Here’s a riddle: What is something everyone needs, but no one wants?
Give up? The answer is patience.
|Image by Naypong/freedigitalphotos.net|
If you’ve ever driven in the bay area, or worse, the LA area during traffic, you would agree that everyone on the road could use a little more patience. But patience is often times the very thing that we don’t want as we squeeze our car in and out of lanes and scream our frustrations out. And why is that? Because, simply put, being patient means having to wait and waiting is NOT FUN.
Just the other day, E asked me in a hopeful, yet impatient tone, “How many more days until my birthday?”
I smiled and sighed. “One day less than what I told you yesterday!”
It seems we are constantly waiting for something, even from the time when we are young. Sometimes it’s for a birthday (which for kids equals presents, not wrinkles), other times it’s to graduate, get a job or to find a spouse or have a child. I’ve experienced all these transitions and believe me, I didn’t enjoy having to wait for any of them, but I understand better now why it was good for me to wait.
As a parent, I totally agree with the idea of delayed gratification. If kids didn’t learn how to wait, they would never survive in life. Expecting to have something given to you whenever you want it just isn’t realistic. Sorry kiddos, but the world doesn’t revolve around you! But learning how to be patient and to wait will get you far in life. Waiting teaches you self-control, perseverance and eventually contentment, regardless of your circumstances. Waiting is about building character. Sounds sublime, doesn’t it? 🙂 Sublime, yes. Simple, no.
I still find myself struggling with this (even with all the practice I’ve had, haha!). I’ve recently entered the world of freelance writing and although it has been fun learning and practicing the art of writing, it has been a total lesson in patience. Many places that I’ve submitted my work to may not reply to me for 3-6 months, if at all. It is such a waiting game just to see if anyone will publish my work. Boy, do I hate waiting. And boy, do I really want to be published!
Through it all, I am learning to enjoy the process and not only focus on the goal. I try to improve by reading other people’s work and continuing to write even when I don’t see results. I remind myself that I write to share what I’ve learned in hopes of helping someone else. And I write because I love the beauty of the written word.
So, here’s a toast to patience and all the good that waiting brings, whether we like it or not. 🙂
Here’s a song by a very young lad (he looks like a baby!), Greyson Chance called “Waiting Outside the Lines“. It’s about taking chances and living outside the box, very good things for a square gal like me!