A Time of Patience

I was reminded of my New Year’s Resolution over the weekend, when patience was the topic of Sunday’s homily at church. Back in January, I wrote about my mantra of “Less Hurry. Less Worry” and this passage (from a presentation I attended last year) is especially relevant for this time of year:

Life is a series of sprints and there’s a lot of rushing around. Downtime is a necessary time to re-charge to be able to bring energy to each “sprint” or challenge you may face.

We are all rushing and hurrying like crazy in preparation for the holidays. There is a lot of sprinting and stress that takes much of the joy away from this season. Similarly, I feel like there has been a lot of sprinting going on this week, re-grouping after being out of town for Thanksgiving and even just hitting the save button on this post SEVERAL times before having a bigger chunk of time to come back to it. It’s a whole lot of hurry, hurry, hurry. And all that hurrying can make me feel impatient!

Am I More Patient this Year?

Overall throughout the last year, I feel less hurried and at times more patient. However, I probably should ask my family if they would agree with that statement. I still can feel a tendency to over-multi-task instead of focusing on what’s most important at this one point in time. Being conscious of un-productive multi-tasking is the first step, right?

Some patience has been learned through schedule changes as of late. My husband has changed jobs and increased his commute, leaving me to fly solo with the kids in the morning. Instead of thinking he’s around to help (or not), I know it’s all me, so I have become more patient with my kids in the morning. Truthfully, we’ve also had several months of the school year under our belt, so they are also more adjusted to the weekly school routine too. Together we can help each other in the mornings.

The Waiting REALLY is the Hardest Part

As was mentioned in church on Sunday, patience is desperately needed this time of year. Our deacon showed pictures of holiday travel with LONG lines. Shopping on Black Friday or any holiday shopping can bring a LONG line. There’s a lot of waiting, and we all hate that, right?!

Today while waiting in line at a craft store, I was amused by a mom with two kids in front of me for a few reasons. First, I remember those days of shopping with a toddler and an infant all too well (see The BEST Line(s) to get out of a toy store). Now I am just the “older” mom whose kids are now in school (well, some of the time, anyway)! I sometimes share, “I know what you’re going through” lines of encouragement because I too remember those kind people who did the same to me a few years back. This conversation was just last year! Second, the older toddler was saying “bye, bye.”  When I observed her more closely, she was pointing at things and saying, “buy, buy!”  I laughed out loud and commented on this to her mom. Too funny, right? In this moment of waiting and being patient, I was able to engage with the party in front of me instead of being grumpy and sitting on my smartphone.

Ways to be more Patient to Make Waiting Easier

One phrase that comes up in this season of Advent is “waiting in joyful anticipation,” and I am reminded of the symbols and traditions that we use to help us wait – things like Advent calendars, Christmas Countdowns, or lighting candles on the Advent Wreath. This year we are lighting candles on a salt dough wreath that my daughter made in her religious education class. She feels so proud of it, and there is something very special about lighting a candle and enjoying a family dinner together. It makes us slow down a bit, and we look forward to lighting the next candle. Each day in December, we’ll change the Christmas countdown. Each week we’ll light another candle, helping us track the passage of time, which makes the waiting for Christmas a bit easier.

Is the season trying your patience? How do you handle waiting this time of year? Best wishes for some time to slow down, relax, and reflect this December!

The Waiting Game

in the waiting line

in the waiting line (Photo credit: ButterflySha)

So much of our lives are spent waiting.  We are often waiting for something that can bring about significant change.

Top awaited moments that come to mind include:

  • waiting to get your ears pierced (I think I was about 13 for this)
  • waiting for a love interest to call you back
  • waiting for driver’s license (what says freedom more than that?!)
  • waiting to move out of mom & dad’s house (and then move back in after college – but just for 1 month)
  • waiting to move into your own place that is NOT a dump
  • waiting to get engaged, married, start a family
  • waiting for naptime or bedtime (once you have kids!)
  • waiting for vacation (at ANY age)
  • waiting for job related interviews, call backs, offers, raises

Because you’re waiting, you can often find an excuse to not do something else, thinking I don’t want to commit to X if I heard back from Y and will be busy then.  Waiting doesn’t feel all that productive to me.  It gives a chance for your mind to wander to so many “what-if” scenarios.  Waiting feels reactive, sitting on the sidelines, instead of being in the middle of the game as a proactive player.

While I wait for my job search to move along, I remind myself that it NEVER happens as quickly as you’d wish it would.  My speed versus company speed are often FAR apart!  While I wait, I am reminded of the silly dating rule, when you wait a few days before calling someone back.  Do people still do that?!  I don’t feel I can call too soon, but know I need to proactively follow up to re-emphasize my interest.

While I play the waiting game, I am okay to enjoy my current job as MOM.  I am trying my best to shake off the “worry of waiting” and remind myself to just live in the present, because the present I have is pretty incredible.  It was after all, what I had waited 29 years for: being blessed with my beautiful family.