C’est moi. I am the most patient person I know. Why do I think that, you ask. Well, since you are curious, I will tell you. Have I always been patient? Growing up, I had the capability to be patient, I don’t think that I had to make it a daily occurrence because growing up, I had really, only myself to think of and my chores to do. Life was mostly about school, part-time jobs, socializing and getting along with family and friends. I know that I did learn patience and waiting my turn during the summers in France, when we all shared on bathroom and the we, meant that there were at least ten of us.
I got married at 23 years old and had our son at 24 years old. That was when patience and a lot of it were required, was I always capable back then of expressing patience? I know that there were days when patience walked out of the apartment and stayed away for a few hours, luckily those days were fairly rare. I would be so tired and feel so alone that I would cry. Those days were mainly caused by sleep deprivation. My baby boy was a non-stop breast feeder, I didn’t sleep a solid nights sleep for at least 8 months. I was exhausted and stupid by the time he was nine months.
On a side note, I just came back from picking up my seventeen year old daughter from school this evening. I told her about today’s topic and asked her who she thought was the most patient person that she knew. She said “well, it certainly isn’t Papa, and it is definitely not you”. I said, calmly, “really, you don’t think that I am the most patient person” She said “what! you are not patient with me, Papa or Bob”. I said “well I started writing that I am the most patient person I know” and I left it at that. I didn’t get hurt or indignant. If the conversation had happened between my mother and myself, she would have said a few choice things to me, along the vein that she deserved a medal for putting up with me as a teenager. I let it go with my daughter, I don’t know what my son would say, I take that back, I do know because I called him for research purposes and he said that I am the most patient person he knows. Back to my daughter, I can let it go because she has the right to her opinion, and she is probably thinking of the times when I do get exasperated after asking her at least 4 or 5 times to do something and I get a retort instead.
Where was I? Oh, yes the early days of parenthood. Instead of giving you the step by step inaugural pathway to patience, I’ll give you my ideas of why it grew through the years. I think that I have become more patient because I don’t see or feel the need to have everything exactly the way I want it to be. I have gotten very accommodating over the years and it has been a blessing. When I find myself getting annoyed by something small, I try to step back and ask myself “is it really worth it?” More often than not, that question is quickly answered no and I can let whatever go. It is liberating and makes life easier.
I’ve noticed that patience sometimes has a negative connotation to it. The person who has it is considered either good and virtuous or put upon. However, that, in regards to human relationships, means that the other half of the relationship, the other person probably isn’t so very good, they might be a handful or high maintenance. When it comes to taking care of pets, than the person who is patient, is considered a good pet owner no matter how the pet behaves because pets are given more leeway than humans. The same can be determined for gardening, taking care of the home, cooking, many of these tasks require patience and time to be done correctly and that is easily seen as something to aspire to or at least admire.
It is when you throw people in the mix that feelings can get hurt. As in the example of my daughter, I could have lashed out because my feelings were hurt that she doesn’t think of me as a patient person. If I had, well maybe she would have been right. As I am still thinking if I have been a little impatient with her, it isn’t that I am losing my patience, I get nervous that she is not doing certain little things independently, such as making herself toast in the morning, or making herself lunch for school or getting herself something to eat after school. I do all these things for her but when I ask her if she can do it on occasion, she will start to complain and complain. So when I do lose my patience and I have explained it to my daughter, it is coming from a place of caring and worrying that I am not doing my job to make her as independent as she can be for a 17-year-old. There are times when that explanation isn’t good enough for my daughter and I try to be sensitive to her feelings and everything she is going through as a teenager.
So there you have it, at the very least after writing my thoughts on the subject, this topic will keep me and my patience in the forefront of my thoughts for the next few days.