"You need to be more patient!" Six words that I have heard ALL of my life. To me, patience means waiting…and waiting is really hard! Personally, I think that a lack of patience is and always has been one of my biggest faults.
When I was little, my grandma would give me candy corn in two small plastic bags. She’d say, “This bag is to eat now, and you can save this bag for later, because good things come to those who wait.” Let’s just say that my later bag never made it to later.
When I was seven, I made a habit of jumping off of the ski chairlift before it got to the top of the mountain, just so I didn’t have to wait so long to ski back down. Luckily there was a low spot where the lift operator couldn’t see me, and the drop was only about 6 feet.
I have been known to eat doughy pizza because waiting for it to finish cooking takes way too long.
I sometimes open holiday gifts early if my family doesn’t hide them from me… because I just can’t wait.
Oh, and I have a few speeding tickets that prove I am NOT a patient driver.
Being a “not very patient” person made writing the book, Good Things Come to Those Who Wait, a bit of a challenge. How do I tell kids to be more patient when I’m not? So, I made a promise to myself to personally apply what I have learned while researching this topic.
Let’s face it… when we are little, we have to learn to wait. When we grow up, we have to learn to wait even longer. If we cannot exercise our “patience muscle” effectively, we will forever feel discontented. Also, if you think about it, having patience actually lessens the intensity of our stress because it allows us to stretch it out over longer periods of time.
Here are a few tips to help strengthen your “patience muscle.”
- Make waiting as fun, positive and rewarding as possible and remember to “celebrate” on the inside when you are patient.
- Practice being bored. Sometimes we need to be able to sit and do nothing and be ok with that. Remember…the world does not revolve around you!
- Avoid making promises to yourself and others that you cannot keep when it comes to time and time management.
- Always be realistic and truthful to yourself and others when it comes to delayed gratification.
- Use a calendar, clock timer or other creative visual to perfect your time management accuracy and predictability.
Last week, I ordered candy corn online and yesterday, it was delivered… I still have a small plastic bag left for “later.” The thought of jumping out of a chairlift these days is not appealing. In fact, I wish the ride was a bit longer so my body could recover. Tonight, I’m having pizza for dinner… with crispy crust. I’ve started to drive more like my dad lately, and I haven’t been pulled over for almost a year. Becoming more patient has definitely decreased my stress level, and I feel like I’m getting more out of life every day. Good things do come to those who wait. But I’m still thinking my kids will have to hide my holiday gifts… I’ll never be that patient.