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Letting Go of To Do Lists And Deadlines (or at least trying really hard)!

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Tomorrow will mark six weeks of being in Costa Rica and the half-way point of our first 86 days in Costa Rica. I was thinking of everything I wanted to happen in our first 86 days and starting to feel either like I have blown it or I better get busy immediately. I haven’t learned Spanish, I haven’t learned to surf, I haven’t learned to salsa dance BUT I am figuring out how to talk to this crazy lady in my head. This is an update of my initial goals posted before we arrived to be accomplished in our first 86 days.

Learn Spanish: We have started our journey. We have a tutor we really like and have learned some useful phrases. !Mas depacio, por favor. ?Puedo repitir, por favor? ?Como se escribe? People are super patient with us and we are enjoying the process. I'm getting used to feeling ridiculous in my attempts to communicate.

Start Our Food Forest: We have started! We have planted a coconut tree (William) and two avocado trees (Softball and Guacamole).

We found Alan, an amazing regenerative expert, to help us design and plan our food forest. We have also realized that we are not in our twenties, so will be hiring Alan and his team at Regenerate Your Reality to help us plant all of the foundational plants, trees, and structures. We still hope to get trees in before the dry season, but have realized it is more important to have a solid design and plan in place before I buy all of the plants I want.

Chickens might not arrive until next year. Snakes and predators are an issue here. Snakes love chickens and their eggs. We have giant cats and other predators that would love a chicken dinner. Tim and Burt, our neighbors and new friends, have shared their wisdom for building a chicken Fort Knox (and showed us the giant paw prints a cat that was unable to break in to his coop).

I have been gifted a beautiful Aloe Vera plant and some Holy Basil that I need to get in the ground soon.

Capture Water: Almost every fiber in my being has been screaming at me to do this project myself, but patience is prevailing. We will wait until we have our design for the property established before I run out and buy water tanks.

Learn Salsa: I still love to dance and Mark still loves me, so we will be taking Salsa lessons ONE DAY. Rather than feeling guilty that we have not started our salsa journey, I have accepted that there is only so much time in the day. Plus, we have only left the house after dark (meaning 6:00 p.m.) a couple of times. Our current night life scene is usually sitting on the deck watching the lightening shows.

Learn to Surf: I have made two surfing attempts and even stood up once. It was amazing! Being in the ocean is a lot more physically demanding than it was when I was a kid, so I am focusing on getting stronger. I remain committed to learning, but have ditched the timeline. We will travel up and down the Pacific and Caribbean coasts looking for the perfect wave. Whether I surf or not, I am loving being on the beach and watching Mark and the other surfers. Mark is getting stronger and stronger making it possible for him to surf more often. He is staying out longer each time.

Make Friends:

We are making new friends in our community. We have started socializing with some of our neighbors and are really enjoying their company. We have had cocktails together, watched the view, and done a little hiking. We love our community.

Last night, we had two couples that were instrumental in our journey to Costa Rica over. (Jon & Natalia and Donald & Nela.) We can't wait to spend more time with these two amazing fun-loving couples!

We first met Jon Hamm when we were looking for a house to purchase in Costa Rica. Jon’s sincere enthusiasm made buying a lot in the middle of a rain forest (without first seeing it) seem like a no-brainer. Jon was cool throughout the process ensuring us that if we hated it, he could resell the lot. Of course, that did not happen! We now consider Jon and his wife Natalia as friends.

We met Donald Monge on Zoom when we were looking for a builder (referred by Jon). Donald is so much more than a builder. He is an artist and engineer who built us a strong and wonderful house. I have to admit, I thought he went a little overboard with building drainage for the water, but after the first storm, his genius was confirmed! Donald's wife Nela is responsible for turning our beautiful house into a home. She carefully curated every house plant, pillow, piece of art, and finishing touch.

If you don’t know the story, I had a pancreatitis attack here in Costa Rica in August of 2022. It was terrifying not speaking the language, not knowing where to go, and not knowing anything really! Our property manager Jean Carlo told us where to go and translated with the doctor over the phone. Donald followed up with the hospital to make sure I was being cared for. After I was released from the hospital, Donald got my prescription filled and personally delivered it to me along with rice milk that Nela made and a bunch of coconuts so I would stay hydrated.

Old friends and new friends and total strangers have been very kind and generous with tips to help us adjust. Either they are great actors or they really don’t get tired of our questions.

Watch the Sun Set Over the Pacific 84 Times: To be honest, the sun does not set over the ocean at this time of year. (It will during December, January, and February). We have seen every available sunset so far. Every minute of every day is different and amazing.

Calm Down: We have been doing yoga together. We are getting stronger and more flexible. I have been meditating. We have calmed way down but are not Zen Masters just yet. Spending a lot of time in nature has helped so much. The sights and sounds of the birds, the rivers, the waterfalls, the ocean, the trees blowing in the wind, and the rain and lightening and thunder have an amazing calming effect. We are soaking it all in.

My resting heart rate is down, I am sleeping through the night (which has been super rare), my daily digestive pain is gone, and my daily headaches are a thing of the past. I have had a few pancreas-related flare ups, but I made good choices. I did not push through or fake it until I made it. I rested and healed. With each week, I am feeling stronger and healthier.

Rent Our House: No change here. Retiring a decade before we planned has a serious financial downside, so we are renting the house. You can check it out at

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