Tuesday, January 9, 2007

"The Is"

"Es como es" ("It is how it is"). I've found that it's nearly impossible to plan the day in advance here. Agendas and "To Do" lists help organize tasks, but the priorities or deadlines for their completion are simply an exercise in mental masturbation. I must admit that it's been a big adjustment for this "control freak". But I now laugh at myself every single day thinking back on the way it used to be in contrast with the way it is.

Yesterday, we were on a search for a new mattress to replace "el hueco" (the hole) we were "sleeping" on - or in. My very generous parents sent us a check for a housewarming gift. My wife and I looked at it and in an unspoken nano-instant, smiled at each other knowingly with exactly the same thought - a good night's sleep. So we hopped in the pickup, dropped the dogs at the beach, and went on mattress safari.

To make a long story short, we brought home a beautiful orthopedic, matrimonial-sized mattress a little before sunset last night. But along the way...

...I got a phone call from my insurance agent. INS (the national insurance provider) was having a problem with the signature on the check I used to pay my car insurance premium. Nevermind that I signed it in front of the agent. So I had to stop at the bank, get cash and then stop by the insurance agent's office to re-pay the premium. Then, my sister-in-law called to remind me to bring the CD with her newly designed (by me) restaurant menus to the printer. Luckily, I had the disk in my backpack (which almost never happens). So another stop to the graphics guy. Then my wife decided that she wanted a couple of new bras. We were close to the megamall (I call it the "mini-mega", like "mini-super"). While she was shopping for bras, I decided to shop for a pair of flip-flops to replace the nice pair of Reef's my dog very neatly and methodically disassembled and laid out on the porch of my house a couple of weeks ago [I'm thinking of finding him a job at the taller (car repair shop). He can surely disassemble the engine of a '71 Toyota Land Cruiser, and the job description for a car mechanic here doesn't include "knowlege of how to put a car engine back together"]. I scored on a couple of pairs of Puma's, which go nicely with the 5 t-shirts, baseball caps and pairs of shorts that comprise my wardrobe. Then we got hungry and stopped at our local favorite tico restaurant in Center City. We ran into friends, one of whom called me after leaving the restaurant to ask me to check out prices on motorcycles at a new dealer in town. So, another stop and we were motoring back to the store at which we started to purchase the mattress.

So you see, Grasshopper... Always start the day with only one item on your list. Any more than that one item, and you risk being sucked into a vortex of emotional stress and self-frustration that will benefit no one and only hurt yourself and those close to you. The curve balls that inevitably will be thrown at you will wreck your flow and will always make a mockery of your logical and organized approach, your best-laid plans. This, Grasshopper, is "The Is".

Now leave, Grasshopper. I must enjoy my sleep.

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