Life’s too short to be impatient

Now at first glance the title doesn’t make much sense, does it?

The phrase popped into my head a few weeks ago, and I’ve been pondering it ever since.

I’ve concluded it makes a lot of sense.

My two-year old and patience do not mix. If he doesn’t get what he wants the instant he wants it, watch out. He rarely had a tantrum (thankfully), but he is persistent. Each time he asks (demands) something, he gets more frustrated and loud. To the point I have to yell at him to get him to stop asking (demanding). For instance, a few days ago we stopped at a Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop in the mall. I ordered a pretzel with pepperoni, and the gal at the counter said almost apologetically, “We have to make it and it’ll take about seven minutes.”

I didn’t mind at all. After all, what’s seven minutes? Thomas, however, after two minutes kept saying, “Pretzel, where’s pretzel.” Sigh.

I watch youth from teenagers up until their early twenties, and they also expect to get what they need when they need it. I know a younger driver merely by detecting the car’s speed. Standing in line for a subway sandwich is also a challenge.

Yet when I watch older people, they seem to not care that they have to wait in line at the grocery store, they drive annoyingly slow, and when they walk it’s more of a stroll.

You’d think it would be the opposite. The young, after all, believe they have all the time they’ll ever need, and in most cases they do. The older we get the more we realize our days are numbered, and today could be our last.

Why then do we gain more patient as we age? I think it’s about taking the time to savor that life. We know how short it is, so why waste it on trivial matters such as having to wait five minutes in line or for that long light to turn green.

And as we wait, patiently, we tend to notice things we might otherwise miss such as an amazing sunset or a child giggling on a park swing.

I thought I pulled one over on God by never asking him to give me patience. I didn’t want to be tested or tempered. Yet whenever I wanted something badly enough such as the desire to see my writing published, the answer was always, “Wait.” This waiting began during my teenage years, so I’ve been waiting a long time.

Now I don’t mind waiting so much. I’ve learned and grown a lot during this lifetime of waiting. God, apparently knew — and knows — what he’s doing, because I wouldn’t trade the waiting for anything.

A few minutes ago I sent my manuscript off to Marcher Lord Press. I get to wait some more.

However, it’s not a time to sit around and check my email every ten minutes. With “Traitors” out of my hands and out of my mind, I’m free to pursue other projects. In this case it’s the sequel to a different story I’ve mentioned before titled “The Red Dagger.” I plan on delving into that for nanowrimo. Over the rest of October I’ll finish up the outline which is about 1/3 done. I also plan to edit the first book one more time and query agents for it.

So as long as I stay occupied and productive, I won’t have time to be impatient.

7 thoughts on “Life’s too short to be impatient

  1. You’re right. As our lives get shorter, we don’t want to miss something kewl God might show us. He loves to brag. So, did he get his pretzel? Did he get his pretzel? Did he get his pretzel?


  2. And a watched pot never boils, right? So, good for you keeping busy instead of watching the email inbox. Time is a funny thing. It’s such a matter of perspective, isn’t it? I remember being little and thinking that a year was forever. Now I look at the calender and think, how did it get to be October already? Didn’t we just have New Years last month? Strange stuff, time.


  3. Thanks Robynn! I must admit I’ve lost patience with certain things as I grow older. It’s usually certain attitudes of other people, mostly dealing with respect. I don’t tolerate that very well.

    Jean: Yes, he did get his pretzel!

    Kara: Our perception of time definitely changes as we grow older. I’m also wondering how October came so fast.


  4. Hm, should I admit the other day at the pretzel place when the one I wanted wasn’t ready and would take ten minutes, I opted for something instead of waiting? I used to have a ton of patience. I have none anymore. I joke and say my family has used it all and there’s none left, but the truth is, I’m trying to accomplish so many things that my mind tells me I could use that time more productively than standing in line waiting. Guess I should carry a book everywhere.

    I think that’s the deal with a lot of older people, too. They’re not trying to do so much so there’s not so much reason to hurry.

    Anyway, crossing fingers for your manuscript! (Figuratively only, I have a hard enough time with typing as it is.)


  5. Nope. I completely missed the spelling error. I must have been impatient reading your entry and only skimmed through it. Seriously though, the more I think about it, the more I think we don’t necessarily gain patience as we get older. We merely slow down both physically and mentally. We have no choice but to take things slowly.


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