Of all the things I am thankful for this year, being thankful is the biggest. Thankful to be with my family, my primer hijo, my oldest son, his lovely wife and my two little grandsons for the holiday. Thankful that it’s so easy to get to there from where I live. The food was great and plenty of it, but nothing compared to the sugar sweet kisses of those 2 little boys, blue-eyed boys just like me.

Watching them grow and change before my eyes has made me look inward and realize how much has changed inside of me. I am more thankful now than I have ever been, and my life is so much better, because of that. Others around me could see and feel it “You seem so happy Irv, so content and at peace” ‘What’s your secret?” It’s not a secret. Because we’re amigos, I’ll share it with you

Life in my adopted home of Puerto Vallarta has done that to me. Yes, the poets say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” or perhaps it’s a Hallmark card. But it’s not absence, I believe, that’s made my heart grow fonder, it’s the presence of all the blessings my new life has brought me.

The philosopher in me knows that aging doesn’t just happen because you add years, it happens when you stop learning, discovering, having adventures, seeking new horizons. It’s what happens when your heart closes down to all that’s new. When, “what is,” is what is, not what it can be. I am an author but so are you. You are the author of your life and there are stories you have yet to tell.

I bet there’s a kid inside you waiting to burst out again.  To wake up happy and invigorated because the day is new, full of joy, things to explore, to do and see. There is the sound of the beautiful Pacific rolling into the shore, the warm breezes and the golden sun in a liquid sky. There are the easy, unpretentious people, going about their day, the laughter of children and the smiles on faces.

There are coco frios and piña’s brought to the poolside and mangoes on a stick. There are skewers of grilled shrimp you can eat with your toes in the sand. There’s the laughter that seems to come so easily when your mind is peaceful, and your cares are miles away. There’re the new chapters of your life you’ll get to write when each day is filled with new memories. New places. New people.

When people ask me what’s new, I have plenty to say. I’m studying the ancient cultures that flourished here in Mexico. I’m pondering how so many advanced societies came to life and all the amazing things they accomplished. I am trying to figure out how the ancient Mexicans looked at wild grasses and turned them into corn. I am learning Español and trying to get up the courage to learn to salsa dance. My amigo Sergio who came here from Firenze is teaching me to paddle board, he says surfing next, but I say , “no way.”

I am learning to cook with spices and appreciate flavors I never knew before. I’ve traveled to Oaxaca for Mole and Guadalajara for their architecture, I’ve climbed the pyramids of the Yucatan and swam in the natural aquariums of Xel Ha.  I’ve enjoyed the colonial cities and the Pueblo Magico’s, the magic towns of Mexico like Todas Santos and Talpa Allende where the past is alive, and no McDonald’s is in sight.

I’ve walked my Lab Hershey on the beach at midnight with no concerns but the crabs taking their midnight stroll. I’ve made a ton of international friends both young and old and grown in so many ways it is hard to count. If you’ve ever considered a life changing experience or looking for new roads to travel and new adventures to relight your life, I heartily recommend taking my path. It will lead you to joy.

Just don’t do it alone. Coldwell-Banker at the Marina PV is the one guide to know. No one knows their way around Mexican real estate, casa or condo, the way they do. They will make it so easy and enjoyable to do. Whether you’re writing novels like I do, or just want to live a dream life, there is no better place to do it than Puerto Vallarta and no better people to help you than Coldwell-Banker. From healthcare to people who care, you will find it here.

I just turned 75 and I’ve never felt better, been happier, more fulfilled, more alive than I am now.  But most of all, my heart has never been more open to being thankful and appreciative of the gift I have been give of the good life. Between us, I had a great time in Florida, but I can’t wait to get back “home.” If home is where the heart is, that’s where I live. Thanks for sharing what I write with me. Now come and share the dream with me.  Life can be beautiful when you make it so. So…………



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