Posts Tagged With: Life

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?



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

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

How Do You Keep Cool?

Around here it’s been HOT. Okay, maybe not somewhere-in-the-Sahara-hot. But hot enough.

Actually, right now we’re on something of a cooling trend…only high 90s and just over a hundred on the horizon. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back up to 110 or 112+ before the end of summer though. So it’s imperative we find ways to keep cool.

While I prefer to hang out anywhere there’s a/c, other folks might prefer a little more unusual way of keeping cool… Continue reading

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

Are You Your Own Frenemy?

The other day, I messed up.

It wasn’t really a big deal but I immediately started kicking myself in the mental butt.

Later on, that same inner voice talked me into junk food and procrastination instead of a healthy snack and knocking a big chunk off my todo list.

Later still, the inner voice followed up with a whole lot more mental butt-kicking (rather gleeful mental butt-kicking, I might add).

Then it dawned on me: I’m my own frenemy. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

What’s the Oddest Thing on Your Desk Right Now?

Our desks tend to become microcosms of our world. They collect snippets of our lives. Stuff parked there while we find a better spot. Stacks of paperwork we’ll sort through…in a little while. Sticky notes and pens. The ubiquitous coffee (or tea) mug. Maybe a toy or something to amuse us when our brains need a recharge.

And sometimes we keep stuff on our desk that might make others scratch their heads a little.

Recently, I cleared* my desk of old paperwork, my collection of empty but dirty coffee mugs, dry pens and  incriminating evidence items that just didn’t belong on a desk…. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

What’s the Worst Place for a Phone Call?

Mobile phones give us tremendous freedom. No more waiting by the phone or frantically leaving messages on somebody’s answering machine1. No more waiting in line for a pay phone2…only to discover you’re out of coins and nobody has change for a dollar. No more slogging along the side of a highway in the rain, looking for a callbox3. No more being chained to your desk.

Of course, being able to take calls anywhere has some drawbacks. Folks (including clients, bosses and nagging relatives) now often expect 24-7 availability.

And then there are those folks who are willing to take calls anytime, anywhere… Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Are You Good Enough?

Looking in the MirrorAll of us have asked ourselves this question at one time or another. Some of us ask it a lot. And it can mean different things depending on how we ask it.

Maybe we’re facing a challenge and wondering if our skills are up to par.

Maybe we’ve just put ourselves out there and we wonder whether our efforts hit the nail on the head…or missed the mark.

In either case, we can use “am I good enough?” to spur ourselves on, to get ourselves asking the questions we need to figure out how we can get better.

But sometimes we’re really asking if we are good enough. If who we are, especially what we look like and how “cool” we are is good enough.

Good enough to fit in.

Good enough to be accepted.

Good enough to be loved. Continue reading

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

When is Getting Stuck the Best Thing?

I tend to write the way I live (or maybe I live the way I write), a sometimes-awkward hybrid between planning and winging it.

Writers often define themselves as either  plotter (planner) or pantser (that sometimes flaky person who considers herself spontaneous). While I’m no longer a die-hard pantser, I’m also not entirely a plotter. I’m somewhere between. A plantser, if you will. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Got Spring Fever?

Orange RoseA rose from my garden. I can’t take any credit for
their beauty or numbers…all I did was water ‘em.

spring fever (n):
1) A feeling of restlessness or excitement commonly associated with the approach of spring.
2) An irrepressible urge to go outside and play in the dirt.
3)An excuse for a decrease in productivity surround the advent of spring.

As you might have noticed, I took a wee break from blogging and social media-ing. I’d planned on taking a week or two off to  focus on a massive influx of work projects.

Then, two weeks turned into four.

Or something like that.

You know how it goes. Continue reading

Categories: Tuesday Toss-Up | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Do You Talk Back?

duo mouse watching 4782

“You might want to look both ways before crossing the…oh man…that’s gonna stain…”

You’re driving along, minding your own business (or maybe your kids’ business in the back seat as they argue over who’s taking up whose oxygen or some other obscure manifestation of sibling rivalry), when another car whips out of nowhere and cuts you off.

Or you’re watching folks on tv do something ginormously stupid.

Or maybe you’re favorite team is losing (or winning).

Do you talk back to them?

Fess up, now.

You totally yell at the tv/radio/car in front of you, don’t you? Continue reading

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

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