How I chose happiness and Zen on the beach

In light of the recent election, I know a lot of unhappy, angry people. Most of my friends and my family are fearful about four (or  even eight) years of Trump. They spend their time on Facebook flaming others who do not share their views, or surfing for news stories or political commentary bemoaning the state of our failing nation.

Most of my friends (though not all) would argue that our nation has gone to hell in a hand basket, and we must fight to 1) get Trump impeached and 2) ensure the civil rights of immigrants, LGBT people, Muslims,  African Americans and even Jews are protected in the Trump era.

Me, I’m not so much of a fighter. Instead of fighting, I’m choosing happiness.

Because of my past brush with death,  I feel OK  justifying my political apathy and choosing happiness. It’s not so easy to choose happiness when you feel the country you love is moving in the wrong direction. The choice is even harder when respected friends and family members are constantly angry and really, really scared.

But here the facts as I see them. I  don’t have the time or energy to live any other way but happy. I don’t have time for the “unsocial” network such as Facebook where people are now de-friending one another and calling each other out because of who they voted for. I don’t have the mental fortitude to read editorial pieces on where our country is headed and why wherever it’s headed is the wrong way. Whatever time I have left to live, I don’t want to spend it  making enemies (real or imagined). I just wanna have fun. I just want to be. And after two surgeries, four blood transfusions and 18 weeks of chemo, I think I’m entitled to do just that. So I’ve made my choice.

Choices, choices, choices

I’m choosing  warm ocean breezes, watching great documentaries and enjoying precious time with friends and family. I’m choosing to be  kind in my daily life, even kinder than I normally am. I’m choosing to respect diversity of opinions. Especially when I don’t agree with them. It’s time for me to be a better listener, and now it’s not so easy. Not easy at all.

Here are some simple steps I’ve taken which I hope will lead me on the happiness path:

  1. I am limiting my time on Facebook  to 10-15 minutes a day, but I’m trying for even less. My Facebook addiction is awful, but the longer I’m away from Facebook, the happier I feel.
  2. For the most part, I have stopped reading political commentaries. Goodbye anxiety!
  3. I am limiting the amount of news I read and for me it’s very hard. I love the news!

You might say that I’m burying my head in the sand. You might say that I am taking the lazy person’s way out. You might think that my approach is just plain wrong and very short-sighted. You might think turning the other cheek is so much easier because I’m not living in the United States. I’m OK with the varying opinions. I just know that I’m choosing happiness and, to me, it feels like the only choice and the best choice for me.

Being happy by the beach

I’ve always been attracted to water and to fish. I wish I was a Pisces, but I’m not. My mom is, but I got stuck being a goat. I even have the chin hair to prove it. Ha!.

Knowing how much I love beach life, we decided that any place we retired to had to have very easy beach access. Zihuatanejo fit this requirement. Zihuataenjo has two main beaches, Playa La Ropa and Playa Madera.  Our new six month rental is a four-minute walk from Playa Madera. To get there we just walk out our back gate, walk 1/2 block, make a left turn, and saunter a little more. Then we make a left turn, walk down a short hill and there’s the bay!  It’s simply paradise and we are so lucky to live so close to it.


Playa Madera at sunset.

Another beach, Playa La Ropa is a 25-minute walk, or an easy 6 minute bus ride.

Here are just a few ways we’re digging the beach scene:

  • In the morning, we get coffee from a little coffee stand and we bring our coffee to the beach to enjoy it.
  • Andy has begun taking surfing lessons. Unfortunately he’s only had one lesson because the waves are too small in Zihuatanejo Bay to learn how to surf this time of year. Once they pop back up, he’ll be “hanging ten” for sure.


    Andy’s surf instructor was very encouraging!

  • At the end of the day we go down to watch the sunset. I like this time of night. Families come down with their coolers and to catch the evening breeze and there are tons and tons of kids swimming in the Bay.  It’s serene and special.

As far as visiting other nearby beaches,  we haven’t gone as often as I thought we would, but we’re getting there at least once a week. I anticipate we’ll go more in the upcoming weeks once a routine develops.


First step, practice on land. Then hit the waves

More blessings

Final blessing of the day… my mom’s friend lives in Chicago but her and her husband own a beautiful condo near our house above the Bay.  It’s rarely rented, and she only comes down once or twice a year. She’s worried about her property so she recently gave me the key to her condo and asked me to check on it once or twice a week to make sure water isn’t leaking and that everything else is up-to-snuff. She said that we might want to use her kick-ass community pool while we’re there.  Sweet!  Who doesn’t like sitting by a nice pool?  Key is in-hand!  Here we go!  If the photo below doesn’t give you an incentive to visit us,  I don’t know what will. She’s got a great tw0-bedroom available right in the heart of Zihuatanejo. What a view of the Bay it has!  Let me know if you want to rent it when you visit us. You won’t be sorry.  Look how beautiful the community pool is!


This person is warming up my seat!



10 thoughts on “How I chose happiness and Zen on the beach

  1. Great Blog Stacey! I truly enjoyed this and the condo sounds amazing. As you may or may not know I have a form of lymphoma and right now I’m in remission. I agree the only way to live is day to day and to choose to be happy and keep calm. Good for you.


  2. Stacey, you are one of the bravest women I know. I’m happy to see you are enjoying the pool. Thanks for mentioning our condo for rent. It’s also for sale! Google Casa Martinez, Zihuatanejo to see more pictures. The kitchen was updated since that short video posted. Any one interested should contact you, or me to get more information. Sending you a Big warm hug from Chitown!


  3. The political aspect of this post amused me.

    1. Impeach Trump? He hasn’t even been sworn in to office. And what, pray tell, is his crime that merits impeachment?

    2. Insure that civil rights of immigrants, etc., are protected in the Trump Era. Let’s define “immigrants” as those people who immigrated legally. They absolutely have their civil rights. People who entered the U.S. illegally, i.e. law-breakers, have limited civil rights, as it should be. Legal immigrants and illegal aliens are not the same thing.

    3. The LGBT people, Muslims, blacks, Jews? If they are U.S. citizens, they have the same rights as all citizens, and Trump has never suggested otherwise. He has even mentioned specifically, while actually holding the rainbow flag, that he supports the LGBT crowd. (I bet you’ve not watched any of Trump’s full speeches.) Muslim citizens are citizens just like everyone else. Blacks have civil rights like everyone, and Trump has said absolutely nothing contrary to that. Jews? This is particularly amusing. One of the first, perhaps the very first, foreign leader to call and congratulate Trump on winning the election was an elated Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli P.M. Trump has vowed to rejuvenate the U.S.-Israel connection that Obama did serious damage to while he was on his “Apology Tour” and the subsequent years in which he has refused to even utter “Islamic terrorism.” To suggest that Trump is anti-Semitic is ludicrous. Ninety-nine percent of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel talk in recent years has come from the left, especially on university campuses, Hillary’s people.

    As for your choosing happiness, that’s an excellent thing.


  4. I installed a Facebook ad-on that can block posts with words I don’t ho read. I blocked any posts with the words clinton, trump, sanders or election. I don’t think I missed anything important


    • Hola Josey,

      Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them. We are having a great time in Mexico. Come visit us! Say hello to Dr. Han. Tell her I have a three month check-up this Thursday and I will report back soon, hopefully with great news!!!

      Sending much love!



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