Looks like God decided I need to work on patience — I’ve been thrown a few things in the past two weeks that have really tested my patience. To be honest, I feel I’m less patient than I was before — or at least this project is making me more aware of my impatience. Thankfully, all these little patience tests have made it easy to figure out what triggers my impatience.
I am tired. This is probably the biggest one for me. I do not function well at all when I’m tired, and the amount of time I’m willing to wait for something drops drastically. My attitude suffers and I can get snippy or whiny. If I’m tired AND hungry, there’s no hope. Solution: Try for eight hours a night. Make sleep a priority.
I am running late. I have always been a punctual person. My mom tells stories of me standing by the door and tapping my wrist at 6:59 because she had told me we were leaving at 7:00. If I’m running late, either because it’s my own fault or something out of my control, I have less patience with traffic, other people, etc. If I’m late and someone is waiting for me, it’s even worse. Solution: Do my best to get out the door in a reasonable amount of time, and try not to worry if things are out of my control.
I feel condescended to. There are a lot of personality quirks out there that can make people feel impatient with someone else. The biggest one for me is when someone makes me feel small or stupid. I immediately go on the defensive and have a hard time controlling my temper. Get ready for the snark. Solution: Try not to take things so personally. Prayer.
I am worried. With my Aunt Bonnie being in the hospital for the past week, I’ve learned worry definitely causes me to be impatient. I found myself exhibiting a lot of classic “impatience signs” while I was waiting to hear news — tapping my feet, huffing, obsessively checking my phone, feeling nauseated. I know there are good reasons for these things — I was genuinely worried for someone who means the world to me — but I wish I could have channeled all that impatience into prayer a little better. Instead I just anxiously waited and shot random thoughts at God in an impatient sort of way. Solution: Prayer. Prayer. Prayer.
I feel like I’m not doing well enough. I’ve been struggling through some injuries in my training for the triathlon I’m doing next weekend. Mostly this has been pain in my shins and calves. I just want to keep training, but my impatience keeps leading to more pain. It’s been such a struggle to be patient with my body and give up the idea of doing really well (for me) in the race, and instead just be OK with having whatever time I get. Solution: Make peace with my weaknesses and be OK with not living up to my own ridiculous standards.
Now that I’ve recognized these triggers, perhaps I can recognize the impatience a little faster, before it affects my entire attitude.