There are many virtues in life that we should try our best to develop. It’s not particularly hard to make a determined effort to be kinder in life. Nor is it difficult to be more positive in how you view things. You can learn a lot in life and make many changes to try and be a better person. However, there is one virtue that I have never possessed, and that I will never possess. I’ve tried and tried, but no matter what I do, then so far being patient has me totally stumped.
You would think it would be easy at my age. After all I am nearly fifty and I must have had my share of having to be patient over the years. Waiting for numerous birthdays, waiting for Father Christmas to come, waiting for Goose Fair, the Easter Bunny and Bonfire night. Waiting for ballet exam results, waiting for my O Level and A level results and waiting to find out if I had got into University. Waiting to see if I had been successful in job interviews and waiting to hear about promotions. All of these took time and I had no choice but to wait.
I must have been in hundreds of queues over the years. Queues for the doctor’s, the post office and the Halifax, where queuing has become almost an art form, judging by how long their queues are. Yet no matter how many times I am forced to wait for something, then I just struggle to wait. I’ve got a kindle and I always carry a book, but regardless of these, I just can’t be patient. I wish there were some magic wand to wave to make me suddenly be able to show patience, but there isn’t, and I have more chance of suddenly becoming a super model than I have of ever being patient.
You’d think that as I am a keen gardener then I would understand the importance of patience and how learning to wait for plants and seeds to grow, is one of the joys of gardening. But I even struggle with this. Most days, I’m outside checking how high my bulb shoots have grown and willing them to grow some more. It is true that I’ve got buckets of tolerance. Unlike some people, I try my best to understand different viewpoints and the different ways people choose to live their lives. I do not care what someone’s religion or sexual orientation is, as it does not concern me. So why when I consider myself to be relatively intelligent, do I find it so difficult to wait?
I’m currently waiting for something quite nice to happen to me. I have no idea when it will happen and whatever the outcome is, it will not cause me any major upset. Yet waiting is sending me loopy. I keep checking my phone and my emails just about every second but the more I wait, then the worse it becomes. I have even started to become superstitious about it. Perhaps if I look at Instagram too much then it won’t happen? Perhaps I need to start saluting the odd lone magpie? Perhaps I should avoid walking on the cracks between paving stones? It’s all getting a bit ridiculous really.
My husband is pretty much the opposite of me. Waiting never seems to bother him. No matter how long he sits somewhere waiting, then he is fine. He’s on level four thousand, two hundred and twenty of Candy Crush Saga, so perhaps that is the answer to my lack of patience – playing a mindless game? On Saturday we went to a local café for lunch. We ordered and then waited. As I waited, I started to notice that nearly everyone who had been served after us had received their food. I wanted to say something, but my husband kept telling me, as he tapped away lining up rows of sweets on his screen, ‘Just be patient. Our food will come.’ After nearly half an hour of waiting, I could take no more, so I asked the waitress. It turned out that they had lost our food ticket and hadn’t even started to cook it. Therefore, we left still hungry as we had another appointment to get to. Maybe I was right? Maybe you should not just have to sit and wait and perhaps sometimes it really is worth complaining when your patience runs out?
If you happen to have any suggestions as to how I can suddenly acquire a wealth of patience, then please do feel free to comment. I’ve tried everything: mindfulness, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, knitting, diversion tactics but nothing seems to help. Anyway, I’d better dash and check my emails – it’s already been thirty minutes since I last checked them, and you never know it might just be my lucky day …