One of my favorite expressions in Mexico is “ánimo amigo/a, ánimo“. It’s direct translation is “courage friend, courage”. But I think a more apt translation is “be strong friend, be strong”. Countless times at work, on facebook, at a restaurant, I would hear or read a person lament their strange fate. And countless more times, one of their friends or family members would whisper or write back “ánimo“.
In fact, the expression became such a part of my life that I began to use it on myself. My prior form of motivation used to be “buck up, buttercup”. But now, whenever I find myself in a peculiar, unfamiliar, or less than ideal situation, I say “ánimo rosa, ánimo“. I like it. It seems softer yet firmer. It doesn’t beat me up, yet it reminds me I am strong. I have used it in countless dire situations – getting my visa, looking for a job, looking for an apartment. You name it, I have dealt with it by reminding myself I have inner strength.!
Now I mainly find myself using it when I hear the latest Chicago weather forecast. Which in the grand scheme of life is a minor dilemma. Unless of course, you lived in Mexico for three years and your first full winter back, mother nature has gone completely crazy.!! In fact, tonight and tomorrow again, Chicago is getting more snow.! Just in time for the morning communte. Yippee.!! And all tomorrow morning, I will be whispering to myself “ánimo rosa, ánimo“.