Is Patience Really a Virtue?

Merlin the Patient

I AM being patient. Now can I have a bite?

“Patience is a virtue,” I often tell my kids in a sing-song voice, like Rachel Weisz in The Mummy. When they’re asking if it’s time to go to the park yet or “are we there yet” on a long trip, patience is exactly what I need them to have they need. And they happily remind me of that virtue when I’m cursing the internet for being slower than usual or  when I’m telling the driver ahead of me (as if he can hear me) “the speed limit is 55 here, not 35.”

There are so many times in life when we can’t have what we want right when we want it. We have to wait on other people or for opportunities. We have to wait on ourselves to learn what we need to learn. We have to wait till the next season of Walking Dead to find out just how badass Rick has really become or for George R. R. Martin to publish that next A Song of Ice and Fire book already.

And yet the opposite of patience is celebrated far more often in our culture. Go-getters don’t  wait for opportunities, they seize them. Winners don’t let pain slow them down, they pop a [insert brand name over the counter painkiller here] and keep running. Heroes rush in where angels fear to tread.

Of course, inaction can be mistaken for patience. We tell ourselves we’re just waiting for the right time or the perfect chance and we just wait and wait and wait and…

And sometimes we give up before we’ve even begun because the payoff seems so very far away.

So how do you tell the difference? How do you know when to wait and when to act and how to keep slogging when the finish line is still miles away?

I’ve wrestled a great deal with this last one. Everything from raising and educating my children, getting fit and writing my (hopefully) début novel. All of these are works in progress and, sometimes, the end doesn’t seem anywhere in sight. All I can do is keep on keeping on.

And, while patience may be a virtue, it doesn’t come easily for me. Mostly I wind up being impatiently patient.  I promise myself the end is out there, somewhere, but I won’t wait around for it. I’ll go after it…with a machete.

It’s like the Tortoise and the Hare. Anyone else think the moral of that fable is NOT “slow and steady wins the race?” Let’s face it, if the hare hadn’t been sleeping on the job,  he’d have blown right past that sloooooow tortoise and won the race.

Slow and steady only wins the race when there’s no one else faster than you. But maybe the real moral is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go, especially if you give up or lay down on the job. If you keep putting one foot in front of the other with the goal of the making it to the finish line, you’ll get there (unless the zombies get you first…but that’s another story).

And, when you reach the finish line, you win. No matter who else got there first. Because you’re not racing against them. You’re racing against you.

Of course, it’s much nicer when you finish faster.

Just sayin.

What do you think? How do you know when to be patient and when to seize the moment? Do you have any big projects where the end seems almost out of reach? How do you keep at it until you reach that end?

 

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I just had to share this because it made me laugh…and it’s got some useful tips on How to Be Patient in 12 Steps (but I prefer to do it in 6 steps…it’s faster that way).

 

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I Love the Smell of Hiatus in the Morning

Yeah…okay…that title sounds a little off to me too.

Oh well.

As the year winds down and the holidays approach, I’m scrambling to wrap up my biggest goal for this year: finish my novel. The first draft anyway. As I’ve moved the deadline for this goal more than once, I feel especially compelled to make it happen this time. I’m taking inspiration from Ze Frank’s Invocation for Beginnings and harnessing my inner John McClane.

Let’s do this thing!

With that in  mind, I’m putting this blog on hiatus until the new year.

While I’ll be hunkering down and getting the job done (yippee ki-yay), I won’t disappear entirely from the online world. I’m planning to catch up with all the fellow bloggers, peeps and tweeps I’ve had so little chance to connect with this year. I joined the blogosphere and social media for the awesome community and, as I’ve wrestled with balancing home, work-projects and getting to The End,  I’ve missed hanging out with all you super folks.

And I. Will. Finish. This. Novel.

In the mean time, here are a few of my favorite posts to entertain you while I’m (mostly) away. Kind of like hold music…only, hopefully, much more interesting.

What Really Drives Dexter Morgan?
Old Favorites: Best Classic Movies
Spam and Eggs: Gems from the Spam Filter
Do You Remember Those Saturday Morning Cartoons?
How to Build a Zombie

And here’s one from Ze Frank, because he rarely never fails to make me laugh and/or think:

 

Got a favorite post, meme or YouTube video? Yours or someone else’s. Go ahead and share the linky love.

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

What’s on Your Fall Watch List?

Fall is (finally) here.

Around here, it felt like fall would never get here. In fact, it’s still in the low 80s. *grumble grumble*

But anyway.

The best thing fall is…the new tv shows.

Okay, maybe it’s a toss-up between the new shows and Thanksgiving dinner.  But, while Turkey Day only lasts until all the leftovers run out (or you get sick of them), there are at least a few shows to keep your mental belly full all season long.

Here’s what’s on my list:

The Blacklist

James Spader strikes a Hannibal Lecteresque pose with his own fascinating twist and everyone has a secret agenda. Good stuff so far.

_______

Sleepy Hollow

Apocalypse. American history. Mythology. A classic American scary story and an anachronistic hero. What isn’t there to love?

_______

The Walking Dead

This is one of those shows I hate to love. It just gets more and more intense every season and there’s no guarantee your most loved characters will survive (or stay sane).

_______

And one that’s premiering Friday:

Dracula

Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Oh my. It has to be good.

I see all the shows on my list are pretty dark. Apparently, I have to branch out a little. Guess I better go research some comedies.

Right after I watch the last episode of The Walking Dead again.

