Patience

Patience might be my least favorite word.

As a Leo, I have absolutely none of it.

Leo likes the big picture, not the small details and fine print. Things that are too complicated, involved, or boring, they have no patience for.

source

Blah.

While I consciously try to work on different things about myself –  like being present, or cultivating discipline – I tend to ignore my dislike of being patient. Why? Because it seems hard and will take a long time, and I have no patience for it.

Yep. I know.

I’ve faced two of my biggest fears and obstacles in the last year and a half. One being binge eating and another I’d rather keep private. The thing that was hardest in dealing with both of those was being patient with myself. I want to succeed and keep succeeding. Both of those things were about learning about my own triggers, patterns and behaviors, a process that takes patience.

I tend to want things to happen as immediately as I think them up, which isn’t always bad, but it has caused me some discomfort. Want to travel? Open up a new credit card. Want a new job? Take the first one that’s offered. Want to have a cleaner space? Throw everything out. Want new clothes? Buy the first thing that kind of fits.

A lack of patience is the reason I don’t like baking, or following a recipe really at all. I love putting together Ikea furniture but there’s a lot of tables and other things I own that are jerry rigged together because I had no patience in figuring out the directions. I get bored and restless two minutes in to watching youtube videos about how to french braid or curl my hair with a flat iron because it’s not immediately clear to me how it’s done.

Right now at my job I have weekly deadlines, which pleases my impatient heart, but when I worked at a quarterly magazine before this, being patient with the three month process of writing, editing, layout and printing was too hard for me to handle.

It took me years (until senior year of college, really) to learn how to study effectively and to this day I tend to give up easily on concepts that aren’t immediately clear to me. In high school, I applied to exactly one college and went to something called an “Immediate Decision Day” because they tell you right then and there if you’re accepted. Perfect for me.

I’m starting to run (slowly) again and the hardest thing for me is to be patient with where my body is at.

I don’t absolutely hate my lack of patience. In some ways it has served me well. I LIKE that I take risks easily. I LIKE following my intuition and own voice instead of always learning about how others do it. I LIKE that I don’t spend too much time thinking about the consequences of my actions. I LIKE that I’m quick to make decisions.

All that being said, there are some things that I simply can not control, and must wait for.

And what I’d like to change is my attitude while I’m forced to be patient. My brain tends to go in to freak out mode when I can’t control the timeline of what’s happening. I panic, I tense up, I cry, and then I self-soothe by thinking of an immediate escape route that I solely have control over. It can be pretty dysfunctional and frustrating.

Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. – Joyce Meyer

With body image, weight, and all that, my lack of patience had (has?) resulted in isolating myself. As I recover from binge eating this time, I’m trying to do it with the support of other people. I’m consciously trying not to isolate myself from life and say yes to things that would have made me uncomfortable before like going to parties, dinners with friends, and other places where I couldn’t control what or when I would be eating. On vacations and other getaways, I usually don’t even try to be patient with myself in adjusting to being without the comfort of my routine.

But learning to do all of those things, I believe, are CRUCIAL to being healthier and certainly to being happier.

Patience pays off, so I’m told.

I don’t have a lesson here to share. I don’t even know how I would try to address it, but I’d love to hear from some more patient-minded, tedious-loving folks. How do you do it?

Any quick tips to learning patience?

Kidding. Kind of. Comment immediately 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Patience

  1. Wish I could help but I have exactly the same amount of patience as you. None. Which is why I’m not even thinking of if I’d actually have advice…I am just typing while I think. Here’s what immediately popped into my head. Be true to who you are and love yourself for that. Non patience has served you well so far. It will most likely continue to serve you well. Be Jodi. The rest will follow. I have a lot of faith in that.

  2. I wonder how (if at all) your proclivity for binge eating relates to your lack of patience? That might be something you would be interesting in exploring before delving into other (but related) topics like body image and fitness. Are you patient with your friends when they’re going through a tough time? I know it might seem trite to say it, but talk to yourself as you would talk to them. Be encouraging, point out and praise the positives, and be constructive about the negatives. Maybe try doing a daily recap (or smaller time scale if you find it more helpful), where you think about what you did right and what you could have done better (note: NOT what you did wrong).

    ANYWAY. I’m a fairly patient person, but these things help me!

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