I love to read. It doesn’t have to be the great American novel, if there is such a thing; it could be the back of a cereal box and I’d be happy eating my Rice Krispies. I also like to read signs. Stupid sign are good: in my doctor’s office is a large sign that says (in English) “If you cannot read or speak English, we will provide an interpreter for you at no charge. Just point to your native language.” The funny ones also catch my imagination, such as a sign I saw in Ireland outside the bathrooms in a pub: “Our aim is to keep the bathrooms clean. Gents: Stand closer. It’s shorter than you think,” and ” Ladies, please remain sitting for the entire performance.” There is no sign, however, that hits me where I live more than the one on the side of a building in San Antonio del Mar, just north of Rosarito in Baja California, that says, in letters two feet tall: “Plan B.” As simple as that.
Plan B is a way of life in Baja. Neither my husband nor I have felt so stress-free as we do here, where most live by the “manana attitude”: what we can’t finish today or don’t want to start today will be there tomorrow. What’s the big deal? Do you really think that if you don’t unpack that dishwasher tonight that all the dishes will disintegrate while you sleep, leaving you to eat with your fingers and drink coffee directly from the pot? What if you’re tired at the end of a long and fun-filled day and just don’t want to take the ice cooler and empty cans out of the trunk and onto the deck? Will the can thief come when you’re not looking and steal all those non-returnable cans from you?
Of course, there are certain things worth pushing yourself to do. If you’re out of clean underwear, for example, it’s time to do the laundry. But in the U.S., we run from one task to the next pretty much all day, run to the shower, run to the car, stop at Dunkin’ for a quick coffee, run to the job, run throughout the day so you can run home in time to vacuum, mow the lawn, get something on the table for supper (unless you ran by a take-out place on your way home), run, run, run, until it is time to go to bed so you can start all over again. I love the Baja lifestyle, all the while knowing it is not for everyone, and certainly easier for my husband and me because we’re retired, than it would be for our children, who aren’t. I just think the world needs to slow down a little and enjoy the time we do have here.
Everyone needs a Plan B.