spain that we don't have quite as much disposable income as we had hoped. We had big plans for roaming Europe. We had big plans for visiting family in the States regularly, but in our first year those costs had nearly doubled. Right now, there are some better rates, but we're already well over budget. We also have accepted that, as you may have noticed, we like to eat well. That costs money. So, we realized that we would have to make some changes. Sevilla is the most expensive city in Andalucía. Not only that, we chose an expensive neighborhood, an expensive plaza, and an expensive apartment. We can get a comparable apartment elsewhere in Andalucía for half the price (and be closer to the beach). Presumably an apartment with two working toilets, no leaking pipes, and a water heater that doesn't have a mind of its own. So, that's what we decided to do.

Not So Fast
Then, someone from my old company (someone I loved working with — at the company that nearly killed me) contacted me. The executive team had changed. There was talk of getting me back. Would I be interested in considering it? No way!

Then, thinking practically and like a mature and responsible adult, I had second thoughts. It would mean decent income. It would completely change our immediate financial situation. It would enable us to sock more money away for retirement. How could I say "no"? So I didn't say "no." It seemed to make perfect sense.

A day later, I had so many doubts and dreads that I decided to make a list of PROs and CONs. After five minutes I had a list of 5 PROs and 22 CONs. And San Geraldo and I reminded ourselves once again of what really matters.

What Next?
So, we're back to making plans for our move to the beach. Back to living on less. Back to being happy. Our thought had initially been to move in early fall. Given the recent disappointing response to the problems in our apartment, we're thinking of moving sooner. The explorations have begun. We took the train south Tuesday and we think we've found the place. Nothing grand, but right on the Mediterranean Sea. We should be back in Sevilla Thursday, at which time I will start sharing more news and photos of our latest little adventure. I'll also get caught up on all my blog reading!

So — along with San Geraldo, Dudo, and Moose — it looks like Mitchell is Moving... again.

39 comments:

  1. I envy your adventuresome spirit...and I have often chosen heart over wallet. We are not starving yet, but we're not in Spain either! On to the beach!

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    1. Frank:
      We lucked out and had the money to get here. No money to get back, but who needs THAT?!? I'm sitting here with the terrace door open listening to the sound of the waves. Heaven!

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  2. Now tell me the truth... you aren't thinking of moving because Bill & I will descend on Sevilla next month? I TOLD you I wouldn't wear those plaid pants!!!! .... (okay Mitch, you already have been subjected to my sense of humor.... ) Seriously, I hope you find the perfect place... with hot and cold running water (preferable NOT coming through the ceiling). We, too, chose heart over wallet... and never regretted it a bit... best wishes!

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    1. Odd Essay:
      Don't worry. We're surrounded by Holiday Brits. Nothing you wear could embarrass us now! (No offense Holiday Brits... well, maybe a little!)

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  3. I am a firm believer in happiness and that it's all one really gets in life.
    Get thee to the beach and be happy!

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    1. Bob:
      Thanks! It's too easy to forget sometimes. But sitting here this morning, I know we're making the right decision... for us.

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  4. I've always believed "When it's right it will happen". Sounds like things are lining up for a move. Glad you made a pro/con chart about the job, that nearly killed you the first time around. My hope and wish for you two is to have an uneventful move to a wonderful new place and exciting new adventures. Thanks for sharing all this with me and others.

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    1. Jo:
      That pro/con chart kept growing in "cons." If I continued listing I think I would be up to about 40 now. Serenity and semi-solvency is so much better.

      Delete
  5. Smart thing to do, the pros-and-cons list. Well, your adventures are our enlightenment, so, youpiiiii!, as they say en France!

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    1. Judeet:
      Can't wait to start sharing my photos when we're back in Sevilla.

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  6. I always make a list of pros and cons when making an important decision. It will be fun to follow along wherever you go.

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    1. Stephen:
      Amazingly, when I first considered going back to work I said it was a no-brainer (no list needed). Then the doubts arose. I love those lists!

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  7. Happiness wins out, every time! So glad you decided against the job; I remember your tales of woe. Perhaps when Todd and I finally make it to Spain, you will take us back to see Seville.....

