One of the many profound discoveries during my time with Patience was the realization that THERE IS TIME. This was so profound I nearly had to stop my work with the fruity experiment and make this Ah-Ha moment its own exercise.
The pressure of do it fast and do it right now was so LOUD! So heavy. I felt that incompetence foreshadowed everything I did. In any given task there was always someone who did it faster, knew more, or did things more easily.
It seemed it was never about me and the work, it was about trying to be faster than other people, or more intelligent, or to impress them. I felt half-assed and not quite right. The worst was when people would tell me how to feel by saying, “that is okay, you did your best,”
Did people forget how to define the word best? Since when was, “doing your best,” defined as substandard and not something so near perfect that it’s impossible to do any better. My problem was that there wasn’t enough time to do my best. I’d get irritated that people would accuse me of perfectionism when I wasn’t anywhere near perfect. What I heard was, “you met the minimal expectation, quit trying.”
I’m not talking about rolling with the punches, recovering from mistakes, and thinking on your feet. All of that is to reach your best. The ability to roll with it is where talent and fortitude reside. When we tell people they did their best when in fact they have just did minimal, they don’t get a chance to use the talent and fortitude to un-bury the WoW factor. It’s about actually feeling the satisfaction of a job well done and not trying to convince yourself it is a job well done. Even though it’s not perfect, a job well done is exciting. It’s perfect in all it’s imperfections.
Even though every move was about getting faster-better-stronger, keeping up the act of proving my capability took up a lot of my time. There was so much to do between the boss, extended family and immediate family that the faster I got done with one chore, the faster I could get to the next. Going to bed brought a new day and it started all over again. This hurt when my daily expectations were to reserve enough time to execute one of my many ideas and instead I would drop dead of exhaustion.
The effect was that I’m an artist with no art. Or that’s what I felt like since I never had time to develop my art. Although I did become really good at doing stuff that I don’t know how to do.
Since I knew I wasn’t incompetent, I grew to prefer working alone. I could work at my own pace, make mistakes, learn how to recover from them, and work until I met my own standards. Plus I didn’t have to handle anyones anxiety while they thought ahead three steps and pretend to forecast the future that I was screwing it all up. It was a beautiful thing to retreat, and then come back out with a finished project done right.
This sounds good, but still, I wasn’t quite there. I was proving I could do the things that I THOUGHT I was supposed to do and get them done right. I didn’t get a full grasp on this until I gnawed at a couple of more fruits. But it started here with Patience.
Having patience isn’t trying to be passive while sitting in turmoil as wasted time goes by and suffering in the sin of being impatient.
It is the recognition that there is time and to act accordingly.
- Sitting in a traffic jam or a Rail Road crossing? Don’t use that time to get all jittery with exclamations of not having time. Time is going on now and this is what’s happening now. I caught on that I had been wishing and praying for more time, and here I was wasting this new found time on a bad attitude and worry. (It was a gift and I was screwing it up.)
- Put your focus on the task and not the other person. This comes in handy when the pressure to compete shows up. Not only do I recognize that I am still fairly quick, but my accuracy has increased. For example if two of us are sent out to sweep, I let the other bolt right on ahead of me and congratulate them on winning while I focus on the task and sweep the stuff they missed. I do not point out that they missed something. If they are paying attention they can see it. Be nonchalant.
- Do not harass people to pick up the pace. Either hang out and be the coach or be the defender if other people harassing to pick up the pace. (Be the mentor.)
- No more game face. Since I don’t need to get people to back off to let me do my job, I don’t scowl and snap at people anymore. (again be nonchalant when they do get on your back)
- I protect my good day. If I am going to have a good day, I can’t get all snippy and sarcastic. (at least not with every opportunity I’m presented with, just leave it for sometimes.)
- I control myself and not others. This was my big lesson in separating Self-control from Patience. (I can’t control that train, but I can chill out and control my attitude so I can enjoy my new found time. I can’t control that kid to compete with me in sweeping, he’s probably just trying to make a chore fun, but I don’t have to be a downer either. I don’t teach people a lesson to not get on my case anymore. I don’t control them, I control me. (be nonchalant) I also can’t control the bosses bad attitude when the train makes me late. They are going to do whatever they feel they need to do to be the boss and control the situation. (again, be nonchalant and let them do it.)
Whenever I catch myself with, there isn’t enough time, I remind myself, there is time.
Time is a man-made invention. Although there is the passage between the sun and the moon and the rotation of the earth, man did invent the clock and calendar. Man invented the 8 hour work day. Man invented weekends. Man sets the standard for what we do during daylight light hours and what we do during evening hours. I needed a Tune Up between my body and it’s relationship from one day to the next. This could be sun up to sundown. …Or midnight to midnight. Or noon to noon. Or however you want to configure it. I had to stop and complete the tasks related to my body, my home, my income.
BTW income is related to taking care of body and home. Also recognize that home will branch out to community, but just start here at home.
Once I discovered that I had enough time, it’s easier to slow down and enjoy the journey. This is how I use patience to enjoy both the journey and the destination. This is how I get lost in my work. This is how I stop and smell the roses. This is how I get more things done than I thought I ever could have.
This weeks Fruity Virtue is Kindness.
(I’m going to extend this one. I’ll check back in on Friday.)
This ain’t no Random acts of Kindness. No challenges of grand gestures needed. Think of the smallest, unrecognizable acts.
When someone says Thank you. Say, “Your Welcome,” and that’s it. Don’t say another word.
Watch for opportunities to come your way. Do not present opportunities for you to be kind. Do not go out of your way to be kind. AND most importantly, no acts of sacrifice. Do not give up your time. Do not give up your talent. Do not work for free. Anytime you think someone is going to misunderstand you as rude, tell yourself that you are a kind person to misdirect that fear and let it go right on by you. Then proceed as if everyone knows that you are kind.
With every opportunity think small, gentle and no fear.