Not so long ago I said to my husband “I am not very patient.”
He laughed. Really laughed.
And then he said “that is the understatement of the year!”
I like to believe I am a patient person.
I act like I am a patient person.
But those who know me, know that I need some work in that area. A lot of work!
I have improved. I no longer peek at Christmas presents. I do not like surprises and I really don’t like waiting, so every year since I was a kid, I would search for my Christmas presents, hoping to find them. Sometimes I did. Sometimes I did not. As an adult, I would pull the tape carefully back so I would not tear the paper and then unwrap the gift to peek. Then I would carefully rewrap, paying attention to the creases and replace the same piece of tape exactly where it was. I thought no one knew! Ha! Eventually my husband and kids caught on and then they used a whole roll of tape on every gift so I couldn’t peek. (THAT may be an exaggeration, but it is A LOT of tape!) I no longer peek.
I like to think that I stopped peeking because I am more patient, but the reality is that my guys made it so difficult for me to peek that I just don’t even try anymore.
My impatience also shows up when it comes to arriving for appointments, or leaving for a trip, or meeting someone, or anything that requires being somewhere at a certain time. On time is important. Early is even better. When I am ready to go, I AM READY to go. I don’t want to wait around. I time everything I need to do to get ready for something based on the time we are leaving, so everyone else better be ready too….or I get really impatient! And don’t give me a “we will leave between this time and that” timing, because that does not sit well with my patience.
My impatience has resulted in a speeding ticket or two. Again, I don’t like to be late. For anything!
So, my intention for 2020 and now for 2021 to live in the moment, to be mindful and not worry about yesterday or tomorrow takes my level of patience to task. I have to be patient to live in the moment, don’t I?
I guess I have not quite learned the lessons of patience, so circumstances are colliding to teach me to be more patient. One year ago, today, I was in the waiting room of our local hospital waiting for my husband who was having knee replacement surgery. Have I mentioned, I do not like waiting? From my journal entry that day, written while in the waiting room, I can feel my impatience. Then add in my own back issues one week later, well, I was going to have to learn to be patient, whether I liked it or not. I had no choice. Both were hard! I just wanted everything to hurry up and return to normal, for my husband and I both to heal. NOW! Things don’t work that way, do they?
That should have been enough to teach me to slow down, to live in the moment and to be patient.
It was not.
The pandemic hit and my patience was sorely tested. I just wanted it over! I just wanted life to return to normal. I wanted to hug people. I wanted to shop in stores. I wanted to travel. That has been hard. Now is NOT happening fast enough for me. Yet, I have found that living in the moment helps. Being mindful and grateful helps. Maybe, I am more patient.
Then came the conversation with my husband not too long ago. He laughed because he knows me. He knew I was not really a patient person, even with my improvements. Things will continue to test my patience and to teach me lessons.
When my alarm goes off at 3 pm every day, as it has every day for almost 3 months now, I cringe. Ugh! Really? Can this just be over? Now?! It has been long enough and I am ready to be done with all of this and get my life back to normal. That alarm is a reminder for me to take those two pink pills, the ones I have to take to treat this fungus in my body. The pills I thought I would take for a week, maybe two.
Jokes on me! I will be hearing this alarm on my phone every day for months, maybe longer. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. How is that for teaching me to be patient?
No, I am NOT a patient person. But I am trying! I don’t peek at gifts anymore. I don’t speed (okay, maybe just a little, but not much). I stop and smell the roses far more often than I used to.
But my body keeps betraying me, forcing me to step back and take it slow. And I don’t like things to be too slow. I just want to get back to 5ks and using my spin bike. I want to be able to hike. I want this done NOW! (And don’t even ask how I am doing waiting, and waiting, and waiting for my turn to get the vaccine while everyone around me is getting theirs….)
Again, I am NOT a patient person. I am a work in progress. Always learning. This will pass…. So, for now I am taking a leap toward patience and just breathing!