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    1. Carole:
      A very easy and beautiful train ride to Sevilla! And, yes, hard to forget those tales of woe!

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  8. Sometimes we forget what really matters. So wish I was there to help you with the move. Looking forward to following your next adventure.

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    1. Nubian:
      Wish we could afford to fly you hear to help with the move!

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  9. Replies
    1. Spo:
      And after dinner you can go for an extra walk on the beach while we enjoy dessert!

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  10. Well! What an interesting life you lead. Your blog is well-named! I am so glad you made that pro/con list, I do the same when making big decisions. I'm sure whatever the two of you decide will be the best for you both. I await your news with anticipation!

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    1. Judith:
      Oh, I knew what I was doing when I named this blog!

      We always do pro/con lists. Having an income again seemed to be so obvious that I didn't consider doing the list at first. Then the brain started rattling.

      More news to come this weekend!

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  11. Follow your heart! It's not difficult to do with less if you're smart about it, and you seem so. Bon vent !

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    1. Walt the Fourth:
      It would be easy (for most people) to cut from our budget and live comfortably. We're going to be grown up about it. Very exciting.

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  12. Hello Mitch:
    The times, they are indeed a changing!! So many things for you to consider and think about and some not easy decisions to be made. We do wish you well with everything and will look forward to hearing about the next stage in your lives.

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    1. Jane and Lance:
      We are moving ahead with the plans. Very, very happy about it!

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  13. Listening to your hearts! Good to hear that you aren't going back into a 'nightmare' situation with your old job Mitch. That would be a step backwards and you both have been moving forward. We so relate to how you both are living your lives. We have made the best of every situation in which we found ourselves. I remember our 'big' move out west in the 70's....sold everything and lived in a van for 3 months while traveling across North America. We got to Vancouver and were the poorest we'd have ever been. But you know what? We were the happiest.

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    1. Jim:
      Yep, a lot of money never really makes it any better. It's just nice when you don't have to worry about how to pay the bills! We have a good life and are very grateful for everything!

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  14. It sounds as though you are making plans to be able to do what you want for less money. I think you're right and wish you both well. I have always loved the advice of English garden writer Christopher Lloyd who said to figure out what you really want and make sure you have plenty of it. (He was talking about gardens, but it really applies to everything.)

    BTW - a VERY BAD DAY with word verification.

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    1. Kristi:
      I am SO sorry I had to reinitiate word verification. I hate it, too, when I have to re-enter what I think I'm seeing three or four times. Sadly, I was receiving 20 to 30 spam/phishing comments in my In box every day. More than the number of legitimate comments I receive! Thanks so much for toughing it out. I REALLY like when you visit!

      Delete
  15. I'm glad to hear you're leaving that dangerous apartment behind. Even if it's a beautiful place, with exploding plumbing and mold--who needs it? I'm looking forward to hearing about the new digs!

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    1. Ms. Sparrow:
      Very exciting times... well, as usual. I'm about to get out the lawn mower for the mold!

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  16. What matters most is... Happiness! It's something money can't buy.

    Also the pro and cons list was a good idea. Looking forward in which direction you're going, down south to Huelva or Cádiz or east to Estepona [between Marbella and Gibraltar].

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    1. Peter:
      East of Málaga with good public transportation back into the city. Lots more to come.

      And you're so right about money. It's too bad everyone doesn't have enough so that they don't have to worry. Instead most have too little and a few have way too much!

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  17. I am glad you are not returning to the job....it isn't a part of your life anymore and doing it for the 'security' of money is a sole-suck you would resent from the first day...best of luck on the new apartment and take photos for us!

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    1. I Wonder Wye:
      You are completely right. It would have been a decision we would have immediately regretted. We're both hugely relieved. Looking forward to sharing photos of our likely new view!

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  18. You've got your priorities in the right place … and I love that you live up to the name of your blog!

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    1. Jenners:
      After we arrived in Spain, someone wrote and asked if would now change the name of blog. I said there was no reason: "Mitchell is always moving."

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