Exchanging Impatience for Cool and Calm

I have this strange phenomena that recurs over and over and over again in my life.

I turn on the radio…I hear someone discussing a certain topic.
I flip open a book…same topic.
I open my inbox…same topic.
I get a call from a friend…who, you guessed it, wants to discuss the same topic.

Some folks might find this eerie. Not me. I figure Someone is trying to tell me to pay attention to something.

Since ignoring said topic never seems to work for long, I generally try to figure out what I’m supposed to be learning or learning to be open to or learning to at least consider reconsidering what I think I’ve already learned.

Lately, the topic that has been dogging my every step is patience.

So….when I spotted this picture perfect photo of identical cable-knit cookies…I was mesmerized.

I sat looking at this photo longer than I should have…my coffee was getting cold…my inbox was refilling…the dogs were getting hungry…

But I couldn’t get past the work and the time it took to frost these cookies so perfectly.

Who has that kind of time?
Who has that skill?
Who has the patience?

Not me.

Whoever baked and decorated these intricate sweater cookies is one long-suffering soul (because let’s be honest…people are going to eat these little creations in no time flat.) Which begs the question is the time/energy investment worth it?

Which brings me back to patience aka long-suffering.

I’d like to think that by this stage of my life I’m the picture perfect example of patience, kindness, and long-suffering. I’m not.

Rather, I’m frequently in a hurry, let’s get the job done, and more the poster child of restless energy than the image of a calm Madonna.

The truth is, I aspire to be more like a calm Madonna (not the pop star, rather the woman in the portrait) but in order to be characterized more by patient long-suffering than impatient wheel-turning hamster-running antics…I have to slow down.

To a sudden halt if necessary.
Take a deep breath.
In/out, in/out, in/out.
Then, only then, ask myself in all honesty, what are the priorities of this day?

This day.
Right now.

Almost always this little exercise helps me calm down inside so much so that this change radiates on the outside. And, almost always, the exchange is worth it.

Funny how that simple stop/breathe/pause exercise does wonders for my patience level so that, in turn, I’m far more patient and long-suffering toward everyone else in my life.


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