Feliz Año Nuevo

Another trip around the sun, as they say. This is a perfect time to reflect on the passing year and to think about the coming one. What did I say last year?

  • Don’t allow the blog to feel like a job. Yes, done. I no longer feel guilty when I have nothing to say for a while, and sometimes I write about something off topic just because I want to. I have enjoyed the blog much more and the response continues to be positive.
  • Don’t feel obligated to help everyone with everything. Yes. I continue to enjoy talking with people and answering questions, but if I don’t know something I don’t go research it for them.
  • Explore more painting. Yes, in progress. I continue to paint and learn.
  • Do a bicycle tour. Yes. I cycled from Seattle to northern California.
  • Quit obsessing about my weight. Yes, but…. I suppose any sensible person can guess how that went. This is a subject for another post though.
  • Simplify and declutter. Yes, a continuing work in progress.

Overall I am pleased with how I did with the goals I set for myself.

What goals would I like to write for the coming year?

  • Time management. There are tons of interesting things to explore on line and I can spend hours. I need to focus on things that are more productive like the points below. I need to unsubscribe from some things and/or set limits, and schedule important things so they don’t get passed over.
  • Cycling and exercise. I am not currently planning another tour (though I’m thinking about possibilities). But, without that goal I’m finding it hard to bike the same old routes so I’m not getting the exercise I need. Biking is also a social interaction, enjoyment of nature,  and it clears my head. I need to set an alarm and quit sleeping in all the time, and get back with the program.
  • Painting – I tend to put off painting because it’s difficult and I’m lazy. I need to set a time, like two hours a day after lunch and just do it. I don’t think you get better at anything by just thinking about it. I think resuming regular classes would help keep me focused as well.
  • Spanish – I still have a lot to learn. With this also, I need to schedule time to study. I do best with a combination of social talking and organized study, and the organized study has fallen by the wayside.
  • Continue simplifying and decluttering.

If I can spend two hours a day on the bike, two hours painting, and one hour studying Spanish for five days a week, that should help while still leaving me time to do everything else I need to or want to do. The lazy part of me doesn’t want to put this out there as a commitment, but the part of me that wants to use time wisely will be glad.

Overall though, I am extremely happy. I live in a beautiful country with loving people, I have an excellent marriage, my family are all doing very well, I am healthy, I have been relieved of the responsibility of making money, and I have unlimited possibilities to learn and experience and explore anything that interests me. This time is such a wonderful gift. My heartfelt thanks to the forces of the universe that have landed me in this life. As every year brings me closer to the end of it, I feel a stronger need to appreciate every day and use each one wisely.

Sunday we start the next trip around the sun. Lets make it a great one!

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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18 Responses to Feliz Año Nuevo

  1. Kris

    Great to read how you did holding to last years goals, that’s an awesome accomplishment, so many people don’t even try to do.

    This last year has been a great one for me too, accomplishing so many of my goals, including coming to Panama and attempting to learn a new language.

    And I’ve set my sites on new challenges and goals for this year. I just get excited thinking about the possibilities.

    Have an Awesome New Year, and know how grateful I am in my heart for all those blog posts that kept me taking the next step to getting here.



  2. Robert Intile says:

    Kris, I would just like to say thank-you for showing us your life in Panama. I hope to start mine some time in 2017 but in Panama City.



  3. Jim VanZwol says:


    Thank you so much for your blog! I hope you and Joel have a Happy New Year!!


  4. Oh, Kris. I have no doubts that you will fulfill all of your goals. Your paintings are gorgeous. Yes, do continue painting and blogging, simply because you enjoy doing them. I admire you so much. Have a wonderful New Year. And let’s talk about your trip to Cuba. We should plan to go around the same time. Wouldn’t that be fun?


  5. jim and nena says:

    Feliz Año, Kris,
    Last year I made one resolution: never let Nena wake up to dishes in the sink or the dishwasher. I only missed one or two mornings so I’m calling it good. This year I may add monthly carpet scrubbing, haven’t decided just yet.
    Retirement should be about doing what YOU want. My approach to retirement is to continue to do the stuff I like but without the restriction of getting everything done on a weekend. We go shopping during the week when the stores a mostly empty. If I decide to sit and catch up on my reading, I can do that. I may be busier than when I was working, but it is doing what I like so the time flies by.
    Then there are the grandkids to enjoy watching. They are a constant source of wonder especially since we have the time to spend with them and we aren’t responsible for their needs. They are SO bright and entertaining and one never knows what they will ask next.

    All of my watch batteries are dead, I haven’t heard an alarm clock in years except the one I set to remind me to turn off the sprinklers. I always seem to have some project, or the boys need help with one of theirs (later today I’m helping son #2 replace a door to their porch).

    Life is good.


    • You sound like a good guy to have around!
      I know what you mean. You can keep very busy but how nice it is what you choose to do, and on your own time schedule. The grandparent thing is really cool too!


    • jim and nena says:

      One caveat I would add to retirement is realizing that it occurs during the “3rd age” of life. While it is true that technically I helped #2 son, Nena actually assisted with most of the real labor while I offered technical advice from the sofa. I’m on meds for a sore shoulder I re-injured when working on the treehouse! The meds are EXCELLENT but I am not allowed to drive or be on my own without adult supervision. That last part should probably be a permanent condition!
      So, we are a good team to have around; one of us is always in fairly good shape.


      • Yeah, true. I don’t have the stamina I used to either, and things take twice as long to heal. But like you, we are a good team here and between the two of us we manage to get everything done.


  6. Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing Kris. As always, you are a huge inspiration.
    Happy New Year to you and Joel!


    • Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too! I’m excited that you may be able to visit this year 🙂


      • Linda says:

        I am excited too! looking so forward to March.


        • We’ll have to keep in touch and coordinate. I certainly want to be around when you are here!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Linda says:

            Right now it is looking like a March 17 or 18 arrival in David.
            i hope to stay 12-14 days in Panama.
            Gayle has offered to come fetch me from the airport.
            But yes, we will need to coordinate. Would so love to spend quality time w you in David … biking, meeting your lovely friends, music, biking, Spanish lessons, etc. haha! I should plan for a month! Hope you’ll come to Gayles w me too. She is planning a trip out to the islands one or two of the days. Let’s email to talk more.
            Happy New Year to you two! See you soon xxxx


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