Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dare I say: Qualidade de Vida

Luiz and I enjoy a rather slow paced life. We have left behind the frantic 9 to 6 or 7 or 9 or 10:30 lifestyle we endured while working in San Francisco. With few exceptions nowadays neither Luiz nor I work a Saturday (never a Sunday). Outside of the ambient heat, I don’t think either of us has broken a sweat since we got here.

It is a different world. It is a world we anticipated, created and embrace. We did not move to Brazil to be frantic entrepreneurs seeking to make a gazillion dollars. Slow and steady wins the race down here.

Since every day seems like Sunday I do on occasion think “should I be working more?” but then I snap out of it and say “WHY?” That is the USA trap I have escaped from. I know who I am. I am not defined by my business accomplishments. Luiz is more than that which he might produce.

It has been hard for us to let go of the dynamic so endemic in the United States that defines you by your economic achievements, by your job, by your title.

Been there. Done that. Now we live here. Graças a deus. These are different times.

We worked hard to prepare for a different reality here in Brazil. The numbers are on our side. It is important that we not fall back into the stressful dynamic of our past – because the growing middle class in Brazil seems to be adopting these preoccupations and would encourage us to work, work, work to buy a side by side refrigerator.

We are happy. We got off that train a couple years ago. And we are doing just fine, thank you very much. No stress. More travel. Quiet afternoons. Much more beach time.

It is possible. Run the numbers. Just say no/yes.


Zack said...

What, what, no double-door fridge!!!
Throw that man out of Brazil immediately. Just when everyone is acquiring the ffc (frenzy for crap) mentality of North America. Good gawd such a laissez-faire attitude has no place in Niteroi.

Danielle said...

What a nice, refreshing entry! I always have to keep your voice (well "voice") in my head when I get so many students calling for classes. You wrote a comment on my blog once that said something like, "Just because there's so much air to breathe doesn't mean you have to run to improve your lung capacity." I totally get caught up in my American thinking... not necessarily to have more "stuff", but to save more and feel more secure. But I've saved a lot, and I'm plenty secure enough. ;op I'm slowly changing, letting myself sleep in, etc...

Thanks for the happy post. :D

PS: My word verification is "bedorkr". Funny to say.

Rachel said...

Danielle, I was just thinking the same thing. I was running numbers vs hours to see how many new students I could fit in.

Then a friend's words came to mind. You teach English so you don't really have to work. That's the beauty of teaching English.

He's a mentor ;)

Jim said...

Zack - LOVE YOU!!!

Danielle and Rachel - together we will make it! Day by day.

Jean said...

Well said. One of my favorite expressions is: "even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat." This was so very true during my years in NYC. Now, thankfully, it's not about being in the rat race, it's about savoring the most important things in life: health, family, friendship, and simplicity.

Greg said...

Jim, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm glad I have jumped off that hamster wheel and am enjoying life here with the family. To quote James Bond, "What's the point of living if you can't feel alive."