Monday, August 20, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

"Why does Mrs. H. keep saying that?"

"I don't know, but it's kinda weird!"

"Yeah! Patience is a what? WHO CARES!"

Mrs. H., my seventh grade teacher, used to say, "Patience is a virtue" at least once a day. Now, honestly, she was an odd bird, to say the least, and when she stuffed her bra with tissues, she was always lopsided! Always! That surely didn't help her case any.

Well, to this day, I find myself repeating that same phrase inside my head at times when I'm completely frustrated. And I'm finally starting to understand the value of that phrase.

I'd like to think that I'm a farily patient person (I pride myself on it, actually) but lately, my patience has been tested on many accounts and I have to constantly remind myself to not get so worked up about things. I realize that we're living in the age of instant gratification, but I need to take a step back and learn that not everything is going to fall into place the minute that I want it to. Perhaps it's because I've been so tired lately with the extra hours that I'm putting in, and when I'm exhausted, my patience tends to jump right out the window!

Instances lately when I'm feeling extra-impatient:

1. Getting to know people

Normally, I love the "getting-to-know-you" process. It's new, exciting, mysterious, etc. But in this instance, specifically, I'm talking about my co-workers at my part-time job. Now, it's not that I want to be best buds with them, but I do want them to realize that just because I'm learning the ropes and asking questions, I'm not a complete moron. I'm older than most of them, have more experience than a lot of them in other areas, but sometimes, I forget to give away the free gift with the fragrance purchase. Seriously. Shoot me now. It will come with time, I know, but I wish I could fast forward a few months and just be done with it.

2. Starting the new school year

At my school, we're open year-round. We have open enrollment which is a very appealing quality to a busy parent with a tight schedule. So, some of the kids in my class have moved on to kindergarten. Some of the kids are still in my room this week and will move to a different school next week. Some of my kids will move on this Wednesday. And still, some others have been gone since May. Basically, there's not one "last day of school" with closure for all of the kids and teachers. Nope. I've grown attached to these kids (my first class!), and for the past few weeks and the next few weeks, emotional limbo it was and is. I really want to just meet my new kids and have a "first day of school" with my new class. So, needless to say, I've been frustrated and impatient and emotional and not very happy about the state of my classroom. Ugh, what's that virtue again? What do I need to remember?

3. Traffic

Ok, so although I live in Denver, I'm still a Chicago driver. Denver drivers are the worst (too slow! below the speed limit!) and way too overly careful. And I need to accept that the drivers here aren't going to miraculously speed up or actually pull into the intersection before making a left turn (now that would be a total miracle!) But lately, I've been swearing, yelling, (not honking though, thank goodness) and gripping the wheel in angst at the slow-ass drivers who don't speed up to make it through a yellow light to give me a chance to get through an intersection to avoid making me a few more minutes late to work. Is it that much to ask people?

Ahhhhhhh...anyway, a virture. Patience truly is a virtue. And not only is patience a virtue, but time is also very precious. And currently my lack of it is completely compromising my coveted, virtuous patience! Boy, Mrs. H, you were a smart lady.

I only hope that during all of the years that have passed since my seventh grade class, you've been smart enough to have patience with yourself and your tissues until both sides are equal and balanced! Because balance is really what it's all about, right?


J. Lee said...

Ummmm..I'm not from Chicago and I agree about Denver drivers. Especially in bad weather. Yet these are the same people that drive up into the mountains in a snowstorm to get the good "powder." Drives me crazy!

Lisa said...

I have to tell you that when I am overtired, or overworked, I am at my LEAST patient. And my MOST emotional. That's when I usually try to squeeze in a nap (wait, who am I kidding, I never get to squeeze in a nap!!!) I mean, that's when I try to get to bed just a little bit earlier!

Cilicious said...

I stumbled upon you because you showed up as a preschool teacher (it's in my profile too) and as a matter of fact, I am originally from Denver (married to a Chicago boy, plus we used to have a dog named Tucker) and taught for many years there.
Bear with the Denver drivers, that city has grown *so much* and continues to grow, with drivers converging from all over the United States.
Enjoy your life in my old hometown.

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