Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lady in Waiting

"There's an underestimated
and impatient little girl
raising her hand."
~Alanis Morissette, Wake Up

I had my least favorite kind of dream again last night. Those are the dreams in which I'm trying everything to make myself understood, and failing miserably. I hate those dreams. I can be so patient in any other way, except when I feel I'm being misread, or completely unread.

I haven't always been patient. I'm not always patient. I rarely feel patient on the inside, but I've learned - the hard way - that the universe does things in its own time, and no amount of dancing around and cursing will change that. Now, that doesn't mean I can't take progressive steps toward a positive end. It just means that getting frustrated doesn't help a bit. So, I try not to.

Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
~Guy Kawasaki

I try to learn from the events that lead me to impatience. I try to understand what it is that's making me feel so worked up and find ways around it - one can walk into a brick wall a thousand times with no effect other than getting bruised, but if one walks around the wall, or climbs over, there's no telling what treasure is on the other side.

As fast as time seems to fly, often it doesn't fly fast enough. I can't change the ticking of the clock; all I can change is my attitude toward it.

I'm impatient with myself, with my own failings, more than anything... with the things I want to change in me, with the wrong attitudes I perceive in myself, with the speed at which I learn new things. I try to cut myself slack - it's been pointed out that I seem to be human after all (damn the luck). But I can't help myself shouting internally, "Why do you have to be so Barb?!" That's the point when I try to put myself in someone else's shoes, try a different view point, or just throw myself into a completely different project.

Deep breathing helps me. Often, that's all that's required for me - a moment of taking in a gust of wind and reminding myself that it's all relative, or that whatever windmill it is I'm tilting at won't matter much in the long run.

Humor helps. It helps a lot. If I can warp a situation enough to laugh at it, I'm a-ok. I'm pretty good at doing that too, good enough that I'm usually not even conscious of doing it until someone points it out. My internal actress will go back to the Patrick Swayze line from To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar: "Oh, what fresh hell is this?!" And I have to laugh.

There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: impatience and laziness.
~Franz Kafka

It takes a lot of work to be patient. I want it all now, right now... all the knowledge, all the experience, all the love, all the solutions, all the answers. Ghandi said, "If you had it all, what would you do with it?" I don't know. I guess it's best to be patient, wait, and watch it all play out.

*deep breath*


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