Learning to Be Patient
When I was a kid, I had a hard time waiting for things. I hated waiting for Christmas so I would do a countdown until it came. And then when it came time for Christmas, I never took the slow and steady approach to unwrapping presents. I'd rip the paper to see what I got. But after that initial euphoria with what I received, I went back to the jumpy kid I was.
As I got older, I was more and more inclined to wait for what was coming to me. I realized that good grades and good friends came with the right approach instead of the instant approach. While I still have my moments of dogged impatience, I feel like my growth into a patient person has helped me live a more fulfilling life.
Of course there are moments where we can't wait and have to do something then and there but some things in life are not necessarily about the ends but the means. I would argue to say the best things come with time and effort instead of jumpy anxiety and halfheartedness.
Driving Yourself Crazy!
I waited a long time to drive. That decision was based on alot of personal reasons as well as just not feeling ready. However, when I was ready I was completely focused on the task at hand. For the most part, I am a calm and collected driver. Freaking out on the road is the easiest way to cause accidents. However, it never ceases to amaze me how many impatient people surround me on the road.
I feel like that as much as driving is a privilege, it is also a responsibility. Not only that but you literally take your life in your own hands when you get on the road. I believe there are many people who see driving this way but there are people who treat highways like speedways and these people have a huge case of Road Rage.
To me Road Rage, is just a simple way of saying the person is impatient to the point it's affected their driving behavior negatively. For instance, if you are about to turn but do not do it quickly enough to the person behind you, they beep the horn and then haphazardly go around you as if they are the EMS. Is this smart? No. Is it safe? No. But do people do it? Yes.
Another problem fueling Road Rage is the barrage of distractions people are surrounded by such as iPhones, Bluetooth, and so on. I understand people want to stay in contact with others, but when you drive that should be your focus. Just because someone wants to hear what you are doing does not mean you should put that above being a good driver.
Something else that bugs me about Road Rage is that it is almost like the Insanity Defense in court. While there are people who genuinely cannot differentiate right and wrong, smart and dumb or apples and oranges there are so many more who just use it as leverage to get out of taking personal responsibility. If you are short tempered take some steps to calm down so you can be a better driver.
I find one way that I keep calm driving is to listen to music, I start singing along to the radio and I forget the stress that driving brings on. Obviously this does not work for everyone but it is a simple step in the right direction in order to be a driver who is focused.
Another thing I think that should be done is that there should be driving classes for overly aggressive drivers. This could include yoga breathing techniques, problem solving exercises, and coping skills in order to help people feel more comfortable driving.
I like a great meal, what can I say, I am a dyed in the wool foodie. But I also know that a truly great meal usually takes the appropriate amount of time to prepare and execute in order to ensure a truly enjoyable experience. Don't get me wrong, I do love fast food at times but one thing that fast food has removed us from is the experience of eating as a pleasure instead of a need or craving needing to be met.
The best meals I have had took time to come together. And I always could tell that the cook was heavily devoted to putting their best effort forward. I think that is what we need to come back to now especially with the obesity crisis at hand.
Cooking does not have to be a chore and eating does not have to be done in your car, desk, or couch during a commercial break.
When I was in college, as much as I wanted to think otherwise, I really missed my mom's cooking. She at least took the time to try and give us something healthy and nourishing. The dining hall was all about putting rumps in seats with quick food. I was not used to this. I spent all of my formative years taking my lunch to school in fear of what the cafeteria served.
Fortunately, I did have the occasional culinary delight to tide me over but going into my senior year I took charge of my palette by immersing myself in the kitchen. I started playing with food in ways that appealed to my roommates at the time but I also realized that food means more when you think through what you make more than trying to get something hot on the table quick.
One of my favorite parts of the day is eating dinner. I can unwind from whatever lingered through the day and sit back. It's not always easy but it is possible. I think one thing that is helping people appreciate food are cooking shows. And not just ones that engage in food porn but ones that give people useful skills. Rachel Ray is showing families how to prepare an entire week's worth of meals in a day. And Sandra Lee is helping families save money.
I have had a lot of interesting experiences dealing with others since I was a kid. In that time I have learned two crucial things about relationships, you cannot force them and you certainly cannot rush them. That being said all relationships are not the same nor are they equal. We have all heard stories of long married couples tying the knot after two weeks of courtship. And on the flip side we have heard of couples splitting up quickly after a long relationship. This does not only bode for relationships in a romantic sense but also friendships and family relations.
Growing up in the era of Disney Princesses, among other things did some damage to some generations of young women. The ideal of a fairytale courtship and marriage has long became the standard. And as we have grown up the fairytale has extended itself to the unjust land of reality television with shows such as The Bachelor offering new standards of romance.
I hate to say it but there's a reason these things do not work. For one, The Bachelor is scripted and edited to look like reality. In actuality these people do not know each other that well and the dramatization of the relationship is just that.
Pointing the finger at shows like this is easy but in actuality, it plays into the impatient nature of our society and romance. Women especially are sucked into this trap because of the exaggeration of the biological clock which inevitably leads to the idea that women should be married off to reproduce.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a family but subjecting yourself to a relationship only for the sake of being in one leads to bad consequences.
I have witnessed this far too many times. And it happens in families too. Relatives often want an idealized version of a relationship between like family members and in turn force bad interactions.
For example, if two siblings grew up thick as thieves but suddenly grew apart after leaving for college, parents may try to encourage a relationship. However, this is bad. Not that encouraging a friendly interaction is wrong but sometimes two people are only close for a short period or defined period of time in their lives. If anything, it just goes to show relationships change as we change.
Once again we should never stop discouraging people from pursuing genuine interactions with others but there are times in life when you have to realize the best relationships are the ones you find yourself in, not the ones you put yourself in.
My current job involves being very patient. A good part of my day is spent on the telephone talking to doctors' offices. Anyone who has worked in public service knows that dealing with the public or other organizations and businesses is something that does not happen instantaneously.
I can hold on the phone simply because I know I am working on behalf of people who are in need. When I think of that, anything about myself or my own patience goes out the window. Not only do I apply this to my job but also as a consumer.
I have no problem holding on the phone with the phone, internet, or cable company-which is probably why I always end up calling on behalf of my house for any problems. I figure, time might be precious but it's not so precious that you have to forget that you were a human (hopefully) raised by other humans.
The same can be said in the grocery store or in department stores. I usually wait for someone to move before I actually ask to go by, this is especially pertinent to families with small children and the elderly. If anything, I think of myself in their position and try to be as kind as possible.
Is it easy? Of course not, but what in life is actually easy? Think of it this way, being nice to someone can make their day or change it. A smile, a nice gesture such as letting the elderly go ahead of you in line can help them forget their problems. I am not saying you have to become a martyr, but just changing your outlook might help your issues with patience.
As our world becomes faster and more instantly gratifying- we still have to remember that good things can come to those who wait.