The other day, I went to a store to return something. Finding myself stuck in the back of a line of 10, with only one employee in sight, I became one of those embarrassing customers who demand to see a supervisor, then the supervisor’s manager – until someone agrees to open a second register. Traffic jams, elevator doors that don’t close quickly enough and slow-loading web pages are other annoyances that routinely test my composure. Even though everyone says that the world today moves faster than ever, with all our testing and hyper multitasking, I have to say: Much of the time, it is still not moving fast enough for me. If I am not careful, I end up mentally fast-forwarding right past the good things that are happening in the here and now. It is certainly something I am having an opportunity to look at… slow down and make all my craziness stop.
I was always in a hurry. I grew up the youngest of 4 kids… and spent my childhood waiting to hit the developmental stages they had long since moved past. Making matters even worse, I was a late bloomer all around. I didn’t display any particular intellectual talents. I didn’t receive an iota of male attention until I was practical in college. I had curves, but certainly butts don’t count, right? I am still waiting for breasts. I am still trying to find some sport that I would enjoy. I have always wondered how anyone could bear to play – say- softball, particularly in an outfielder position. The sport seemed to involve an agonizing amount of standing around waiting for the ball to come your way, if it ever did.
Once I hit adulthood, I grew deeply frustrated when major life events didn’t happen in a speedy fashion. I don’t need to go into any (waaaaaaaay too many!!!)… if you know me, you know that I am just impatient.
Over time, I have developed a technique. Whenever I start to feel ants in my pants, I remind myself of the adage that everything of value takes time. Corny, but it works – especially when I lost patience with myself for…. Well …. Being impatient. I do have to qualify… It works… most of the time…. Not all… still working on that!!!
I still face a struggle to embrace the present. Every time I start looking at the clock, I try to channel my restless energy into realizing how lucky I am to be alive and healthy and surrounded by family and friends. Moreover, I have come to believe that my impatience actually helps me appreciate the good stuff in life. It turns out that the more fervently you await something… the more you savor the rewards….
I say this as I anxiously wait for the coffee to brew… ah, yes, I will appreciate you today, my friend – coffee…..