Everyone knows that patience is your friend. A mother who shows patience and compassion to her toddler is my hero. One who makes that patience look easy is a super hero. As any parent will tell you raising children will test all your mettle.
Why can’t Jr. understand when you say, “No, that’s not good for you.” “Don’t do that Jr.” “Come here, please.” Jr. takes one look in your direction and some little seed of rebellion, a test of wills takes hold.
I think it’s the human spirit, our God given gift of choice. Our maker had a sense of humor and keen sense of justice when he allowed us to procreate.
The excitement in our young charges to test the boundaries of their world turns a switch from our common sense into the fight or flight battle. Those who can hang onto the thread of common sense and understand the game Jr. plays win the day. Jr. understands authority and justice, Mom is happy and relieved she diverted yet another battle, life is good.
Why is it then when we step away from all the good books on parenting and life that we lose patience for other things? We revert to our own Jr. days, rebelling and testing.
Let’s look at some examples. Come on, you’ve been there. You’re a high school student and all your friends have a significant other. You’re best friend is full of excitement preparing for the sweetheart dance and you want to be supportive, yet the monster of jealousy raises its ugly head.
You’ve been asked to stand up as the maid of honor in your best friend’s wedding, yet, it’s been months since you’ve even had a first date. Why is life so cruel? You doubt your own worth, since obviously no one will have you?
Have you lost all patience for the satisfaction of a bit of excitement?
Yeah, I know we’ve all been there. My own shining knight didn’t arrive until I was 30. So I know of what I speak.
Other things we lose patience over are career advancement, getting the right job, even starting a family. I could go on and on.
A friend recently assumed that the Captain and I must be easy going with the need for flexibility in our sailing lives. It took me by surprise, as neither of us can be described as “laid back”. The comment got me to thinking though. How do we survive in this life of excitement with a need for so much patience?
The answer is we’re evolving. I’m not sure we’ll ever become easy going, but the need to move on from port to port has to be weighed by both patience and excitement.
We’re sitting in a harbor right now and there have to be 30 boats waiting to make the jump to the next port of call, one of the last more difficult jumps to paradise. The weather window just hasn’t been kind for an easy sail east. Wind is large and on the nose. Seas are high and will stop you in your tracks and the space between snug harbors are far and wide.
We watch our friends make the choice to go. Are they making the right choice? Should we have followed? Our common sense tells us to wait. But do we ever know we’ve made the right choice?
Are we giving up the excitement of moving on for the conservative approach to waiting? I’ll let you know if our decision is the right one. But our friends have also made the right choice, I’m sure. It’s just not the right choice for us. Besides, if we let ourselves, we can also find a playground right where we are. We better not let this chance pass us by, while we wait for our Prince Charmings to arrive.
Looking back, when have you given up the immediate excitement for patience? Have you regretted your decision? Have you been glad patience has won the day?