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Renew your view

Well, a new year is upon us and with it comes a new chance for all of us to be better people than we were in 2017. New Year’s resolutions. We all have them, we all break some and we all achieve some.

Some of them we make over every year. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that “losing weight” is probably the most popular one (at least that’s what Reader’s Digest published in a story in 2015). I know I’ve made that resolution several years in a row! And I’ll make it again this year because, well, I’m getting heavier than I like.

Codie told me she doesn’t want me to get skinny, she likes me to look “solid.” So, at least my partner in life isn’t on me about it all the time. But it bothers me. A lot. So maybe this will be the year that I stick to that resolution and actually trim down some.

I’ve got some other resolutions that I’m sure many of you have. Like, learn a new language, or get better organized or spend more time with friends. And I’ll try to make them happen, because I know that when the time comes, I’ll really hunker down and make at least one of them come to fruition. I’ll reach a certain point where nothing else will be more important to me than that particular goal.

I know this because one of my previously frequent resolutions used to be “enjoy life to the fullest.” [Actually this came up second in the Reader’s Digest list.] I’m proud to say that I was able to cross that resolution off when I came here. The adventure of moving to a new country, making new friends, becoming the me I used to love and even bringing true love into my life hit that resolution out of the park!

The life I have here makes my life in the U.S. pale by comparison. Above all, imagine this: I had never been married. I was the confirmed bachelor among all of my friends. Many of my guy friends envied me; many of their wives felt less enthusiastic about the issue!

And yet now, here I am. With the woman I looked for my entire life, right here by my side. That alone qualifies as living life to the fullest! Take that on top of the fun I’ve had creating a new life here, and I think that without a doubt I’m living life as full as I can handle!

What about you? Are you living life here to the fullest? Are you going out? Are you exploring? Are you reveling in living in a foreign country (or are you fearful of it)?

If it seems like I touch on this issue a lot it’s because I do. And I’ll tell you why. Owning a restaurant here allows us to meet new people on a regular basis. There are always newcomers in town and many of them end up here. They arrive with eagerness and tell us why they are moving here or investigating the possibility. And they are filled with excitement that is contagious. I remember that feeling and while my own state of excitement has tapered down, having them come in and share their energy with us is exhilarating! It’s like our own fountain of youth! It makes us remember how lucky we are to be here. It reminds of us why we left out homelands. It puts the day-to-day challenges here back into perspective. Because the benefits of living here so outweighs the benefits of not.

So I’m going to make a suggestion that one of your resolutions this year be to get out there and meet new people in town. Refresh your circle of friends a little bit. Add some newbies into the mix and see what happens. See if you don’t start to feel better when they are around.

Sometimes just having one person say something to me a little different than how I may have heard it before sparks a new view in my mind and expands my life. I get that from the newcomers. They still see things with a little bit of those rose-colored glasses, but that’s okay! It’s like having someone wipe away the sleep from your eyes and letting you see something as new again.

Start this year off right and add some new energy into it. Add some new people into your life. Go out and explore with them. I promise you that if you do, the things that have become familiar to you will take on a new form when you see them from their perspective.

We get to do this every day we are in the restaurant. It’s part of why we love this place. But you don’t have to open a cafe or bar or anything to find the newcomers in town. Just walk around El Centro and look for the people with smiles on their faces and a twinkle in their eyes. They’ll look like we all did when we first arrived.

Happy New Year!
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“I’m Just Saying” appears every Sunday in The Cuenca Dispatch. To receive the full eNewspaper to your inbox, subscribe here.