Tengo todo el tiempo del mundo

One of the most astonishing differences between America and Uruguay is how people view and experience time. In the US, time is money. It seems that everyone is always rushing around and trying to multi-task and get as much done as possible in the shortest amount of time. Pretty much everyone is doing way more than is humanly possible and it seems all Americans are nearly killing themselves in doing so.

Uruguay is different. One of the most common phrases one hears in Punta del Diablo, Uruguay is “Tengo todo el tiempo del mundo” or I have all the time in the world. Daily life seems to be not as rushed in Uruguay as in America, and people seem to like to take their time. It feels like Uruguayans just know that if I do not do something today, I can always do it tomorrow.

This difference in attitude has lead me to realize two things about American culture; first we try to do way too much and second that we do not know how to effectively manage stress or frustration. Because it is really difficult in our culture to try to achieve less, I have compiled a short list of ways that help me in relaxing when I begin to get stressed out.

  • Start a routine that can help you de-stress. For me, this is exercising so I make it a priority to exercise nearly every day. This helps me to mentally go through everything that is bothering me and gives me time to put things into perspective as well as sort out what I need to do each day.
  • Get over yourself; not having an inflated sense of importance really helps you to not get frustrated when something doesn’t go how you wanted.
  • When something frustrating happens, take it out of the ‘me’ context. Most people, and myself included, tend to think of the world in terms of how it affects them, so take frustrating incidents out of the ‘me centered’ universe and put into into reality, and then it is easy to see how insignificant any incident is.
  • Trust your intuitions. This is one of the most common ways in which I frustrate myself because I am not at all at ease when I am second guessing myself. If you trust yourself then everyday life becomes so much easier.
  • Make what you say and what you do match. A huge weight is lifted off my chest when what I say and do match because I don’t feel like I am always lying and deceiving myself.
  • When you are angry or frustrated with someone, ask yourself if your overall relationship with this person is worth the time being angry at them. Ask yourself if you really want to trade the time you could be happy with this person for the time that you are currently angry.

My last and most favorite one is this: whenever I have an idea I write it down or begin it immediately. This way I am doing what I want, and I am excited about it because I just came up with the idea.

The best way to not stress yourself out is to just realize that we all have the same amount of time to do whatever we want every day, and that time is the only thing that each of us has. So I know that Tengo todo el tiempo del mundo.