It’s no secret that I love the Caribbean coast of Mexico. But it’s ‘that time of year’ down here, when the humidity and temperatures threaten to rise above my enthusiasm for the place I currently call home.
I’ve heard rumors about it being one of the hottest Julys on record, and I haven’t needed to quantify that theory formally because my core body temperature has already confirmed it.
This, however, is nothing new to me.
This time last year we were house sitting in La Penita de Jaltemba on the west coast which, we believe, was more humid than the Yucatan.
Tyrhone almost died from the humidity last year, but I kinda took it on as a challenge.
No matter how hot it gets during a Mexican summer, I do actually thrive more in heat than I do in cold. It’s just that this year there are a few factors which are adding to my ‘Summer Insanity,’ not the least of which is that our car A/C decided to quit. After several visits to the auto clima shop over the last two weeks, we were only able to get the compressor replaced today (hence me now sitting at a delightfully air conditioned cafe as I edit this).
As we are currently house sitting in Puerto Aventuras, a gated community ten miles south of Playa, I am spending much more time in my car. We live there, but my life (and my heart) continues on in Playa, with yoga classes to attend and people to meet and cheap tacos to eat.
I also run a recovery meeting in Playa on Sunday nights, which basically means I open the doors, get the A/C cranked and make the coffee.
Perspective is everything, so I know that mine needs constant vigilance.
Just so you can see just how spoiled I am being, this view from the luxurious apartment we are currently house sitting is my prize for spending extra time in my car. No, I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me!
But this heat, it does warp my perspective, causing me to question what I am doing at times. My old default of wanting to be somewhere other than where I am has been rearing its head, which is just my ego wanting me to miserable.
Thankfully, I know it’s tricks. Through writing, talking, meditating and a healthy sense of humour, I am able to expose it for the fraud it is.
Good friends help immensely.
My friend Justin was recently here for a month, and it was such a welcome change in the routine to chat it up with him late into the night at coffee shops and taco joints around Playa del Carmen.
I first met Justin here in Playa at a Christmas lunch in 2013, and though we couldn’t be more different (he – a chain smoking republican from Oklahoma, me – a yoga loving liberal), those differences do not prevent us from enjoying each others’ company and may actually be the reason I found myself in fits of laughter that I haven’t experienced for a while.
He even came to a yoga class one day, which almost made me fall over in shock. Of course, we had to take the obligatory photos of him for the ‘folks back home’; turban encased and green juice swilling, having ‘been converted’ by a single class of Kundalini.
Since he used to live here, I knew I could comfortably talk to him about some of the things which were wearing on my zen. He listened intently, swatting cigarette smoke away with a flick of his Cartier-clad wrist, before replying in his thick southern accent:
“Guuurrrrl, sounds like you are what I like to call, ‘Knee Deep in Paradise.’ When you live through a summer here, you’ll understand what I mean.”
That was IT.
I didn’t even need an explanation.
That statement summed it up perfectly.
A few weeks before, I’d been talking to my friend Wendy whose house we are looking after. She was (justifiably) concerned about the mildew situation of her closet down here.
We were discussing how this ‘Summer Insanity’ I am suffering must be a scientifically measurable condition; something to do with the barometric pressure affecting the brain… or something.
Like I said, I have managed to keep my sense of humour around to see me through the summer blues, thanks to a community of people who well and truly ‘get it.’
Another friend of ours recently moved to Puebla for a year, and at her ‘hasta luego, no adios’ dinner she was expressing her mixed feelings about leaving Playa del Carmen after living here for more than twenty years.
Someone asked her why Playa del Carmen casts a love-spell on some people and spits out others. She replied very matter of factly: “It all depends on how you treat her. If you focus on the negative things, that’s what you’ll see. If you appreciate the good things, that is what you will receive more of.”
Pretty much sums up how life works, really, not just summers in Mexico. I may be ‘Knee Deep in Paradise,’ but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.