In The Groove

A TO DO list is a rare thing in Spain. People don´t DO TO DO lists because they´ve got better things TO DO.

If ownership of a TO DO list was a requirement for Residency {Residentia}

This would be mine.

2017-01-27 16.48.32

Never mind the tons of paperwork involved in the process, that alone would be good enough to qualify.

“Welcome to Espana, you´re one of us already.”  

When I think back to life in Britain, To Do lists were necessary in order to survive. God forbid if something got forgotten last week, meltdown was imminent because re-remembering things just never happened.

In those days my average TO DO list was a random mix of:

  • The normal shopping list interspersed with other things
  • The not normal shopping list for obscure items
  • The not normal shopping list for replacement items
  • What day to put the washer on
  • Specific items such as a dentist appointment, when, where, and why
  • List of birthday cards in advance
  • List of anniversary cards in advance
  • Visits from, or to family and friends, precise time and date required
  • Lists belonging to other lists
  • Monitoring Dave´s lists so he didn´t forget anything either 

Then there was the nightmare situation caused by an unreadable %&Y&=)?? scribble. OH MY GOD what could it be? Will life as we know it ever be the same again? A broken To Do list could be likened to imminent disaster.

Notice how timing is was the common denominator? 

I even needed a trusty pen and notepad next to the bed in case I woke up and thought of something highly important, like FIND THAT MISSING SOCK. {Priority level 1}

Christmas was a nightmare, about 20 To Do lists to juggle, none of which made any sense whatsoever.

The best way to go about deciphering that challenge was to piece everything together, pick out the details and create more sensible To Do lists. Sadly the first batch had to be saved and re-read several times, in case something got forgotten in the moving process. There were two mildly reliable ways to solve the equation.

a) Strike a line through each item transferred, difficult when words overlap each other

b) Last resort, count them

More nightmares if they didn´t add up…

Thankfully To Do lists are now a thing of the past, the truly important record of Birthdays and Anniversaries are all tucked up neatly in a diary. However, I still have to buy cards a month in advance else even that doesn´t work.

In total contrast life is so laid back now, important things like flights booked abroad are subject to the likes of:

“Is it Thursday or Friday we´re going to….???”

“It´s Saturday.”    

“Oh good, I´ve got a bit more time to pack my necessaries.”

About today:

Today was one of those days when a Spanish phenomenon occurs. They do happen from time to time.

We had some errands To Do. Except it all works very differently now.

In simple terms things do get noted, then immediately go ignored for the time being. Simply because they can, there´s no rush, no agenda, no need for reminders.

“Leave whatever till whenever, because we can do whatever, whenever.” 

Therefore, “To Do” has turned into “To Go” with geo location as the common denominator. To avoid any confusion, no it´s not about finding a toilet. 

When a decision is made To Go somewhere to do something other than a nice jolly day out, a previously noted yet ignored item suddenly gets remembered. But only because it needs to be done / got in the same area, no other reason. There might even be more than one done / got thing there, no big deal.

Free to choose {whatever else} from the ignored archives, we´ve got the boring stuff in that particular place nailed, without any effort. The To Go method is a wonderful thing. There´s even time for a walk by the Med, a nice meal out, and a night spent with friends later on.

Oh the irony, on the To Go list today was to order two Memory Foam mattresses, but we´d forgot where the shop was and found ourselves in a one way traffic system. Never mind, the views were very nice, and as a bonus the shop was round a corner. Did you know there´s such a thing as Memory Foam slippers?

Anyway, we achieved two out of three “errands” and gave up on the last one. Stopping by at Iberdrola {electric company} to find out more about the phone app they want us to use can wait till a later date. Besides, the office was shut.

Does it matter? No.

Most offices and banks are shut during the day here. Yes, you read that right. A couple of hours early morning, and a couple of hours early evening {outside normal working hours only}

Strange thing is, there ARE people attached to computers sat inside, they just won´t let you in. Any day is a Saturday. Not to worry, ATM machines and online transactions are in business 24 / 7. They´re not daft.

Employees strapped into a chair have a slight problem, there is no option To Go anywhere. But there is a workaround, just keep the doors shut and bolted. Like I said, no such thing as To Do even at a bank. To Go during working hours is possible, but limited to the nearest swimming pool only.

Does it matter? No.

Well I must Go, got lots of things not To Do.

4 thoughts on “In The Groove

  1. I can relate. I rely heavily on lists as I age. The only benefit is having my list on my phone, as opposed to scribbled. How many times I’ve stood in a shopping isle, trying to decipher something I’d written not 45 minutes prior, is ridiculous. Not that my phone has solved the issue. With the combination of spelling-assist, large clumsy fingers and questionable eyesight, I often have no idea what I’m looking at.
    Wonderful post, being ‘to-do-less’, sounds like heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honestly, after all those years of hellish To Do lists, moving to Spain was a massive culture shock in a truly heavenly way. Up and beyond “To Go” lists, the only things the Spanish do fast are talking and driving. Thankfully Dave mastered going from zero to 60 on a roundabout soon after we got the car, it´s a weeee thing not to be tentative about.
    PS: About those carry round shopping baskets that are capable of rearranging the spinal chord, well we discovered the superior model with attached wheels here. So they even have laidback mini size shopping trolleys too. Zero to 60 in 6 weeks.


  3. I have ideas of what I want to do. I even keep a calendar. However, I am not regimented by any means to complete those tasks. They keep me on track. Guess I had enough of that working in corporate America. The To Do Lists never ended and they would receive “surprise” entries on a daily basis. Glad I am over those!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh! You’ve reminded me of a “To Do” aspect I forgot to mention! Easy done. I even gave surprise entries a collective category name called the “the bubble effect.” One item turns into ten more and creates a mountain of nonsense, well it did for me…
    Colour coded post it notes were supposed to make that easier to cope with, but they never made enough colours to cater for my reluctant brainstorming.

    Those were the days my friend, glad you’re finished with it too! Have you ever tried the “To Go” method?! It´s worth a go. Oh dear, it must be one of my puny pun days. I really should make a list of them……


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