One thing I have an abundance of, and one thing I would adore having an ounce of.
If you know me in real life, you know my patience level is below sea level. It’s below the grandest depths of the deepest oceans in the world’s most remote areas where life may or may not even really exist. To summarize, I have no patience. Everything annoys me if it is not done correctly the first time. Drive slow in the left lane? You’re an idiot. Block the aisle in the grocery with your cart while you wander off and no one can get by? You are the worst kind of person. Can’t take a joke? Ew. Don’t take responsibility for yourself and your actions and blame every single thing in your life on everyone and everything else? Yeah, you’re awful.
Tiffany. Has. No. Patience.
This is not a secret. But, it is something I am working on because I do have perspective (once I calm down from the rage I am so often overcome with…and anyone who has interacted with people in public at any point in their life knows exactly what I mean). I can feel it in my bones when I am losing what microscopic bit of patience I have that it’s going to be a moment I won’t be proud of. Honestly, when my kids go to take their driver’s license test one day, the instructor is going to ask them what vital information you must know to drive, and they’re going to respond by telling that poor DMV employee that they can use the word “Fuck” 486 ways: as an adjective, a noun, a verb, a pronoun, and at least four times per sentence.
Yes, I feel appropriately ashamed of that.
Yes, it’s often warranted (snowbirds, anyone?).
I know when it’s happening and my impatience is bubbling that I should shut my mouth, walk away, and relax for a hot second. I know this. My heart says this. My brain says this. My mouth says whatever the hell it wants, after telling the rest of me to STFU. I also know that in five minutes, I’m going to be horrified, embarrassed, and apologizing profusely to my children for my outburst. Honestly, they don’t even appear to notice any longer, which I should also feel embarrassed about…
I’ve been focused on my perspective the past few weeks. More to the point, I’ve been focusing on my future perspective. I know I’m going to be upset, and I know that I’m going to look back and reflect on about 899 other ways I could have handled that better, and now I’m trying HARD to focus on that PRIOR to any impatient outbursts. I’ve realized that I will never cease to think 90 percent of the population is without brain cells or common sense, and those people are certainly not changing. So, I need to focus on being a better, bigger person. How am I doing that, you are likely not asking because you don’t care (or you’ve witnessed one of my…moments…and you laughed)? I’m asking myself a few questions.
- Is this idiot worth raising my own blood pressure?
- Does this person care at all that they’re the worst?
- Will my behavior change the way all people drive and bring world peace?
- Will this rage make me feel sweaty?
- Will I be embarrassed by my behavior in a few minutes?
- Will I gain anything other than a bad attitude from this?
- Will I need to apologize to my children in a few minutes?
- Is being annoyed worthwhile?
- Do I have time for this?
I’ve only been doing this for the past two weeks, but I cannot tell you how many times I have stopped myself from being a total raging lunatic for no reason since. Fewer outbursts and only one time have I apologized to the kids – and even that was only for being impatient and frustrated.
At the end of the day, I’m not a people person, I’d make a great hermit, and it’s not really worth my time to be so impatient with people any longer. They’re not changing. Common sense isn’t common any longer, and I can’t yell it at people from my driver’s seat.
So, here’s to a new me (or at least a quieter me) who is working hard to be nicer. I’m not sure if it’ll last. It’s not inherently my nature, but perhaps I can at least finesse my road rage and my people rage and my lack of patience into something more productive or at least more worthwhile.
In all honesty, I have four kids who are just like my sweet husband. They are well-behaved, they are patient, they are kind (but appropriately sarcastic in all the right ways), and I’d like not to break them or their sweet personalities. I’d like to be a good example.
Am I finally maturing at 38?