Patience …?

HHMMPH! DWELLING ON THINGS you have no control over is terribly counterproductive. My Friday visit to the ER a couple weeks ago left me with tons of questions, some of which are being sorted out with a scheduled test and upcoming appointments. But I’m finding myself very impatient, wanting answers NOW. Ugh. Yes, I AM part of the “now” generation. I’ve tried very hard to shed that “layer” but it rears its ugly head now and again. Especially when I am frustrated.

I even had another visit to the ER a week later. A different “problem”, or so I thought. Turns out, probably the same issue: my spine is finally protesting all of the abuse I’ve given it over the years. The frustrating thing is, many of the symptoms are so close to what one would experience with a heart attack or stroke—so it’s not like I can simply brush it off and just get on with my life. It requires a trip to the ER (well, I’m getting a stress test to see if I really need to do that every time symptoms pop up—like I had on my last two visits).

It really is a nuisance. In the meantime, my neurologist has me doing physical therapy to help with the pressure on my spinal cord and he has me on a lifting restriction (no more than twenty pounds). Ugh. That certainly puts a crimp in my working around the yard. Well, I keep saying I need to hire a gardener … I do believe it’s time to make good on that “threat”. A housekeeper may be a wee bit more tricky since they want to come in and do a deep cleaning before they do routine weekly stuff. I’m going to need to have a little chat about tossing that requirement out the window from the get-go … (giggle) we’ll see how that flies.

With all my doctor visits and PT, I almost forgot to finish up this blog (oopsie). Matter of fact, I seem to be more forgetful (if that’s possible) of late—I forgot to take all of my usual meds yesterday. I think that’s a first. But, thankfully, even if the PT will be continuing, my doctor visits are slowing down and I can get back to living normally. Well, as normally as as one can expect for me.

In the meantime, I think it’s time I hone my “patience” skills (insert eye roll here). And, I need not forget who is truly in charge. I need to remember to “give it to God” …

Summer is just around the corner and this week looks like it’s going to be quite warm. May this weekend and the upcoming week be a blessing to you all.

 

Patience, Please …

WAITING. I’VE NEVER BEEN good at that, even though (until recently) I’ve thought myself to be a pretty darn laid back, relaxed person. Patience is one of the Fruit of the Spirit. As my daughter went through all her various growing phases, patience reined (well, mostly). Thank God for the abundance of patience given to me to get through those times. I think I’ve mentioned her lolly-gagging through meals … and our desires for her to hurry-up, right? And her response back to us? “I’m savouring it, Mom … I’m savouring it!” Lesson learned (at least for awhile …)—from a five year old.

But lately, my patience seems to have grown thin … even a wee bit moth eaten, with holes everywhere, allowing my impatience to flow through. Waiting on my slow internet connection … pages open so painfully slow.

Sitting, waiting in a doctor’s office. Waiting for my car to get fixed. Waiting. Waiting for doctor’s offices to return calls … or get authorisation to set up procedures. Life is definitely a waiting game, that’s for sure. It’s what you do with that waiting, right?

I’m not sure why I’m becoming so impatient. Impatience, coupled with frustration, may be my downfall. Doctors have become so specialised, so narrow-minded in their scope of care. I know the insurance industry has a lot to do with it. Sitting, waiting for my eye doctor’s staff to call me in, I’ve been ruminating on the fact that they (at least this office) will no longer do an eye exam (for glasses) in conjunction with an exam to check for eye disease. Apparently it’s not allowed (so they say) by insurance. I have to make two separate appointments. Or be thinking ahead enough to schedule the two together. That may be the reason I left them five years ago. Hmm. The doc I was going to in the interim uses numbing eye drops—which I seem to react badly to—to do the pressure test (to check for glacoma). At this office, they use a machine that puffs air on the eye, so the numbing meds aren’t necessary. The dilation medicine does sting a bit, but that’s no big deal.

… And then there are the patients that should be in hospital for just a wee bit longer. I’ve heard horror stories of patients having out-patient surgeries (like a hysterectomy)—that used to be done in-patient—and released after an overnight stay … where it used to be a minimum of three to five days. Insurance companies, not doctors, rule the roost these days. And we all must wait for them. Sigh.

It’s been well over a week and I have yet to hear back about a procedure that used to only take a day or two to get authorised and scheduled. Another procedure, I’ve been waiting for three days. It’s all about hurry up and wait. And I guess I’m just tired of waiting. I’m an action kinda gal. A get-it-done kinda gal. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m an oh-my-gosh-…-hurry-up-so-can-get-it-on-my-calendar-already kinda gal. So all of this waiting is driving me up a wall. To say the very least.

