There’s nothing like a runaway schedule to teach me patience. I realize this on days when I try to cram 30 hours into 24. Being a graduate student, that’s pretty typical. I’m finding myself in more situations where I tend to “loose my cool”, and take my impatient behavior out on everyone else when I’m generally a pretty happy, calm person. Like the other day when I ran to the store during work and I only had enough time to run in there, get what I needed, and run out. Instead of this working out MY way, I get to the checkout lines, and (of course) there is only one is open. Here I am, stuck. Stuck behind a lady with about 150 things in her shopping cart...and me, with one thing. I have an appreciation for coupons, but not when it’s clogging up the line. Finally, the person at the cash register gets to the end of the lady’s load.. Oh, but don’t forget, the lady wants to write a check. She spends a ridiculous amount of time digging around in her purse for her checkbook (which should have been done WHILE her items were getting scanned...), and then has to find her glasses and then it’s one thing after another. Before I know it, I’m standing in line for an additional 10 minutes, crossing my arms, sighing as loud as I can, tapping my foot, checking the time every 5 seconds or so... and thinking of all the possible tortures this lady deserves. Realizing I just wasted 20 minutes of my valuable time, now I’m angry, infuriated and late...which I hate most of all.
Most patient people in the world would have probably lost their mellon’s too in a situation like this one. However, I do not have to loose my “mellon”..and that is exactly what I need to work on. There are many more situations in every day life that require a huge amount of patience, and my own patience (lately) has been very well tested.
Recently, starting my internship (as you probably read about it my previous blogs), I’ve realized that it requires a profound amount of patience. Besides my internship, I juggle along: school, a full-time job... and an enormous amount of traveling. Working with kids has truly tested my abilities, remind you--these are kids that are struggling through significant issues in their lives. Myself, being a fast paced person...is constantly reminded by my clients that I’m doing things too fast. Not by telling me verbally, but by the way they act and react. There is always something or someone that tends to stop me in my tracks, and if I think of something that is going to happen, it happens. Never fails. However, I am very grateful (reminding myself) of everything that is happening so far during my internship because it is teaching me the most important skill of all - patience.
There are more reasons why I need patience. Of course I can’t get mad in situations with my internship, that wouldn’t make me a very good therapist now, would it? I’m also trying to remind myself that I want to make the most out of my life and not spend majority of my time being frustrated and angry because I ran out of patience with things I simply can’t control. Patience is a skill that will eventually pay off, it will lead me to being more balanced, and more happy in my life. I am constantly telling myself to slow down in my “fast-paced” life style, time is one of my most valuable resources. Before I can climb to the top, there’s a couple things that I have to face/learn.
1.) What makes me “loose” my patience? Hmmm..well this could be embarrassing to face the facts, but it won’t kill me. I absolutely can not stand issues like the grocery store incident. Or when people are driving slow in the “fast” lane. I hate having to re-explain myself 793594752830428 times, especially when the person is clearly not listening. I get impatient with people who are messy, or not organized. I even get impatient with people who have bad eating habits..(terrible, I know). I could clearly go on and on about things that make me loose my patience.
2.) I need to become more aware. If I become more aware of the moments and events in my life, then I will have a better appreciation for these things. I am impatient because I am always thinking about the future and planning what I am going to do next, rather than sitting here and living in the present. Life is precious, I cannot waste it getting mad over the little things that are out of my control.
3.) Test my patience. I could probably start to do things I wouldn’t normally do... like sitting still for 10 minutes. I have a really hard time not doing something every second of the day. This will be a huge test for me because I am already aware I will become impatient after one minute of not doing anything.
4.) I need to slooooooooow the eff down. I have a very busy, very fast-paced life, and I get very impatient when others are not moving my speed. I need to take the time to relax and spend time not being so fast, so I can have more control over my situation.
5.) Just Breathe. There is nothing more powerful than taking a deep breath and counting to 10, or even 100.. (1000 is probably more recommended for myself right now). This is where I literally need to think of my happy place, like standing someplace I’d rather be. In fact, I could even meditate and practice my own self-awareness.
I’ll have to keep you posted on how well I’m practicing my patience. I realize that this is something I need to do with my career of choice and lifestyle. Maybe it will help you with your own self awareness and patience.