Impatience, thy name is...

Patience is a virtue, so they say.

I wish it was one I had neatly stowed away in my back pocket where I could easily access it without much effort. Alas. Neither patience nor a back pocket do I currently have.

I just asked myself, on a down-the-rabbit-hole kind of whim, what are my easily accessible, already achieved/conquered/don't-have-to-work-on constantly virtues. Nothing came dancing into my mind. This is worrisome [unless, there are no such things? but this surely is not the case]. For what virtues, if any, am I known? ...however, that is another topic for another day.

Ah, patience. Or, far too often, impatience. Impatience, how well I know thee.

When I am about to read a book, I first read the inside flap [if there is one], then the back cover [if it is a descriptive one], and then the first one or two chapters. At this point, I generally have gained two pieces of information:

  1. I now know the author looks nothing like I imagine s/he should, along with the fact that they most definitely need to update their headshot.
  2. I now know the gist of the story. I know the main character. I have a decent idea of the story setup. I can already picture the conflict that will come in Chapters 5-18. I can predict versions of the resolution come the epilogue.

What I do not have, however, is certainty. I like certainty. [If the desire for certainty was a virtue, my pockets would be proof of my virtuousness (not virtuosity, mind you).] In this case, I can remedy my uncertainty, and ofttimes I do just that. It just takes 30 seconds or so to skim the last chapter, see how everything ties up, and then...! Resume reading at Chapter 2, in a much more content [albeit, mildly ashamed] state of mind. 

My worst [and quite recent] incident was with a 5-book series. I behaved pretty well through Book 1. But then Book 2 hit and there was so much miscommunication and distraught thinkings and unfair happenings that I was fairly sure my happily ever after was irreparably dashed [Why, no, I don't get so caught up in books that I feel as if their world is my world and their troubles are my troubles. Why do you ask?]. So I did the unthinkable. I skimmed the last chapter of Book 5. Good news? Well, I-. I mean, they get everything worked out and it's almost okay that all the terrible things happened in Book 1. And 2. And 3... etc. Bad news? I felt as if I had just committed a heinous crime. My lack of patience got me again.

This, obviously, is also an issue with other entertainment-y things. When I watch a movie or football game or television show and there's already information on the ending, I want to know it. Spoilers do not deter me. Spoilers invigorate me. I am an impatient soul.

One video game that rather appeals to me is the Harvest Moon series. Be a farmer? Check. Own a cow? Check. Harvest an orchard by head butting trees? Many, many checks. Get a spouse, have some kids, save the world? CHECK. Yet, I'm entirely too impatient to fully, fully enjoy the game. I'm always wanting to "get to the good part." 

In my most recent Harvest Moon adventure [which was actually quite a long time ago], I managed to save the world, find a fellow to marry me, and even have a tiny baby who sends up 3 hearts every time I shake a rattle at him, but then... Impatience banged down my beautiful farmhouse door [that I even had upgraded to level 3!]. I wanted my kid to grow up so I could see the different characteristics he would have [which differ depending on who I married, my preferences, etc. (just like real life!!)], but it was going to take sooo looong. Regardless of the fact that a "year" only consists of four 28-day "seasons" and not actually 365 days. Regardless of the fact that my kid would "grow up" in about a "year's" time. Regardless of the fact that this was just a game that held no real importance or meaning or any type of lasting value. I became so impatient with making the days go by that I finally just had to stop playing as I was no longer enjoying the experience. My impatience ruined it.

The sad thing is, these examples are really not that big of a deal. They're mostly harmless and have no bearing on Real Life things. But they are a tiny glimpse at the impatience that too often is bubbling right beneath the surface of my baseline "It's all good" mentality. It often is all good. I feel I'm a decently easy-going person. But let it be something I care a ton about or something I don't really care about at all or someone who just isn't fitting into my selfish idea of Ideal At This Moment and... poof. Impatience, thy name is Sharayah.

On very, very rare occasions, this monster grows a second ugly head. I will be impatiently stewing about Things and Such and I see others with these Things and Such and... I envy them. It is typically just a sliver of a feeling. It is typically just a split-second reaction that I can quickly squelch. But still, it's there. Impatience-bred envy. Not a pretty sight. 

So. What to do.

For me, sometimes airing things out, verbalizing it [of sorts], just confronting the dirty facts is enough of an impetus to get a grip on things. I'm a decently rational person. I know what things fall into the Good and Admirable box and what things fall into the Nasty box. Impatience leads to discontent. Discontent leads to ingratitude. It's like a chain of monkeys in the Barrel of Monkeys game, but much less friendly. I dislike the monkeys that belong in the Nasty box/barrel [and oddly enough, I'm not much of a fan of monkeys in real life... For someone who thinks even baby possums are kinda cute, this is an odd thing].

So. What to do.

Patience with others is Love. Patience with self is Hope. Patience with God is Faith.

The internet attributes this quote to a man I don't know with a name I can't pronounce, but I think the message is spot on. For me. Right now. And probably in the near future when I feel, yet again, those bubblings of impatience when things don't go the way I want them, when I want them. God's plan is superior to anything I can possibly imagine on my own. Time will show this to be true, in spite of my impatience.

And now these three things remain:  faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This is the goal. Patience with others, patience with myself, and [most of all] patience with God. Faith, hope, and love. Perspective is everything.

And... From the looks of our spankin' new background, I would say that fall is blissfully upon us! There is so much happy this time of year I could just squeak. I love fall weather and fall nature and fall everything. This comic rings true with me, and I just don't understand it. I think it's just because of how happy everything is. So, I'm okay with it not making complete rational sense. Fall is awesome sauce.

To me, 'edgepigs and fall go hand in hand.

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