Cows, Trash, and a Lesson in Letting Go

“This is so ridiculous… why doesn’t anyone come up with a better system than THIS!”It is 5:50 in the morning and I am outside, trying to scramble together the slimy and gross content of a ripped open trashbag that is scattered around our dirt road. At night the cows were here again… Yeah, this town has cows roaming around in groups of 2-5 - sometimes they stroll along the beach, sometimes on the road, happily grazing or knocking over trash cans and ripping up the trashbags along the way.

So here I am picking up the trash, competing with the three dogs we are housesitting, who seem to love picking up trash much more than I do. Same dogs who barked at the cows at night, long after they had moved on and adding to my sleep deprived grumpiness this morning.

And here is where my judgemental cursing comes in. “When you live in a place where cows regularly knock over trash cans and spread around trash, why hasn’t anyone come up with a better system than putting the trash out in cans that are easily knocked over?! Do people really not care about picking up trash in front of their house and living with trash scattered all along the roads?!”

My judgemental grumbling gets put to a halt by Jasha, who tells me: “People could care less.”She elaborates that people caring less is the other side of the coin of people not worrying so much, something we really like about our experiences in Mexico. Sometimes shows up in things being easy and not so overregulated, sometimes it shows up as people being kind and welcoming. And sometimes it shows up in just accepting the trash and the cows and not being over invested in judging the situation, finding culprits or solutions - just letting it be. Jasha also tells me to care/worry less, aka embrace and go with the flow. In the larger scheme of things I am aware that the judgement and grumbling in my head require a lot of energy - and that they are a choice. Traveling, immersing ourselves in other peoples homes, living with random pets, experiencing life in all kinds of new ways requires us to be flexible, to adapt, to stay curious and to continuously choose what we focus upon.

Our current place has gorgeous views of the ocean and we have a Palapa on the rooftop with a large couch to hang out and watch the sunrise. We can walk to the beach in 5 minutes and enjoy the company of three truly kind dogs. I know I have a lot to learn from this housesit, because things are not all easy and perfect. There has been trouble with the electricity as well as the water, there has been a giant spider on the property as well as a scorpion. I know there may be more challenges and frustrations during this housesit, but also countless opportunities for wonder. The next time something unexpected arises, I'll pause and ask myself - how can I let go of my judgments and react with more patience and an open mind? I also like allowing myself to be upset once and be done with it, instead of holding on. Caring less. Not careless, yet with a big curious heart and gratitude for travel and life. I invite you to reflect on a recent frustration of your own and consider - what if you looked at that situation through a lens of acceptance rather than criticism? We all have more to learn by facing the unexpected with flexibility. When was the last time you let go of anger over something you couldn't control and chose to stay curious instead? I would love to hear your story!

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