Chapter 12: Back to School

August 20, 2018

 Moving to Mexico:

Chapter 12:  Back to School

245 Pounds…10 pounds to my first goal of 235.


Today is the first day of school for our son.  It’s just a few hours for orientation, I.D. card photos, parking lot space assignments (please let him get one…it’s done by lottery) and a somewhat modified speech from the Dean of Boys:

            “By now, you all understand how things are done here.  You’re seniors.  I’m not going to go over the rules again.  You know them.  The only difference is that now, you will be held accountable more than ever before.  You’re young men, not far from being legal adults.”


Our son has a lot of work to do this year if he is to assure himself a spot at his dream college.  We have had a many conversations about what he must do to achieve his goal.  I will help him every step of the way.

One way I can help him is to lead by example.  If he’s to be held accountable every single day, then so must I.

Since beginning my health goal, I have been bouncing around the scale; down to 245 lbs. then back up to 250 lbs.  It’s my own fault.  I was doing fine, eating right and working out.  And then our friends came home from a two-week European vacation.  We missed them a lot, and when they got back we were eager to meet at our local tavern for drinks which led to a late evening and a champagne breakfast the next morning.  By midday, I was wiped out and my wife put me to bed.  I can’t hang with these folks anymore.  And when I try, I pay for it.  I felt like heck for another day or so, didn’t exercise and ate poorly.  Back and forth.  Getting older sucks.

If my son was to do this, I would chastise him.  He has a habit of working very hard for a while, then slacking off.  I am sure he gets this from me.  If this year is to be the year we need it to be for him (and me) this has to change.  It’s back to school for both of us.

I’m not new to living right.  I know what to do.  I have to just do it and keep doing it consistently.  Consistency has been my enemy.

Here is what my morning looked like today:



That may look like a strange breakfast to many: two eggs, three pieces of turkey bacon, zucchini, broccoli, peppers, and air-fried tofu.  How very…CALIFORNIA of me.  *Ugg, how I hate my home state.  But, it’s healthy, filling and only 285 calories (according to my eating app.)

I’m not a big McDonald’s fan, but imagine if I went there and had what they call a Big Breakfast with pancakes.

This is listed online at about 1,090 calories, 19 grams saturated fat, 56 grams fat, 2,150 mg sodium,

111 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, and 17 grams of sugar.


No wonder our world (not just the USA) is so obese.  Unfortunately, Mexico is listed as the most obese nation on the planet so of course I just have to move there.  I’m going to have to keep myself in check now, and even more later.  I really want to set a good example for our son and I want to be around a long time to enjoy the next phase of life with my lovely wife.  I need to slim down and avoid going off the rails socially.  At 53, it just hurts too much!

          Panic/Stress Update:  WordPress is getting easier!  After months of self-loathing due to not being as smart as a fifth-grader, I have finally gotten to a functional place.  I’m not sure where you are reading this ( or but if you’re reading it on my site, you are seeing the result of many hours of frustration, many curse words and countless visits to the Happiness Engineer’s cloud office where you may ask questions of the experts.  While most times they politely refer you to yet another web page of instructions in Klingon, if you persist they will assist.  Fortunately for you, I probably won’t whine too much more about this topic. As my Type A English friend says, “Job jobbed.”


I just checked a free countdown site online and we only have 271 days until our son graduates in May.  That’s just nine months away.  It strikes me that we have nine months left until our son becomes an adult.  His birthday is in May.  It took my wife nine months…

…to hatch him 17 years ago.


We don’t have much time left.  So much to do before we leave.  It is daunting.

Think about it.  Summer is ending soon.  School has started.  The next nine months will be compacted as we wring out every drop of effort, so our son can get into college while readying one home for sale, another for us to live, purchase a third and get our son set up in a distant state.  Once Halloween hits, the next six months are a blur.  Think about it.  Right after the skeletons and witches come down at Rite Aid, the turkeys and pilgrims go up right next to the Santas and Christmas trees (seemingly on the same day) and before you can catch your breath, the year is over.  It’s Boo, Thank You, Fat Man in a Flue and The Year is New all in two months.

Then we’ll only have four and a half months before graduation.  During that time, we have to squeeze in a few minor holidays, taxes and our son’s senior ball.  Traditionally, my wife and I complain that the first quarter of every new year goes by too quickly.  It seems like the nation takes a deep breath after the marathon of the holiday season and hibernates for a while.  It’s colder, things slow down, and we focus on losing the weight we all just gained again, ever-attempting to keep those resolutions we forget by mid-February.


In order to connect with other expats in the Mayan Riviera, I have researched websites and joined some Facebook groups.  I have found that many people connect on these sites.  Most people ask questions or try to sell things and I can’t argue with that.  I plan to do the same someday.  The thing is that you will see a post for someone looking for a particular type of lithium, zero-mercury watch battery Type CR2032 right under someone advertising pastor tacos for eight pesos next to a post asking for donations for sick doggies found on the beach in Playa del Carmen.  It’s a total hodge-podge of furniture for sale, house rentals, rides needed, legal questions and personal statements about the annual stink-fest of decaying seaweed on the beach.

          “Cancer patients are especially sensitive to strong smells, but that’s usually when they are getting their chemo treatments.”  One man stated online.  By the grace of God, I’m not on chemotherapy.  However, I have smelled that seaweed and it is nasty times ten.

Still, I wish my mother could have smelled that seaweed before the cancer took her away.  It’s one of the Mayan Riviera’s dirty little secrets, but thankfully (for now) it’s only once a year and is cleaned up in a couple of months.  I just wish she could have seen our new home before she passed.  She would have loved it.  Rest in peace, Mama.


These sites and pages are incredibly useful and similar to the brain candy my grandmother used to devour on the pages of rags like The Enquirer and People Magazine, but in much smaller, Twittery/millennial-friendly sniglets of info you can easily zip through until you find that perfect, used couch for sale not far from Tulum for $1,000 pesos.  Or perhaps you’ll find that beach cruiser bike you have been thinking of buying every time you go shopping at Chedraui (local Mexican supermarket chain common in the Mayan Riviera) or the extra Apple MacBook Pro charging cord you want as a backup in case yours dies; better than having to drive all the way up to Playa and pay full retail.  It’s all there.  You just have to look or ask.

These sites are tons of fun but be careful.  You can waste hours on them and the farther you scroll downwards, back in time, the more likely the item is gone.  It’s not all a swap meet.  You can also find lots of cool people, get-togethers, festivals, and groups of expat folks who are very interested in meeting other expats to share experiences.  I love these sites.  *If you’re interested, email me at


Just this morning I was asked to remove my website from one of these sites.  The moderator (politely) reminded me that I was “not yet” an expat, so I was not really welcome to post anything.  That stung a bit.  I suppose I’ll have to wait until I’m really there to enjoy the benefits of that group, but for now there are plenty of others I can source for information to make our move easier.


We will be here sooner than we can imagine.  Even marking the days off on a calendar does not drive that fact home.  Yet.


2 thoughts on “Chapter 12: Back to School”

  1. Hate to burst your bubble about the seaweed but this year it has basically been a non-stop nuisance since February. Hardly a “once a year and is cleaned up in a couple of months.” We have begun to accept it as the new normal. Definitely a wrench in our paradise dreams.

    1. Bubble bursted. I have been to QR many times and I’ve seen the seaweed a few times, but it did not seem chronic. Where are the most affected beaches?

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