The Importance of Patience
You know that saying, “Good things come to those who wait”?
Of course you do. Everyone knows that saying. I know that saying, and yet… I’ve never been very good at that. The waiting, I mean. I’m not impatient in my daily life – like, I don’t throw a fit when I have to stand in a line or wait for a table or even be put on hold. I’m not a huge fan of any of those circumstances, of course, but they don’t particularly bother me. What doesparticularly bother me is when I am forced by the universe to be patient in a long-term sense.
When I decide on a goal, whether it be in relation to my career or relationships or any other major part of my life, I want and expect that goal to be met right away. But of course, life doesn’t work that way – and, as we all know, the best and most joyous and most satisfying moments often come when we reach a point that we have been waiting for (and trying for, and working for) quite some time for.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling especially impatient. I’m not sure what, exactly, has brought this new sense of urgency; it might have something to do with the fact that, in the midst of an especially hectic wedding season, I find myself faced with a number of pretty significant reunions – and while I know that the people that I am seeing already know and love me, I can’t help but irrationally want to impress them. And even though I know that I shouldn’t, I compare myself to my oldest and closest friends. And when I feel that I somehow don’t measure up in a particular area, I feel impatient with my perceived (even if it’s only by me) level of progress.
This recent bout of impatience has caused me to take a few steps down a path that I’m not even 100% sure that I want to be on right now. I mean, I think that I want it – but the truth is, I haven’t really given myself adequate time to think or reflect or feel. Like the involuntary jerk that happens when we accidentally touch something hot or sharp, I have been responding to my impatience without pause.
I know from personal experience how harmful acting out of impatience can be, and I’m trying to now take a step back. I’m trying to now give myself (make myself) some time to really understand what and why I’m feeling. I don’t want to live my life as a series of knee-jerk responses. I want to set goals and do what it takes to reach them – even if “what it takes” involves some (or even a lot of) waiting. I want to have the things in life that are worth waiting for – and therein lies the importance of patience.