They say good things take time and patience. Yeah… I’ve heard that a time or two, but patience is not always an easy virtue to live with. And most people have an EXTREMELY limited supply of it. I’m no exception. As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
A lack of patience, or impatience, is not always a bad thing. Impatience can lend a number of benefits, depending on the environment and the specific situation one is dealing with. I think that a point I read in a great article by Psychology Today, which states that impatience is often triggered when we have a goal and that it will cost us more than we thought to reach it, is on the money.
Sometimes, when we think we’ll reach a goal sooner than we do, impatience can help light a bit of a fire under us and motivate us to hammer through to reach the aforementioned goals. You can check out the article, it’s pretty good. But the gist is that impatience can help reduce overall cost of reaching your goals because it forces you to get your mental gears turning and consider new and different ideas; something that’s important in everyday life.
A good example of this, is my back yard. When my family and I moved into our house a four years ago, we were tickled pink at the size and potential of our backyard. The only downside was that the rather large, open area was overrun by weeds and dill plants and had no grass. That first summer, my wife and I spent hours in the sun ripping out weeds and spraying weed killer until our backs were shot and we both prayed for death.
Nadda. The autumn reached us and we still hadn’t succeeded in getting all the weeds pulled and all the options I looked into in terms of having someone professional come remove the weeds and/or get grass growing, cost an arm and a leg and we weren’t willing nor did we have the funds to be going the professional route. We spent three summers spraying and pulling weeds. Last summer, we managed to essentially salt the earth and destroy everything alive back there. Yay, patience.
This year, I invested some time into tilling the soil repeatedly and planting some grass seed. I even invested in a lawn sprinkler and started watering the soil several times a day (which was killer on the water bill). But after spending the past two weeks watering, pulling weeds and keeping a tight rein on everything, I finally have grass growing in a once-barren back yard.
Now, I have plans for flowers in a circular brick planter we already had in the back yard and at the front of the house, as well as repairing bare patches on our front lawn. Patience can pay off. It’s definitely the lesser evil when it comes to reducing stress and having a simpler life. But impatience can be a useful tool as well, in the right doses and in the right situations. Just be sure that if impatience rears its occasional head, that it remains constructive and not destructive. (I have grass! Woohoo!) ☯