I Tommy Bennett have officially retired. I am 52 years old. Yet this isn’t the age I retired. I moved to Costa Rica when I was 36 years old. I have been working from my home and coffee shops since I was 32 years old. I have determined, working from home or working remotely is like being retired. One could say I retired at 32 years old in the year 1998. I had to come out of retirement twice. Once at the age of 42 for one year and once at the age of 47 for one year. I was not very content during these years. I endured.
I have been here a month. I haven’t been able to record my costs to see how much I am spending. I have this new budget program called YouNeedABudget. It includes a whole system for budgeting. It is really great. The idea is you live off of funds you already have. This is called your buffer. For the funds in your buffer, you give each dollar a job. You no longer refer to your checking account balance. It has a way to roll with the punches, unexpected expenses. I have had several punches here with problems with my home. I am also renovating the bathroom.
Today I decided to start working on my garden. It is simply a plot of grass right now. My plan is to excavate the land, remove all the grass, and make a rock garden. I created a design and drawing. With the assistance of the local gardener I begin to dig.
If you have ever flown on an big o’ jet aero liner, you have been subjected to the safety briefing performed by the stewardess before takeoff. You have memorized it. You could riddle it out yourself. The one guideline which always stuck out to me was, “If you are sitting with a small child, put your mask on first before assisting the child.” If you were to put your mask on after helping someone else, you might pass out before you get a chance to put your mask on. Which leads to the title of this article, Put your Mask on First Before Helping Others.
I have written about minimalism before. Now I want to share with you what I have discovered in applying a minimalistic lifestyle while living in Costa Rica. After living it, I am truly convinced minimalism leads to happiness, contentment, and stress free life.
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
In Costa Rica and Latin America in general people consume a lot of rice and beans. Besides being a healthy diet, it probably is based on economic reasons. Beans and rice are cheap. This custom is so intrinsic to the culture that even McDonald’s sells rice and beans for breakfast. It is called, wait for it, drum roll, McPinto! Seriously, this is how it is listed on the Menu, McPinto Deluxe.
It is rice and beans with plantains platanos, tortillas, eggs huevos and coffee. They also serve it with sour cream which is natilla in Spanish.
Today is election day in Costa Rica. There are 13 different candidates to choose from. I don’t have the right to vote, so I won’t be participating. The only way I knew it was election day, was my amigos told me. I did see a few signs advertising candidates every now and then. There were not many.