Everywhere we turn, we hear someone telling us: "Be patient! Wait for the results of your work to bloom!", or: "You don't know to wait, and good things come to those who wait!"
Well, I know that, perhaps, it will come as a surprise to you, but I say: "Good for you, you don't know how to wait!"
Patience has nothing to do with waiting.
Patience is a virtue.
Waiting is a 'Never mind! If it's meant to be, it will be' philosophy.
Patience is active.
Waiting is passive.
Patience implies two subsequent stages:
1. Action, and
What do I mean? Here’s an example. I'm a writer with a dream like many other people who live having a dream. I want to get somewhere, to achieve something, to write T-H-E book, which people can't live without, etc. I know I can't get there, like this, in a snap. So, I have to ACT: I write four - five days a week, I read, I learn about my craft, I study, I do research, so on and so forth. Then, it's the probing time. I wait for the results of my work, I see the feedback I receive, the reviews, the response to any marketing plan I might implement, and, as I’m waiting, I'm already starting getting better in my writing, learning, marketing. I take what I receive, I learn the lessons, and I keep moving.
On the other hand, waiting in the sense of staying there put for a subjective amount of time to see if what you did works or not is not at all a virtue of those with strong will. This kind of waiting is an awful excuse for non-action, for lack of professionalism, for postponement, for believing in hidden forces that will shift and turn the universe around for you without you having to do anything in exchange, it's the 'I trimmed and sliced the vegetables; now, I'm waiting to see if they jump in the pot and start boiling into a delicious soup' attitude. I always hated this kind of waiting. In fact, ‘hate’ is too little to say. I despise it, and whenever it shows it's ugly face to me, I know it's high time I took a short break from everything and recharge, reground for then, to come back fresh without the need to wait while doing nothing.
I was over medicated with waiting recently, when my son got sick. It started with a trivial cold. The paediatrician said: "Go for natural remedies: herb infusions, hot tea, honey, lemon, and let's see how it goes”. Two days later, my son comes with fever. The paediatrician: "Paracetamol, and aerosol. Let's wait for two-three days, and see how it goes." Other two days passed, my son worsened. She: "Let's put him on antibiotics 5 ml every twelve hours, and wait for two days to see how it goes." Yeah, you know it by now, my son got even worse than before. She: "Let's change the dose to 6ml every 12 hours and…" At his point, I didn’t let her finish, telling her it’s useless continuing with the same antibiotic since my son didn’t show any signs of improvement. It had been 6 days already since she kept trying the same thing on him without even giving me a plausible diagnosis. And as Einstein said: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” When she called me impatient, and one who should mind her own business because I was not a doctor, I forgot all about my good education and told her to go to hell. After sending her to the eternal flames, I took my child to the ER. Other tests, the same freaking antibiotic and advised to, yeah, WAIT until we get the blood results. We went to a different paediatrician who, when seeing the blood results, said "Oh my God! Oh my God! Mrs Serban, his condition is very serious. Let's put him on 5 ml every eight hours (the same antibiotic) and... (yeah! again!) wait!" Having enough of waiting, we took him to our family doctor. When he saw the huge file of papers that we gathered, each with a different diagnosis, but the same treatment prescribed, and the same waiting written in small letters at the end, couldn't believe his eyes. He took the phone, called the ER section, scolded them a little, asked to be put in contact with the ENT doctor, and sent us directly to him. Well, useless to say, that they told us that we had to pass through the paediatrician's control first, and then, if the paediatrician considered it urgent, to get to the ENT section. Our family doctor told them something nice type: "Incompetent! They’ve been there! You sent them home as they came. You can't keep a six year old child with 39 C fever, and over, for eight days and tell them to still wait." It was a relief to know that I was not the only one who had an aversion for this verb. Thanks to him that very day was my son’s last day of fever.
This got me thinking to these ‘waiting’ and ‘patience’ concepts that are overused nowadays. And if I despised waiting before, now I loathe it. Waiting is the excuse of one's lack of professionalism and preparation. What do you do when you have no idea what you are doing, or wanting to do? You wait: for better astral conjunctures, for rivers to flow differently and winds to blow from the east, for miracles to fall on your head. If none of the above happen, you grope in the dark for a while, and maybe, you stumble upon another petty idea that you put into practice and go lying on your back again counting how many times the sun rose or set to see if it works.
I'll keep going, working, doing my best with as little or as much as I have, I'll keep treading and walking on this wonderful journey while being patient for all my efforts to be worthwhile one day. Or maybe not, but I know I'm going to have one hell of a ride, because I'll be running hand in hand with the rolling seasons and not lying on a comfortable chaise longue waiting for my ten-year ago book to become a masterpiece while watching, passively, how the seasons reel by.
Learn to be patient! Stop waiting! Start doing! Enjoy the journey! That's my motto! I'll wait and rest on the Other Side! Maybe!
"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.” (G. B. Shaw)
© Copyright 2014 Irina Serban. All rights reserved