In the Sunday paper I read there was actually a place where you could purchase patience, the ad said supplies were limited so I jumped in my car and sped on my way. Once I arrived at the store, the first clerk sent me to three different locations. After 20 frustrating minutes of searching I finally arrived at the correct counter and was told to take a number. I looked to see that there was no one else waiting, but I took a number only to read that I was number 783. Over the intercom I heard the lady announce, “now serving number four.” What??!! I looked around in total disbelief and forcefully marched myself to the counter and presented my number to the lady standing there. “Rose” was printed on the woman’s nametag; she was quite frail looking and moved towards me at the speed of a snail on Valium.
“Rose” I said, “since there is no one else here, can you just take my order so I can be on my way?” “I’m sorry” Rose said slowly, “we are on number four, you will just have to wait until I call your number.” After about ten minutes Rose came back over the intercom and announced; “now serving number five.” Even Forrest Gump could do the math and realize that it would be days before Rose would call my number. So after fuming another 20 minutes while Rose slowly made it to number six, I decided to head back home. I realized on the way home that patience isn’t something you can buy; it’s something you learn…
1. Slow down. I honestly don’t have the time to learn patience, but after a little research, the first thing I learned is that I need to take time. Slow down and stop trying to multitask. I need to learn to live in the moment. Instead of walking around with my head spinning with all the things I need to do, didn’t do and want to do, just stop. Now when I am at the grocery store and the line is longer than at the women’s restroom at a rock concert, I just take a moment, enjoy the magazines and catch up on Bruce Jenner’s life.
2. Give away the control. Just when I thought I had this patience thing down and I was feeling confident that I had it under control, two words came into play – traffic jam. Ok, so first I breathe… but I can feel my heart racing and a little trickle of sweat starts to form right above my lip line. WTF I yell out… woah. That is not being patient, I know I can’t do anything about this, and that is what is tough. I look around and I see other people in their cars shouting or banging on their steering wheels, not too pretty. But then I look up in the sky and up near the clouds I can almost make out the words, Surrender Dorothy. Stop fighting it and accept the situation. So, I take another breath, bring in re-enforcements – my audible app – and I listen to my book on tape while sitting at a dead stop in 5 o’clock traffic.
3. Meditate. I know, the first thing I thought of when I read about meditation was that I don’t have time and I could never get my brain to be quiet for more than a minute at a time. Meditation is just like anything else, you have to practice it to excel at it. Meditation has been proven to help with stress, and I know when I have less stress, I am more patient. Patience a skill you perfect. Patience is enjoying your music in the car even while the driver in front of is doing 10 mph under the speed limit, or reading the magazines in the check out line while the person ahead of you hands the cashier 60 different coupons. I know I’m not either person, and patience is not something you acquire over night, it’s a skill I continue to practice and continue to be tested on. But with a little a time, I think I just may get there.