Not all my readers are Facebookers. However, I do have a MexpatLife presence, there. It began with advice from my blog consultant, Alison….the one who is my daughter. Her namesake is a contributor to the quality of the blog, as well, but as an appreciative consumer of the stories, here. Anyway, Alison (who built the website) advised me (from a business perspective) to build a facebook site, which she actuallyl did, but I have been posting things there. Originally the concept was to boost readership of the blog, but I have found it more useful for simply plugging in posts that come up, there, which relate to the blog. Alison said the content would be different, and that is true, to a degree. Since funny posts pop up, and philosophical posts, they lend themselves to posting, with my adapting them, in some cases to the Mexpat view. Since some of the blog readers look at FB, it also provides a chance to simply augment the fare.
I decided to start using some of the ideas from facebook posts, in the blog, though not duplicating the actual posts…just the concepts. I am starting, now, because I just posted a series of points, related to an introductory piece. I would entitle the series as “Expat Tools” with the introductory piece as “Expat Transformation.” So, the first piece is a photo of an eagle. The narrative explains that while eagles are long-lived, there is a point where they have to do something drastic to re-new their capability to survive, and by so doing, double their age, roughly. So, at three years into the expat journey, I can see how some dramatic changes can make a huge difference in achieving the goals we set out for ourselves, in retirement.
One tool for expats, is trying very hard to find friends, and mentors, to learn from and change our approach to expat life. While Anita and I have been doing this, over the 3 past years, I put a special emphasis into the last several months (while she is gone to Germany) working this from my own perspective. Another tool has been adapting to the peculiar environment we find ourselves. For example, we have had two earthquakes and ash has been spewing from the nearest volcano, Mt. Popo. There is a very personal, community perspective to coping with challenges which has been very moving to be a part of.
A third tool has been revising my ambition (initially) in terms of my reach. For example, my career has been heavily focused on impacting the national and international scene, early on, with heavy involvement with helping end the Arms Race, in the late Seventies and Eighties. After that, I was heavily involved with organizational development and improving mission effectiveness, again with a national security focus. At the same time, I was very caught up with impacting hundreds of University of Maryland students, and eventually, hundreds of folks in my church. Now, I am much more focused on helping a handful of people…but those I am in closest contact with. And that is enough. I have not given up on more ambitious projects (in scope), But I am not making the progress of of those projects the highest priority. I recall my most important mentors were the ones who taught me to let go of those things, and re-focusing on preserving the domain we build for family and friends.