I am inpatient. And I’m pretty good at it, since I’ve been practicing it my whole life.
My impatience has gotten a bit worse as I’ve gotten older. Impatience in how fast I learn something new, in how my body heals from an illness and even in how I deal with others.
Impatience in how well I deal with my impatience!
I’m trying to work on how I react to those situations that cause me to lose my cool. It starts with learning the signs. For instance, when I have to wait a bit too long for something (traffic, checkout, appointments, etc), I tend to get tensed muscles and a scowled forehead. I utter words under my breath (better left unheard), but sometimes they actually slip out (even worse). Then there is the foot tapping, fingers drumming, guttural growling, throat clearing signals that let people know I’m about to blow.
Then there are the moment where I am hardest on myself. Why can’t I get this? Why don’t I learn from my mistakes? I’m getting too old for this!
I am learning a new program at work that will help me to create an online Help Center for my team. I took the class — roughly 400 pages in 4 days. I did the classwork activities and I even sat with a teammate who has already taken the class. Looked fairly straight forward to me. Piece of Cake!! Today, as I sat trying to accomplish by first project, I am feeling a little frustrated. I followed the steps from class, I checked my manual and what I am creating just doesn’t look right. I’ve gone over and over what I created and I am stuck. I can feel those familiar signs — tense muscles, heavy breathing and that feeling like I should just give up already!
So I take a break to breathe and get my mind off it for a few minutes. Today that is watching an episode of Last Man Standing during my lunch (love that show!). When I came back, I decided to go right back at it. Get back up on that horse! It look a bit — probably a bit longer than I was happy about — but I found the problem. And there I was, with a feeling of accomplishment at what I had created. I know the process will eventually get easier and I’m learning to accept that it will take time. Patience is going to be the key!
Galations 6:9 tells us “ So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Patience is a choice. I can choose to get upset because I had to stand in line for 20 minutes to check out my groceries, or I can be happy with a few minutes of unexpected down time while I wait. I can choose to get frustrated with myself when I don’t progress as quickly on things as I think I should, or I can take a few deep breathes and know that when I do finally get it, I will feel that sense of accomplishment.
God tells us not to get frustrated, that things will come to us when the time is right. I just have to learn to trust!
You can absolutely teach an old dog a new trick — if you just have the patience to do it!