I have spent a lot of time working on learning to be more patient.
This is a virtue that remains a challenge for me. Although I am not short-tempered and I have nothing but patience for someone who is kind and friendly, patience is simply not my strong suit. I tend to be the least patient with myself. Bordering on intolerant, and sometimes, just downright mean.
In my never-ending quest to evolve into a more patient being, I had a sign custom made for my office. It reads:
My husband chuckles every time he sees it. Whenever I am frustrated that one of my projects has taken a setback or things are moving too slowly, he says, “How’s that sign working out for you?”
I must admit, I want everything done yesterday. My hyper-vigilant tempo is somewhat incongruent to the Hawaiian lifestyle where people are inherently more mellow. There is even a bumper sticker that says, “Slow down. You’re not on the mainland.”
I have worked very hard to adapt to a slower lifestyle. I am committed to a new life that encompasses meditation, yoga, and daily exercise. I gave up caffeine. I watch my sugar intake. I am doing everything I can, short of elephant tranquilizers, to slow my roll.
I think I have made HUGE strides. I think I have evolved into a more relaxed, go-with-the-flow, Zen being. I have reminders all around my house to be what I aspire to be. I have Buddha statues at the front door and the back door. I have paperweights and rocks carved with inspirational words by my desk. Words like Breathe, Happiness and Peace.
Yet whenever I say to my husband, “I think I am a much mellower person than I was,” he lets out a notable chortle or guffaw. He humors me and says, “I think you are working on it for sure, but I am not sure a tiger can change its stripes.” Thanks, Honey!
But, he may have a point. A few nights ago, I went to close our gate at the end of our driveway. The gate is electric and is remotely connected to our landline for opening and closing. For two years, I have closed the gate every night, but always complain that I have to punch in the code TWICE or the gate doesn’t close. My husband claims he has never had to punch in the code twice. It always works the first time.
So I decided to watch him do it. He punched in the code and walked away. I looked out the window to see if the gate was closing… and it didn’t! “Aha!” I said, calling him back. “It doesn’t work the first time!” But by the time he came back, the gate had closed.
Are you telling me that I have been punching in the code twice every single day for two years because it simply takes a minute or so for the signal to go through? Have I been pressing it twice because I am too impatient to wait for it to close? Am I that person who presses the “Walk” button on a crosswalk multiple times? Not because it makes the light change faster, but because it just gives you something to do... while satisfying a neurotic need to do something while waiting?
Now, in my own defense, there is another plausible explanation for this gate mystery. Perhaps I have been pressing the sequence of numbers too fast and it was preventing the gate from closing?
Of course, that only means if I had been patient and slowed down, the gate would have closed the first time anyway.
So, despite my yoga practice, my meditation practice, the sign in my office, the Buddhas, the inspirational words carved on rocks, I still have to be more patient about becoming... patient.
P.S. I am going to be giving myself a little self-imposed hiatus from my blog. I am not sure how long my hiatus will be. Maybe a week. Maybe a month. So be patient with me. If you want more 52-Mondays, don't forget you can always start at the beginning and read it forward. It starts back in January 2016... so there are about 150 posts to keep you busy. Wishing you all Happy Mondays!