Bwahahaha... notice I didn't write "practice" first, as in "practice patience"? Of course, I need to practice patience, but I couldn't bring myself to write it so blatantly!
They do go hand in hand, don't they?
Ponder that for a pretty minute.
Actually, I have been practicing patience for a few years now, and some progress has been made. I can sit in traffic without losing my mind, although if I happen to need to pee, all bets are off! I can wait for that honkin' huge John Deere to turn off the road, instead of zooming around it and praying nothing is coming from the other direction. I can use an electric stove, in spite of my love of gas stove flame control. I can repeat "we don't play in the bathroom sink, we just wash our hands" every single day of the pre-K school year. I can wait in line while the ice cream is melting and a coupon fanatic searches for the last 49 coupons she intended to use this trip, although I will admit to sometimes choosing to leave my cart and walk out if the wait becomes overly long and groceries aren't involved. I can cook pancakes and bacon, and *that* is saying a lot about patience for me. I can play an entire game of Yahtzee, even if I'm not winning and have to cross out a square on the score card.
All of that should count for something, but it barely touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to patience. Practice, practice, practice, that's what I have to keep doing! For instance, I can deal with strangers, but put my children into the mix and my impatience meter can be pegged in about 3 seconds. By the way, Mother and Pop, thank you for all you have ever done for me! Practice, practice, practice, that's what I need to teach them by example, instead of putting down the pencil and grumbling when I can't draw what I want. Oh, wait, I was talking about practicing patience, and then I veered into plain old "practice makes perfect" territory. They really do go hand in hand, though, don't they?
It probably ought to be changed from "practice makes perfect" to "practice makes the idea of attainable perfection in this lifetime slightly more probable, instead of impossible," though, don't you think? Perfection is overrated in my book, but striving toward it can never be overrated, if that makes sense.
Back to patience. Let's talk about practicing until I can exhibit it in the most tedious and/or infuriating situations. Once again, practice doesn't necessarily beget perfection, but it's a good goal :) So, here's a short list for me. Feel free to add your patience goals to the list!
* One of these days, I will play an entire game of Monopoly.
*Okay, now that we have the impossible out of the way, let's talk reality. One of these days, I will be able to drive from the house to any destination without being aggravated that I have to say, "Please, keep your hands to yourselves, and stop screaming so loudly." Heh. Heh. Heheeee...wheeee, I crack myself up sometimes!
*Seriously, I am a quiet person, and my daughter is not. I am working on not stifling her when I'm in a quiet mood and she is not. I'm often a grouch, and it's fair to not be such a grouch all the time. I'm working on it. Reminding myself here is just that, another reminder.
* One of these days, I will complete an entire art project before I drag out the materials for the next project. I can finish a project, but I need to keep practicing so I can lower that ratio of unfinished projects to finished projects on my table.
*Speaking of my children, one of these days when my son loses his baseball (or sunglasses, or incredibly small lego piece, or his homework, or whatever the crisis of the moment is), I will not help him look for it. Yep, I will calmly wait until the "emergency" has passed.
*One of these days, I will be able to listen to my husband's opinionated opinions (which you can surmise are often different from my own; "opinionated" is the dead giveaway there) without feeling the need to argue the other side of the story. Okay, so maybe that one is a stretch, but it would surely be good for both of us if one of us could do it at least 50% of the time!
*One of these days, I will inspire someone else to be patient in a patience-testing moment, no matter how small and insignificant it might be in the big scheme of things.
*One of these days, one of these days... one of these days, I'll spend a greater portion of my day living in the "now" and soaking up the good that patience allows us to see :)