If you think about it, it’s true. All of us westerners have things that we really want to get away from. We have reasons why we want to move to the Philippines. One of the biggies is prices are low here. But, among the other reasons we want to come here, we find:
- Get away from the rat race for a slower pace of life.
- Family Values.
- Less Stress.
Now, think about those things. Each of those three things can easily be found in the Philippines. The pace of life is certainly slower here than in our home countries. No deadlines, schedules are looser, etc. With all of our additional time, we can spend more family time. Not having to worry about work, we can spend time with our wife, with out kids, etc. With all this extra time to relax and have time with the family, it certainly leads to less stress, right?
Well, think again. Remember yesterday when I posted about Mañana? These three items that make us want to move to the Philippines are all related to Mañana. When we are back in our home countries, we talk about what we are looking for, and what we are looking for really is Mañana. Slower pace of life. If we don’t get things done today, we will do it Mañana. But, hold on…. as I discussed yesterday, these very things are the ones that we can’t let go of! They are also the ones that cause us stress.
If the plumber doesn’t show up at 8am on the dot as he promised, we get stressed out. If our lunch mate is 15 minutes late for lunch, we are practically hyperventilating.
Why is it that the very things that we want to get away from turn out to be the things that we can’t seem to let go after we get here? This is a very interesting question, and one that I don’t have an answer for. The only thing I can think of is that these particular values or attitudes are so ingrained in us that the ties are very hard to break. I have been here for 7+ years and these very issues still bother me. I am not nearly as up tight about them as I was years ago, but they do still cause me some stress.
I have decided that this is going to be something that I work on in coming months. Give up the “on the minute” schedule that dictates my life. Loosen up and give people time to get things done. I feel that if I let these things go, and adapt to the local culture on this front, the stress will slip away too!
What do you think? Why can’t we seem to shed these attitudes that are the reason we want to leave our home countries? Any ideas?