It’s hard to believe that we have already arrived at P on the permission list. It’s another one of the big ones. and it took a conversation with a friend this morning to remind me of it. Up until that time, I was ready to give myself permission to be playful. It actually doesn’t take much to make me playful because I love a good laugh and a bit of innocent mischief. And there’s nothing like bonding over playful banter. True friends engage in banter, it’s the elixir of relationships. At least in my world.
But for the purposes of today’s post I’m going to focus on patience, because for most of us it’s harder to achieve than playfulness.
Before reaching this stage of life, I always thought that the older one became, the more impatient one got. In fact, I probably saw it as a benefit of older age, as a bi-product of the freedom of not having to impress. It’s amazing how one’s perspective changes as the reality of being of middle age sets in.
As a younger person, I never had any patience for patience – didn’t see the value or the need for it. I’m not talking about the patience needed for waiting for a bus or for a movie to open or a book to be released. Never having been one to stand there impatiently looking at my watch, I used that time to people watch or distract myself with other things. However, having made a decision, I used to go for it and go for it hard.
Now, not so much. Not because the hunger is any different, but now I see the value in picking my moment and scoping out the landscape.
This holds especially true for any area that involves relationships and friendships. Too often, we get blinded from the relentless pursuit of our own agenda and our own needs and fail to see that the other person is not quite on the same page. By pushing ahead with too much haste, we often burn our chance at the brass ring. And often we don’t get another shot, although we think we might.
It has been said that patience is the companion of wisdom. And I see that now. For it is hard to engage in patience or see the value of being patient without that hard fought wisdom. Over the past few years I’ve had many people come into my life to teach me the lesson of patience and frankly, my children have been trying to teach me the lesson over the past eighteen years. Quite honestly, there is no better teacher of patience than your own child or spouse. The lessons are never easy, but they are essential if we are to have the skills necessary to find happiness in the second act. For patience with ourselves is just as critical as patience with others and will become even more critical as time marches on.
We owe it to ourselves to give us the time and space we need to master new skills, obtain new outlooks and make the changes necessary to orient ourselves to a new direction. You cannot turn the Titanic around on a dime. And to turn the Titanic you will need patience and lots of it.
And people who are meant to come to you or back to you, will. As someone I know is fond of saying, what is meant for you will not pass you by – truly.
Is patience something you struggle with? What’s the best lesson in patience you have ever received?
Today I give myself permission to be patient