Wrought Iron Breasts and Cats Traversing Rooftops in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
Mexico North America Yucatan Tips

Wrought Iron Breasts and Cats Traversing Rooftops in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

While she was sick, and we had no Internet connection, I had some time to think about work…

I’m eating dates. That’s my snack of choice right now. Though they satisfy my hunger, they leave me emotionally unsatisfied. Perhaps I should have some peanut butter. Alas, there is no chocolate here that’s edible for vegans. No bread. No jelly. And damn, I’m hungry.

Lydian is finally feeling better. I can tell because she’s upstairs playing her guitar. A few days ago, I knew that she was still sick because I offered to bring her guitar down to her and she looked mystically off into the distance for a moment, frowned and then declined my offer and laid back down to take another four hour nap.

John is out. He has to work at one of two designated “hot-spots” where there’s Internet. We were supposed to have Internet hooked up at the house on December 26th, but the date came and went. Today is the 31st and John and I have resigned to the possibility that there will be no Internet in our house over the next two and a half weeks. It is Mexico after all, where time is like water, a completely different substance from the sticky, goopy stuff we work with in the United States. He’s taking the opportunity to reconnect with himself on the 2 km jaunt downtown to the Spanish school or to the Café La Habana, known for its muddy coffee and nice views.

And I am here. Eating dates. Feeling a little starved.

I emailed one of my biggest clients yesterday to tell him I needed “time off”. I’d been rolling over my decision to quit working so much in my mind for at least 6 months, but my reasoning for quitting was always so vague. Over the past two weeks, however, while Lydian was ill and I was forced to go over to a nearby hotel in the evenings to steal Internet in small doses to answer emails and upload work. At this time, the reasons became clearer.

In my head, I’ve been wondering why I’ve been continuing to work on this project that bores me. The person in charge is easy to work with. He’s extremely laid back, and overall very clear in his expectations. But why am I working? To save money for…what? Retirement? Why? We aren’t big spenders. I have few material desires. I hate thinking about money and things. So why do I dedicate such a huge proportion of my week to making money right now? It made sense two years ago.

But now it doesn’t. Does it? Is this really what I should do with my time? What do I lose when I check out of life and clock in for work? I don’t get to know until I give it a try.

Some might argue that I could ask, “why not just do the work?” and come up with a similar argument , but in favor of continuing with the client and the work. I’ve been talking with John about the conundrum and he’s supportive, as usual, though he’s still male and simply can’t offer me clarifying thoughts. Being in Mexico has helped though. Though I feel frustrated about not having the Internet, this isn’t the type of place where anger or cage rattling will make things better. I’ve been forced to sit with my thoughts and think with long hours on the balcony watching the cats traversing rooftops, and noting the somewhat suggestive designs of wrought iron window bars. I’ve finally noticed what I didn’t notice last year here in Progreso and it bothers me. I can’t help but wonder what else I’m missing.

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