All of that said, I find that trying to rush, scurry and push things into happening usually causes more stress than necessary, so I’m trying to breathe … breathe slowly, smile and enjoy the quiet time forced on me as I wait. Key word is “trying” … My daughter’s concept of savouring—savouring time is a sound one … and one I should fully embrace. I’m trying. I believe in enjoying life, honest. It’s just that there are bouts of impatience that get the better of me …

Breathe … stop and smell the roses … chill … relax. Yup. I definitely need to slow down (as I keep glancing at the clock—I don’t want to be late for a doctor’s appointment!).

Have a blessed day and weekend, folks! Until next Friday … peace be with you!

All In Good Time … Patience

WAITING. PATIENCE. QUEUES. How are you at waiting? I think, once upon a time, I had an over abundance of patience—kinda necessary when raising a child (or working with children), both of which I’ve done. Friends would say I had “the patience of Job”—took me awhile to realize what they were saying. What a complement. But … I think, when my daughter reached fifth grade and I was a co-coach (for the fourth consecutive year) to seven kids on an Odyssey of the Mind team … with all their new-found hormone-spewing emotions, something happened to that unending supply … it kinda got up and went. Escaped, really. Fled, screaming and yelling into the night. I loved each and every one of them—we’d become a close knit family—but I swore never to coach again. Never.

After that, well … I had a “normal” level of patience (what is “normal” anyway??). It would ebb and flow depending on the situation. As I grew older and wiser (insert sniggering grin), patience was easier to muster. It was almost like the “old” me had regained some of that youthful reserve. There are still times where I find myself pushing when I could be chillin’, but not as bad … definitely.

Waiting in lines? I actually have found it fun. I use the time to people watch. Watch their impatience or passivity—how they handle waiting. I decided to look up some quotes about patience and this one by Joyce Meyer fits in here perfectly: “Patience is not simply the ability to wait—it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” Perhaps they need to be somewhere five minutes ago (oh, I do remember that)—getting agitated, trying to make things go faster, complaining, maybe even making nasty comments. Sometimes it can be quite comical (not their intention, but that’s how I see it that way) and I need to squelch a giggle or smile.

Watching people, like I said … but also interacting with them. I’ve found striking up conversations while in line helps pass the time, too. Once, while “suffering” through the summer heat and l-o-n-g lines at Disneyland, I pulled out a bag of freshly washed string beans and we three (father, very young daughter and yours truly) started munching. Cool, sweet and perfectly healthy. People in line would stare and then comment on how smart it was to bring such an easy and nutritious snack (and wishing they’d thought of it). Then the conversations began. Time flew. Stress flew out the window. Perfect.

Other times, as I stood in the grocery store lines, with my daughter in tow, I’d strike up conversations with people. My daughter used to look horrified as I talked with complete strangers (after all, hadn’t I taught her not to talk with strangers?)—only to find out the horror was not caused by that, but the fact that is was so easy for me to chat with a complete stranger. She finally asked: “How did you do it?” Hmmm. I honestly couldn’t tell her—at least not at the time. I know now. Having faith and simply allowing it to happen. Make the first move, say hi or simply make a positive comment about something happening while we are waiting or compliment/comment about something they are wearing or purchasing (“oh … my, that cake looks yummy!”). It’s easy. Doesn’t require any thought, really. Then let nature take its course. It may stop right there, or in may evolve into a complex discussion about something totally unrelated. I love it (insert grin).

As a writer, photographer and artist, I have found that patience is, indeed, a virtue. I’m not as too good at being patient whilst waiting for the “right” shot—many times I give up just before the optimal opportunity arises—and kick myself in the rear for not waiting just a wee bit longer, missing an extraordinary shot or two. I have garnered an abundance as a writer, but it has been a long, painful haul. One does not rush writing or art—and obviously, taking pictures if you want to catch the “perfect” shot. But, especially with writing and art, when it happens, it happens. It is so obvious—at least to me—when things get rushed. This is why, even though I’m way past my self-imposed deadline for my book, I am not rushing. I want to get it right. I want it to be the best it can be.

Patience?

Definitely a virtue and one to hold close as we navigate through this life.

I’ll leave you with some little gems I gleaned from my search on patience. Have a blessed day, filled with love and patience for your fellow man and in all the things you run up against, both big and small.

