If you know me, you probably know that I have what might be called the opposite of a green thumb. Patterns in leaves speak to me, but the actual growing of leaves leaves me dumb. Delicate colors in blossoms catch my eye, but the actual taking care of those blossoming plants seems to elude my vision. Growth and renewal are fodder for my thoughts, but the actual providing of fertilizer for growing plants escapes my mind.
Given that I know me fairly well after 44 years, I was not surprised to find that the peas I planted on St. Patrick's Day had not sprouted. I checked after a day, not because I expected them to be up, but because I thought it was the right thing to do. No peas. I checked after two or three days, expecting to maybe see a tiny tip of green breaking the surface. No peas. I checked after one week, checked after two weeks, and then again a day later. No peas, no peas, and no peas.
After a long weekend (well, not long enough, but it was a five day "spring break"), I decided to check those pots and figure out what to plant in them that wouldn't need constant watering. Obviously, as my mother had pointed out, the soil in a container dries out very quickly. Plants in containers need watering fairly often, which is to say they need watering more often than I remember to water them.
Obviously, no one told the peas they needed watering, because here they are! Obviously, no one told the peas that I was expecting them to arrive much sooner than they did. Obviously, I need to do a little more meditating on letting things happen in their own sweet time!
How do you teach yourself patience? It seems to be a lifelong lesson for me. I can look back over the decades and see the progression of this trait. In fact, I see it in terms of decades. The single digits and teens don't really count. I was impatient then, but who isn't? In my twenties, I really didn't put a name to my impatience. I remember wishing for things to hurry up and happen when I wanted them to happen, but I don't think it ever crossed my mind that I was being impatient. In my thirties, I started to realize how impatient I can be at times, but this fleeting recognition was followed by immediate distraction. . . why would you want to draw attention to your own shortcomings and then have to face them?
The funny thing about my forties is that impatience is just another state of being, one I can observe in myself, one I can try to change gradually. Heehee, it's tough, being impatient with yourself for not being able to give up being impatient! My husband, the one who never met a glass that wasn't half empty, insists that he and I are waaaaay past middle age, so you'd think the reality of aging would make me even more impatient to fix my faults while there's still time. Nope. It's taken me forty-some years to "get" that most things don't happen overnight. Changing yourself is bound to be a gradual process, a slow walk through the sticky but sweet molasses of self-realization. It's not terrible, and can be very tasty. . . but it takes time. There's no point in rushing, no point in stressing.
So, give peas (and self-realization) a chance.