Why had I had moved to the Philippines seems to have got lost to me recently. To be truthful I have lost my way simply because I have chosen to pay more attention to things that really do not matter to me, than to the reasons I moved to the Philippines in the first place.
So why had I moved to the Philippines? I moved for several specific reasons, the first of which was my desire to be in a relationship with a women I found attractive, loved and who most importantly, felt the same way about me as I did about her. This has happened beyond my wildest dreams and today I am married to that person whom I dreamed of, and we have that relationship that had been so elusive in my 3 1/2 decades of adult life in the western world. The second biggest reason I moved to the Philippines was the climate. My life in Canada was totally dependent upon the seasons and their effect on me. As I got older and was less inclined to enjoyment of winter activities like skiing, I quite simply detested winter. I hated having to put 4 layers of clothing on every time I ventured out the door for the smallest and most mundane tasks, and I hated the continual effort to stay warm. I hated having to shovel the driveway sometimes 3 times a day , and I hated the constant slipping and sliding during the simple task of walking 10 feet. I hated not knowing if my vehicle would start in the morning, and if it did, whether I would get to where I was going without ending up stuck in a snowbank. To put it bluntly, winters such as we have in Canada are not fun, no matter how hard one may try to sugar coat it. It is a constant struggle for survival. Maybe the worst part is that winter is so bad that even during summer, the thought of the upcoming winter would be so depressing that it instilled in me a sense of urgency to get as much done in the summer as was possible. A perfect comparison to illustrate this way of life is those chipmunks and squirrels that spend most of the summer working obsessively to gather and store enough nuts to survive the next winter. In Canada, for me there was very little time to actually relax and enjoy. All my time was either spent just surviving, or preparing myself for surviving. Since I moved to the Philippines, that whole outlook on life has changed. Today, the weather is beautiful here, and tomorrow it will probably be beautiful as well. If it isn’t, all I will have to do is wait another day or two, and yes, that beautiful weather will be back. No storm clouds are ever on the horizon, threatening impending doom of 6 months of below freezing temperatures, biting winds and mounds of snow.
Since I moved to the Philippines the two biggest things that I felt negatively affected my ability to have the quality of life I want, have simply disappeared. Honestly the rest is all window dressing and such concerns as finances, political policies, getting along with my neighbor or putting on weight around the belly, are things that I would have to deal whether I was here or there.
So Why have I lost my way?
Granted there are some pretty large things happening here but they really do not affect my life in any major way, nor do I have any control over them. Getting sidetracked may be entirely related to the effect that social media has on me, as it does on most people who are in any way up on current Internet Technology. More specifically I speak of the war of words and battle for public opinion from both sides of the President Duterte issue. I won’t digress and even hint of what my position is, just merely state that I have spent a a disproportionate amount of my time making my position known on many Facebook pages and groups. I won’t say that that it is an issue that people should not fight, but I will say it is not my fight. President Duterte’s actions, good , bad or in between , just have not had any major impact on my life since I have moved to the Philippines, so though some people may have a cause to wage this war, I do not.
What is ironic is that my change of thinking has come directly from remembering something I have learned through my recovery, from the same drug/alcohol addiction that is the main focus of the war that rages around me.What I refer to is the serenity prayer, repeated regularly in just about all 12 step groups that form the cornerstone of the only method of fighting addiction that seems to have had any lasting success. It goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,,, and the wisdom to know the difference”.
I do wish all the “anti” or “pro” Duterte warriors the best in their fight. I pray that you all fight your battles well and with honor. In the end I hope all things work out in the best way for the Filipino people and all others who now call this beautiful country home. I pray that there will be little blood spilled and that the people of the Philippines can move on to some sort of prosperous peace. I, however, will not take part in this war and will instead sit back, appreciate and enjoy the life I find myself in. I will not lose any sleep or cause myself to worry about what may come to be, at the expense of living to the fullest, this wonderful life I have been given.