Patience is a virtue, and it’s definitely not my strongest. I’ve learned some tricks along the way though, that help me survive in a world where nothing happens fast enough.
With my children I’ve learned to take a deep breath when I’m getting frustrated. I’m not the best person at keeping my temper, but I’ve discovered that when I get revved up, they get even more revved up. So I take a deep breath, and talk low and slow (kind of like John Wayne). Then they have to be quiet to hear me, and any threats are taken a little more seriously.
When I’m waiting in line for something and the person in front of me is taking for-ev-er to finish their business, and there’s absolutely no way to get in a different line or come back later, I’ve reminded myself that it can’t literally be forever. Eventually, at some point in time, the elderly lady in front of me will finish counting her change to pay the cashier. It won’t even be an hour, but probably no more than five minutes. What’s five minutes?
Sometimes I have to occupy myself, not unlike a young child. I try to equip myself with reading material if I can anticipate the wait. Sometimes I have to improvise. I know all about polarized sunglasses from my last visit to the eye doctor’s office. I try to refrain from sliding down the banister at the dentist’s office, though.
Something that takes a little more discipline is actually allowing enough time to get from point A to point B without feeling rushed or hurried. Then, I’m less likely to let that blind, super-slow person who pulls out in front of me when I’m the last car to reach the intersection get on my nerves. The next person to do that on the same trip may not get the same consideration, however.
I’ve heard you should never pray for patience, because you’ll be guaranteed to need it. I am convinced that I already have plenty of things in my life to keep my patience muscles in very good condition.