How to do Things that Scare You

I just found this post in my drafts as I was trying to figure out what to publish today. I wrote it on December 22nd, 2021.  I can’t say I have conquered fear yet, but, it does feel good to see there has been some progress.  My website will be done soon. I’ll be sharing the link with you next week!  It has helped so much to have a supportive audience here. Thank you for reading, liking, commenting, and following. xo, Paz, A

-me in my cheese cave, unaware I was soon to leave my safety zone.

Conquering Fear

I’ve done a lot of scary shit in my life.  I’ve uprooted my life, twice, to live in developing nations, traveled thousands of miles with only coins in my pocket, started a butchery and cheese making business never having butchered or made cheese, sang acapella in the middle of a busy dining room to land a singing waiter job(I had never waited tables or sang publicly) battled a pissed off mama pig who didn’t understand I was trying to save her piglets, gentled an abused horse who’s defense mechanism was to grab the bit and run me under trees at full speed…and many more truly terrifying things; I have willing done. I don’t even count the really scary stuff I didn’t consciously choose.

But what I am doing now may be the most frightening yet: I am changing careers at 55 years of age. It’s technology top-heavy, and I am not a techy.

Every day I sit at my computer with a task, and each task, once I figure out how to do it (this could take several days) comes with many more tasks I had no idea existed. Often, I don’t even understand the language it’s presented in, only that if it is not accomplished, I will be stalled, and left without an income. And so, I tackle the next and the next.

Each time I complete one of these mindboggling problems I try to feel celebratory. I learned something new; I am that much farther on my road to being an entrepreneur! But it’s not how I feel. I feel inadequate, what if the next one is insurmountable?

None of this even counts for the actual business of being a writer, which is what I will be doing. And though I do know how to write, the business of being a writer is new to me and there are a million people, it looks like from their flawless websites, that know this market a damn site(pun intended) better than I do.

Where is the woman that fought off the dogs to save a pig, then fought off the pig to save its life?

Who was I when I got on a plane to start a new project in high-end hospitality with 500 pesos and no decent shoes?

I need her now.

I feel like a fraud and a lazy one at that.

How many motivational videos can I watch and call it work as my bank account dwindles?

So, I must go with what I know.

View from Calabera point, Piedra Rahada, Morelos, Mx.

There is no way around; There is only through.

You feel afraid and you do it anyway.

Put in the time and you will succeed, it may not be what you set out to accomplish, all that matters is that you don’t give up. Failure at one thing often leads to something better.

This is no different than any of the other challenges I’ve leaped into.

Did I mention that I’ve bungee jumped?

What have you conquered that scared you?


How to Make Improvements to Your Home Office

Broadcasting from the New Holand

In Mexico, Felipe and I practiced something we called “sticks and mud technology” we made it work with what we had, which sometimes was sticks and mud.

I had several “offices”  that were built on this principle, with crossed fingers and a lot of walking in search of a signal.

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Sometimes I worked out of internet cafes, they had their benefits and challenges. Benefits; chairs, food if one has money, pretty good signal. Negatives: usually, a really smelly bathroom, vicious mosquitos that breed there, and video games played at sonic volume at the computer next to you.

This was a particular favorite of mine, the hazardous waste desk. It was behind the clinic in La Tigra and just happened to have the best signal in town.

My Bioharard office behind the free health clinic in La Tigra

The hazardous waste office made me feel really dedicated to my craft.

-my super fancy home office in Nicaragua, complete with an actual office chair

But, things are quite a bit cushier in Nicaragua, I have an office chair!

I got the office chair because my back was bothering me, and it did help, but the problem persisted so I went back to the sticks and mud approach and asked Felipe to make a sofa desk for me. Just like the one I had at the Piedra Rahada. I wrote three books and over 200 posts with this little desk made of a sawed-off plastic garden chair.

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Even with the new office chair, and sofa desk I found I was having back pain. The solution? A standing desk! An end table topped sofa desk! Sticks and mud at its finest.

I would love to hear how you make yourself comfortable working at home. I’m also up for advice on back health for writers.

Hasta mañana!

Becoming a Horizon

Kind of like home, but with a beach! Kind of like home, but with a beach!

I am an intrepid decision maker, but sometimes my coping skills struggle to keep up with the fearless nature of my choices. The past several weeks I’ve been scrambling to acclimate to modern life.

When I lived at the Piedra Rahada I felt well organized when I knew what day of the week it was, rich when there was an extra 10 pesos for beer;  thus, carrying internet on my body, honoring schedules, disposable cash and availability of products, have left me feeling rattled and unfocused.

But thankfully,last year I gave my self the gift of walking while memorizing poetry; Mr. Strand and the ocean are bringing me back to center.

Object, Action, Intent


Floppy hatSometimes, when I need a morale boost, I entertain myself with recollections of how we prepared for our move from Chicago. Of course it required shopping, a fundamental element of my life at the time. I bought myself a beautiful pair of handcrafted pearl earrings, $150.  Who knew when I would be able to afford such things again? I also succumbed to a craving for a pair of $80 espadrilles from Banana Republic, which I bought too small and never wore. I have no explanation for this but some weird small foot vanity. Then I trekked to J. Crew. These were places I rarely shopped. Mostly I resale shopped, but I had the idea that because I’d be denied  luxuries, I should stock up.  On what—useless overpriced things? As it turned out, I was stocking up on waste. At J. Crew I bought a $60 sunhat. Now surely, this was a needed item. It was grand, a lounging at the pool glamorous floppy hat to protect not only your face but your décolletage. I’ve never worn it. Why? Well, it’s huge, hot and impractical, you can barely see out from under it and I have no occasion to lounge around a pool. Did I mention it has some gold sequins on it? It really is a beautiful hat, scorpions enjoy nesting in it.


An excerpt from Dirty, Wet and Bitten, my memoir of moving to Mexico.


 Funny how objects and actions make their purposes known…eventually.