Spaniards way of life is very different than Americans. We don’t take a siesta halfway throughout our day, we don’t eat the same cuisine, and we don’t have the same outlook on life as them. My senora – or my host mom that I lived with for 9 months while studying abroad in Spain is a lady that I really look up to, and a lady that really taught me a great amount about life.
Everyday Pilar would wake up around 9 o’clock, bring her dog for a walk, come back to the apartment, and eat breakfast. She was a health nut! Sometimes it got very annoying, but when it comes down to it, she probably won’t be the one in the retirement home one day. She never was stressed out about anything. I felt like she lived the simplest life I’ve ever seen. Same routine everyday with rare occasions of sometimes shopping with friends, or going out to dinner.
I believe that life should be more laid back than it is in the United States. We are always rushing and working non-stop. It was such a shock to be in this uptight country with I feel a more uptight way of living, to go to Spain with a completely different outlook on life.
Living in Spain for a year and Pilar both taught me that life should be simpler – or people should make it simpler. There is a phrase in Spanish “No pasa nada” that is pretty much a way of life in Spain. “No pasa nada” translates to “whatever”. It is used I feel more than any other phrase in Spanish. It is used when you turn in homework late, are late to work, or forget to do something. I feel it is not just a saying, but more a way of living.
People can get very aggravated at others for I feel stupid reasons in the United States, and I feel that a better reaction to someone getting to you would be to use the “no pasa nada” way of thinking. Just let it go. I believe that the “no pasa nada” outlook on life is a much less stressful life than in the United States. I try to live by this now. When someone breaks plans at the last minute for some reason, or I get off work late, I try to think to myself, “Come on now Molly, is this really going to affect your life in the long run?” It has really helped me in my life and I believe it is a great philosophy!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.