Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Unraveling a Life In Southern California

Since our return to Orange County from Ecuador, we have been busy trying to figure out exactly how to disengage from our life here and start a new one as an ex-pat in a foreign country where we do not speak the language yet. I suspect that some of our friends seriously think we have lost our minds. Others have wondered how we could move so far away from our children (Pam and I both have one adult child who lives locally: Pam has an adorable 6 year old grandson). I am a psychologist and some of my patients are feeling a little abandoned, even though I reassure that it will be awhile before it really happens.

Complicating the matter is my conflict over retirement and dealing with all the issues that many almost-retired people face. For instance, I wonder what I will do with myself all day in Ecuador; I have worked daily since 12 years old and may actually miss it! Fortunately, I have an online business (anger management programs  and marriage education products) which will transition well in Ecuador, as they have excellent broad-band internet there. So, it is only my local clinical practice that I would be leaving.

When I mentioned this to other gringos in Cuenca, some asked: "So, why don't you practice locally in Cuenca: ex-pats needs therapy too! This opened my eyes to new opportunities that I hadn't considered before. I have no idea what licensing laws for psychologists are in Ecuador, but I will give it some thought (and maybe research).

We have  contacted a Realtor to list our house. We are also considering renting it out until the local housing market picks up, but the jury is still out on the wisdom of this. Been in this house for 28 years, so selling it is more of an emotional challenge than I thought it would be. Seemed easier when I was in Cuenca. Still, life is about transition and change, I remind myself. What to do with all the furniture? Sell it? Store it? What shoud we take? What if we do all this and decide we don't like Ecuador enough to live there permanently?

Stay tuned.........