  • Patience is a virtue: “Only Patience has the strength needed by all the others (virtues), from Psychomachia (Battle of spirits) by the Late Antique Latin poet Prudentius, during the early fifth century A.D.
  • “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
    A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
  • “A waiting person is a patient person. The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.”
    Henri J.M. Nouwen
  • “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
    Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  • You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for instance.  ~Franklin P. Jones
  • Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.  ~George-Louis de Buffon
  • Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  ~John Quincy Adams
  • Have patience, my friend, have patience;
    For Rome wasn’t built in a day!
    You wear yourself out for nothing
    In many and many a way!
    Why are you nervous and fretty
    When things do not move along fast;
    Why let yourself get excited
    Over things that will soon be past?
    ~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “Patience” (1940s)
  • Patience is the companion of wisdom.  ~St. Augustine
  • Patience is also a form of action. ~Auguste Rodin
  • One moment of patience may ward off great disaster.  One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.  ~Chinese Proverb

Painterly Side Arises

I’M BETTING THERE ARE SOME OF YOU that are tired of hearing about my upcoming book.  Listening to me tooting my own horn can get tiring — the excitement of it all makes it a challenge to refrain from it…sorry.  So, for you, I have decided to dwell on my painterly side.

I take classes (recently, more sporadically than usual because of the book) to spur on my painterly creative bend.  This last weekend, I chose to spend time inside, learning the Japanese art of carving blocks of wood and inking them up to make prints.  It is like — yet unlike — carving and printing with a linoleum block.  Linoleum blocks are easier to carve and can be inked up in multiple colors all at one time; but like the wood blocks, the printing method is similar (using a hand-held baren to press the ink into the paper).  There is a discipline…an order in which everything is done.  A name for everything…the tools, the materials, the styles of resulting prints, inking one color at a time (so, multiple blocks required for one final print).  I suppose the western printing methods have their own specifics to follow, but this seems a bit more exacting.  For a ‘lazy’ artist, this may not be the best avenue…I’m still trying to decide if this is going to be something I want to dedicate time and energy towards, since I would classify myself somewhat lazy.  Despite that fact, it may be that this would be a good route to go — to invest the time to acquire some important preciseness to my art.

In the past, I have thought of myself as “a ‘Jack’ (or should that be ‘Jill’) of all trades and master of none” — even in writing.  But now, I wonder.  I think, for me, the most important factor is to enjoy whatever I am doing, no matter what I’ve decided to create.  To love what I’m doing; then, that love translates into what the final outcome is.  My carpentry leaves a lot to be desired (even those that know the basics would probably cringe or laugh at how I achieved my end results), but function is far more important than perfection — my chickens don’t care in my angle cuts are non-existent — the cage is sturdy and keeps them safely inside and wild critters outside, plus, it was fun to build!

As for my two main creative outlets: sometimes it’s a pile of colors or words on paper that seem to make no sense, sometimes it turns out amazing, bringing the viewer in, smiling, for a closer inspection.  But each and every time, there is a lesson learned — whether ways to improve my creation — or me as a person.   That, I love.  To me, that’s the reason I do the things I do — loving to do it & the lessons I learn from it.

This workshop on Japanese Woodcut techniques was an amazing adventure in patience, experimentation, stepping outside of my safe little ‘box’, perseverance and working on my listening skills.  I discovered lessons and rewards in all areas.  My final critique of my own work:  loved what I was doing — playing with wood and sharp tools but need more patience, need to start at mastering simple designs & shapes before progressing to more complex projects, no shortcuts, (did I mention more patience?)…but I didn’t do too bad, considering I chose a rather complicated design for my skill level.

‘Showing off’ any of these skill sets to others is a new thing for me — maybe about a year old — and one I am just now learning how to master…still a ‘Jill’ here.  The learning curve, even for this, is steep.  First of all, getting past the embarrassment of thinking my work is worthy of allowing others to view it.  That’s a biggie.  Then to realize it is good enough to actually bring in some money from it — that, I’m still getting used to, but enjoying the idea.  I’m having fun with the exhibitions (and the process I’m going through to get my book ready).  And, yes, I have sold a piece.  Some would call that the final validation that their work has truly ‘arrived’… for me, I try to not allow it to effect how I work — I want to retain the fun, the love of the act of creating.  I don’t think I will covet that validation as some do.

I will certainly appreciate and be grateful to those that appreciate my body of works.  Whether sales flourish or flounder, I will continue to dive into both my writerly and painterly activities with all the gusto I’ve had in the past because I love what I’m doing.  No matter what. There.  I said it.

And, in case I haven’t said it — I want to thank each and every one of you that take the time to read and/or follow my blogs, bother to check out and/or Like my endeavors at the Facebook page — you have plenty on your plate already, or even considered purchasing my soon-to-be-released book (oops…I did mention it, didn’t I–sorry).  So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a blessed day, friends.