I try hard to be patient.
Really. I do. I take deep breaths and count to ten and I’ve been known to even do it backwards (someone once told me that helped). But I’m not. It’s just not my nature. It always shocks me when someone tells me I’m patient, because I’m as impatient as they come. Seriously. Ask my mother about the time I learned to skate.
I defied my own impatience tonight when I realized exactly how ridiculous it was that I was holding my hair dryer in front of the canvas I’d been painting. I put the heat styling tool down and started to laugh. And then cry. And then that awful hybrid of laughing and crying where your face contorts and any beauty you have is totally hidden by your ugly-cry/laugh and you’re suddenly incredibly thankful that you’re totally alone.
I was in such a hurry to finish that painting that I couldn’t wait for the paint to dry.
But it got me thinking: what else am I rushing through? I was in such a hurry to get my career started that I missed more than half of my diploma program. I was in such a hurry to be a grown-up that I left my childhood behind. I drive so fast I miss the scenery, eat so quickly I miss the flavours and I sometimes fill my days with so much that I don’t even have a chance to enjoy them.
I’m racing my own life away.
I have no time for a learning curve. I expect myself to start out at expert-level in every skill I try my hand at. When I don’t, I tend to give up because it’s easier than taking the time to cultivate it. I half-ass things because I don’t have the time – read: patience – to do it to the best of my ability. (Unfortunately for my floors and luckily for everything else in my life this generally applies to cleaning more than anything else. Oh, and folding my clothes.)
I put F’s hat on his head and carry his stuff because it’s more time-efficient than letting him have that bit of independence that he so needs. I rush him through the moments that he’s savouring because I’m too busy racing towards the next moment instead of just letting it be.
Have you done it? What’s your secret? How do you become more patient? Can you recommend a quick fix (kidding… kind of)?
In the past month, a lot has changed for F and I and I’ve been rushing to fix it, scrambling to rebuild and replace and rewhatever I can. But why? He’s happy. I’m happy. Things are different but they’re good. Maybe I should just let them be good instead of stressing that they’re not perfect. Maybe I should be patient and let myself figure shit out.
Life takes time, and it takes it as quickly or as slowly as it so chooses. We can’t control even half of it. Why not enjoy it, learn from it?
I’m looking forward to the weekend. A long weekend. And I’m looking forward to taking off my watch, wiping my schedule clean and letting each moment linger or race as it will while I enjoy every. single. one.