My husband and I are “snowbirds,” living in Bucerias for six months a year for the past ten years. Over this time, we’ve had many guests visit us, thoroughly enjoying all that our area has to offer. Of course, they then tell their friends what a wonderful time they’ve had. Now there are so many requests to visit us, even from friends of friends we’ve never met, that we’re afraid we’ll spend our whole time entertaining visitors.
Brus, we’re a sociable couple who do enjoy sharing the wonderful sites and activities of our world here, but we feel that we’re steadily losing time just for ourselves. Would you please advise us how we can enjoy company and have our own space as well?
Drowning in Visitors
You’re expressing a problem many of us have, whether we’re living here year-round or part of each year. Our enthusiasm for our Bucerias home positively infects others, particularly those who do not look forward to another cold, snowy winter up north.
In order to enjoy company and still have time for yourselves you must first sit down together and determine who you really want to see during your season here, when you want to see them, and for how long. This demands coordinated planning, so I suggest you use a calendar to write in agreed upon visitor dates.
Then for the hard part, Drowning: saying no to requests you can’t meet. This is always a challenge, particularly with friends. Saying no without offending is a communication skill that combines certainty in your position with gentleness and empathy; in other words, having a strong boundary without rejecting the other person. By being completely honest about why you’re not able to host someone, that person will most likely understand and respect your reasoning. Of course, there are some who may not understand, but at least they’ll know your resolve in this issue.
Hopefully, this will help you not to drown, but to swim beautifully through the bahia of others’ expectations.