What’s your Time Perspective?

Time perspective: How where you live influences your life and way of living!

Growing up in the busy, fast paced, San Francisco Bay Area, I’m used to having long To- Do lists that can never be achieved in a day, always being on the go, and the never-ending feeling I always need to be doing something.

Sit on the couch? Relax? What? How?

Flash forward: Moving to Spain. Where culturally, Spaniards think about living life differently.

Let’s just say, I went from one extreme to another. (And, yes, I would give NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles medals for being more hectic than SF but you get what I’m saying.)

 Then put me in a small coastal town in Andalucia, in the Southern region of the country and you’ve got a whole different perspective and way of living. A slower pace of living. A life where you’re focused on family and friends. Eating and drinking. Together. Living daily life. Enjoying life. 

Yet, Andalucians are considered by the rest of Spain in a word: lazy. Stereotype? Maybe. But Andalucians are definitely the butt of many jokes. Sometimes I joke about the life I live and what I witness but often I think, Andalucians are very wise. If you can’t enjoy the simple things in life, what do you enjoy?  One of the most important things in life that brings people together is eating and drinking, if you can’t take the time to eat, drink and enjoy each others company, what are we focusing on? Some may argue, that Andalucians are excessive about it but I’ll admit, I love it. Some of my favorite days are centered around eating! But let’s not digress…

Watching this video made me think a lot. How true that where we grow up influences us in so many ways, many we are unaware of. This video resonates with me and I love that I can put some of my feelings, ideas, perspectives into a context.

But what strikes me most is how he highlights that Southern regions of countries all have similar Time Perspectives that characterize the country, society or community. There ways of living is Present Oriented. They may not be planning but they are focused on what is in front of them. I could practice more on being Present Oriented (rather than Future Oriented). Somewhere there is balance. I find that I’m adjusting my way of living in Roquetas de Mar. For the first time, I’m learning to relax, read a book, and not always have a plan. Yes, I’m used to always having type of plan. But, you know what, not having a plan makes me feel more free! Yet it’s challenging. I’m trying to undo what I know. I’m constantly fighting my internal dialogue of what I’ve been accustomed to for the last 28 years.

And I know, when I leave Spain, my fight will be a bigger battle against myself to continue practicing what I have learned and living simpler and more relaxed. How do I maintain a calmer sense of living when you live in a busy, fast paced environment?

I already for-see how my life will be, again.

Have you lived in the south and then in the North or vice versa? or east or west? Did you do things differently? What do you think about this idea of time and place influencing how we act and think?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts and opinions.

Please leave a comment below.


4 thoughts on “What’s your Time Perspective?

  1. Pingback: Pressure Pressure Pressure « Roamingtheworld

  2. The other thing I thought was fascinating was how he presented the video; talking a mile a minute and drawing as he spoke so that even high school boys with video game experience might be interested in following along. It certainly kept my interest with this approach. If he had talked in front of the camera instead I may not have listened. Would you? Good thing to keep in mind when presenting anything via video.

  3. Fascinating video. AND scary. Only 20% of Americans have a sit down dinner with their families. I guess they have dinner with their latest tech device instead.

    It’s interesting that we are trained to be future or present oriented by our culture or religion, like it isn’t really a choice, because we are born into one or the other. Once we are aware of the difference though we can choose. It’s also interesting because our culture certainly values future oriented time with all the focus on retirement and money and status while at the same time as a whole we have an obsession with present oriented with needing immediate gratification (must have the latest gadget, fashion item, car, etc.). Seems like we all must be pretty confused about what really matters.

    I like what he says about how if we understand the differences in how cultures and people see time then we can have more tolerance; like not seeing someone who is more present oriented as lazy (not spending most of their time working for example).

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