What’s on your watch list this fall?

Categories: Killer Thursdays, Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How to Have a Good Sick Day

soft paperThis week, I’m feeling a little under the weather. I’m not circling the drain or anything but I don’t exactly feel like climbing any mountains either. Or climbing off the couch, for that matter. Bruno Mars pretty much sums it up.

Except for, you know, the guy-specific stuff. And the birthday suit part…I got kiddos around here.

And dogs. Dogs are not shy about where they try to sniff when you’re under-dressed.

Anyway

I’m most home-based with work and kiddos which is both blessing and curse when I’m sick. Unless I’m too sick to even move, I can generally do what I need to do camped out on the couch or in bed. So, unless I’m too sick to even move, I generally have to do everything I usually do. I just have to do it while feeling crummy.

Thankfully, there are ways to make a sick day less lousy. Here are a few of my favorites:

Lorenzo and Katara

Lorenzo and Katara demonstrate proper napping technique.

Sleep.
Remember when you were little and you hated taking naps? Thought you were gonna miss all the good stuff? Now, naps seem like the ultimate luxury.  And I’m ready for a little luxury right n….zzzzzzzzz.

Catching Up on TV and Reading
How often do we get an excuse to watch the DVR backlog, rediscover the X-Files on Netflix, or spend hours reading? I, for one, feel pretty durn lucky if I get to watch an entire show or read a whole chapter without having to jump up and do something (laundry, client call/email, make dinner, feed the dogs, etc.)

It’s super-duper fun if I get to share a show or book with the kiddos. Right now we’re reading the first Jake Ransom book by James Rollins, so any excuse to pass it around and read out loud is welcome. And, on the tv front, it’s really not possible to watch any of the  Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes too many times.

Making a Pillow Fort
Or, at the very least, burrowing under pillows and blankets. Which usually leads to sleeping. Or reading.

IMG_5772 pillow fort installation

Note: Our pillow forts look nothing like this. But how cool would it be to have one of these?

Hanging Out with the Furries
The four-legged in our house always seem to know when someone is feeling less than stellar and flock to give their emotional support. Or maybe they’re just after all the free petting and snuggling. Or hoping for a sip of chicken soup.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re sick?

Photo Credit (in order of appearance):
soft paper by EmsiProduction, on Flickr CC BY 2.0
Lorenzo and Katara, mine
IMG_5772 pillow fort installation by libbyrosof, on Flickr  CC BY 2.0

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Embrace Your Inner Doberman and Other Life Lessons from a Tiny Dog

Note: this post was originally shared as part of the Life List Club Blog Hop on Jenny Hansen’s awesome More Cowbell blog

This is Katara.

Katara at approx 6 months old and full cuteness capacity.

She’s half chihuahua. We have no idea what the other half might be, though we’re pretty sure there’s at least a little alien in the mix.

She stands 8.5 inches high, is 12 inches around the deepest part of her chest and 23 inches long. About a quarter of that lenth is tail.

And yes, she is named after the female protagonist in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The animated series, not the movie.

Although she’s closer in size to a guinea pig than a full-grown doberman, she doesn’t let that stand in the way of taking care of her doggish duties. Guarding the property and house from burglars and meter readers. Terrifying birds that have the nerve to land on her grass. And keeping the cats in line. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are You the Cat or the Dog?

Short weeks always make me feel a little off-balance, like I’m coming in at the middle of a season of some tv show with a complex plot line and lots of back story and everybody else gets it while I’m just floundering and I need another coffee and I think I left the light on upstairs and…

Anyway, that’s my excuse for pulling this post together at the last-minute. So, here’s a little something to (hopefully) make you smile.

And to inspire you to ask that incredibly deep, probing question, the answer to which will surely change your life and rock the world… Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why is the Apocalypse so Fascinating?

What is it we love about the end of the world?

Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city

Did someone say apocalypse?

Seems like the apocalypse is everywhere these days. Books. Games. TV shows and movies. And it’s not really a new thing. From the dawn of humanity, folks have been fascinated with the end of the world as we know it (some times more than others). Why is that?

I have a few theories: Continue reading

Categories: Parallel Tuesdays | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Which Apocalypse Would be Most Fun?

The world as we know it gone. Do you spend the rest of your post-apocalyptic life pining for the world that was or you move on to the new one? And which post-apocalyptic wasteland would you most want to live in? Continue reading

Categories: Parallel Tuesdays | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Old Favorites: Best Classic Movies

Growing up, my family instilled in me a love of old movies, especially the black and white classics. They may not have had the tech and special effects we have now but the stories stuck with you, even the silly ones. Some of them are among my favorite movies ever.

I tried to pick a single favorite and failed miserably. Heck, I can’t pick a single favorite ice cream flavor. I tend to have a range of favorites. So, here are just a few of my all-time favorite old movies (for the purpose of this article, we’ll “old” or “classic” as pre-1975): Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Are You Geek Enough For It?

For YouTube’s Geek Week, that is.

Apparently, it’s Global Geek Week. At least, it is on YouTube. And you don’t have to be a super geek to enjoy the offerings this week.  You can enjoy an interactive adventure, go on a date with Freddie Wong, or learn how cosplay can enhance your resume .

Every day is a different geeky flavor. I’m especially looking forward to Gaming Thursday.

Whatever your inherent level of geekiness (that’s a lot of geeks in less than 100 words :)), you’re sure to find something fun. So geek it up already!

Categories: Parallel Tuesdays | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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