My identity and sense of purpose is all about the work I do. I have been a physician for 25 years, most of the time as a psychiatrist. Had this opportunity to go to Ecuador not presented itself, I would most likely have continued working until my retirement. I have enjoyed my work; it is interesting and challenging and never ever boring. Leaving my work and closing my practice is complicated. But mostly I am excited!
I imagine doing everything that I never have time for in my ordinary life. I have a list of the 100 best works of literature of the 20th century, and I plan to read every book on that list. I would like to meditate. I have made repeated efforts to meditate and have failed quite miserably in my efforts. I expect to exercise daily and improve my fitness. I had a horse until I was 30 and riding horses was my passion for much of my childhood; I would love to ride regularly and perhaps introduce my daughter to horsebackriding. I sent my CV to a university in Quito and may be able to teach in the medical school. I plan to help Eric set up his research station in the jungle. I would like to organize a yoga retreat in the jungle. I have a contact with a charity in Quito which helps children, and I hope to participate in some way at the charity. I am taking photographs for books my husband is writing about biodiversity and the Napo Valley. I would like to write a book about my experience as well.
I imagined a quieter more peaceful life in Quito. But quiet and peaceful is not a life I have ever led. My life is jam packed with activity now, and will likely be full of activity in Ecuador. I have my daughter to care for and a family to organize and take care of. Of course that is no different than my life here.
I imagine bringing music into my life. I listened to a guitarist in Quito who composed music in the style of traditional Ecaudorian music. I was entranced, especially when his wife sang along with his guitar. I want to learn more about Ecuadorian music. I wonder if I will have time to play a musical instrument. I am inspired by my daughter Maya, who plays violin beautifully. It was especially satisfying to hear her play Bach in the jungle. All who heard her were entranced. I don't believe there are too many violinists in the jungle. I would like to learn to play the guitar. I wonder if I will have the time to practice.
I am getting more and more excited as I anticipate this amazing opportunity to step out of the ordinary routine of my life. I feel as if I am jumping off a cliff, that once I make this move, I can never go back to the life that I once led. There is nothing wrong with the life that I lead, but this move forces me to approach my life quite differently from the past.