Patience & Choices

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Patience is perhaps one of those things I struggle with most, and is at odds with itself, depending on the nature of the situation demanding patience.

I have found myself incredibly short on patience when dealing with little things, general stupidity, and common frustrations – and yet I can exceedingly patient about other (usually much bigger or severe) things. I believe this is because the little things should take little to no effort, should provide little challenge to most, and therefore shouldn’t be a big deal. Why patience is needed for things like a little courtesy, or expects people to pay attention to the road when driving.

On the other hand, I think I give people far too many chances to improve themselves in the hopes they are capability of being more than what they show. I can and have demonstrated considerable patience for others to the point where it’s a detriment to myself. I find that it’s the bigger challenges that individuals face which is far more deserving of patience, like trying to quit an addition or tending to health issues (be they physical or psychological). However, I recognize that, even here, my patience can become very limited if there are too many excuses offered and effort isn’t being exerted.

Realizing this, I am rarely ever patient with myself and usually demanding of my own time. Unfortunately, I sometimes also lack the discipline to focus on all that I think or feel I should. Is practicing martial arts 8 hours a week enough..? Enough for what..? I can do more, but then I’m not focusing as I should be on things like home finances or repairs, my relationships with friends and family, or allowing my soul to explore and create through my music, or whatever…

Simply put, too much to do, not enough time, and I get impatient with myself for not either trying harder or being smart enough to figure out how to appropriately budget time and effort.

So, when I see other people coast along and ignore fairly obvious problems they’ve complained about, but not corrected – or voice dissatisfaction with an aspect of their life which has no further effort than complaining, well then I get impatient and angry. If I lose patience with something, do I give up..? No. I can also be very willful (or stubborn, depending on your perspective) so with enough time to cool down, I’ll start right back up again unless I see that no progress is ever made. Then its time to reassess and make some new choices and act accordingly.

My solution to this problem, I’m discovering, is to simply point out a core value – pitch-in or get out, step-up or shut-up. Stop “expressing yourself” and instead of being a part of the problem try working to actively finding a solution. And if the results aren’t to your satisfaction, well then either try again or try something different. And if trying something different means giving up or giving in – well, I suppose we all have choices to make, don’t we..?

-SV-