You know, I get that so many of us are grateful for our lives and our homes. So many of us have tons to be grateful for, amirite? There are those of you who have had unexpected tragedies and because of them, are now more grateful than ever for things.
Yup. So much goodness in our lives.
So here I am, a Canadian expat who now calls sunny Guatemala home. I’ve been here for almost 3 yrs now and honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. This could change though. Life has a funny way of switching things up for us, whether we want it or not.
So being down here, obviously I gave up a shit ton of first world ‘things’. A ton. I was prepared for it. I knew I would have to go without my Keurig coffee maker, my car, I left most of my gold jewelry behind ( a personal choice). These are just a few things.
In this time I’ve been down here, I’ve developed a whole new level of gratitude for simple things. Things I used to take for granted back in Canada. It got me thinking that there are so many simple little things that we just take for granted and forget to be grateful.
In no particular order of importance, these are some of the things you should remember to be grateful ❤
- your bathtub (I would offer up my only child to have a bath right now)
- your safe electric or gas heated shower with pressure!(suicide showers are brutal)
- your nicely paved streets and smooth sidewalks (watch that hole….oops….more bandaids please)
- how easy it is to get from city to city, especially the airport (is that another mudslide/protest/roadblock/etc?)
- your salon products (I’m dying!)
- clean water from the taps (you know, like minus the parasites)
- your garbage pickup and street cleaning service (so you don’t have to trip over garbage while you’re walking on the street all.the.damn.time)
- food selection at the grocery store (why can’t we have red licorice here?)
- quiet evenings (no dogs/roosters/bombas/pickup trucks with loudspeakers talking about something only the driver understands)
- reliable phone and internet service (you know, like you don’t have to sit and wait more what seems like forever for your page to load)
- power (and consistent power that doesn’t suddenly go out, almost weekly)
- whole house hot water (oh to wash my dishes in hot water, what a luxury that would be)
- your friends and family who all live close by (for those times you really need a hug)
- mail service (like even just a letter, a postcard, anything, a package even without having to jump through hoops and pay through the ass to get one. We had it when I first got here but 6 months in, the post office shut down)
- Shopper’s Drug Mart (I think this is a Canadian thing/CVS in the US maybe?)
- your car (road trips!!! oh how I miss road trips)
- movie theaters ( a real one, with English movies and theater popcorn!)
- your oven ( I haven’t had in a few months now and I sure do miss it-no freshly baked cookies for this girl)
- the ease of buying things, like anything really (it’s not easy to get many first world things here)
- not having to shake your clothes out in the morning because you just never know what kind of critter crawled in there while you were sleeping (damn you scorpions and spiders)
- having consistent gas while you’re cooking (did my tank just run out? shiiit)
- fine quality pens (yes I still use pens and would kill for a black fine point right now)
- choices, choices of phones, laptops, services, and many other things-the freedom of choice of everything ( do you want the black one or the white one?)
- your clothes dryer (I haven’t had a dryer since I moved here-oh how I miss the Downy softness of towels fresh from the dryer)
- suitable men/women to date in your age range (dating apps don’t really produce great results in Guatemala for 55 yr old Canadian women)
- normal and comfy pillows ( I had to go to the city to buy mine and it’s not a fun trip)
- your favourite fruit (dear blueberries, I miss you so fucking much!)
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Though it may sound like I’m complaining even a wee bit (I’m not really, honest, I promise) about the things I don’t have access to anymore, it just made me realize how much I took those ‘luxuries’, when I lived in Canada, for granted and now I don’t have them (some I can get but you have to jump through fucking hoops to get them so you just do without) it can sometimes be a wee struggle.
I mean, I’m used to it now but every now and then I can hear myself thinking “fuck I sure would love to soak in a nice hot bath right now” or “I would kill for some red licorice!!”.
I really truly without a shadow of a doubt love my life, hard core. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier in my life (even without these things).
It just made me stop and think about all the simple little things in life that we take for granted and don’t realize that not everyone around the world has access to some of these ‘luxuries’.
So do me a favour please, next time you go on a road trip, shout out “this one is for you Iva!!” or next time you are soaking in the bathtub think of me (ok that might be kinda creepy, scratch that) or next time you’re baking cookies, make one especially for me 😜 or next time you’re on a date you met on a great dating site (does one even exist?) have a drink for me!
But most of all, just be grateful for every goddamn thing in your life. All of it. Every single fucking thing you have. ❤ For me, please. ❤
I love you and I am grateful for each and every one of you.
Peace and Love
xo iva xo
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