1. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
I have always thought of myself as a patient person.
Long line? I can wait without fidgeting. Call on hold? I will even hum along with tune playing. Waiting for a health report? I just pray. Giving instructions to someone who just cannot follow? I try to keep it simple and I speak slowly to give the other person the chance to process what I am saying. Listening to someone share a story that was told and I have heard a hundred times? I still listen, I nod and I try to show interest. I don’t yawn. I don’t show boredom.
See? I am patient. Forbearance is my middle name.
But then there are days… Days when my patience is tested — when it is just so tempting to lash out, then use the “Sorry, I’m only human” reasoning/cop out after.
Days like yesterday.
I started the day waiting for a document that I needed, something that was supposed to be given to me last Friday. Person concerned did not give said document last Friday, promised to send it by email over the weekend. Come Monday, I still didn’t have it.
It took a great deal of self control on my part not to tell the person off. I tried to be patient.
Got the document at 4:30pm.
My son came home from school not feeling too well, complaining of pain in the lower abdomen, so I brought him to a clinic for consult with the pediatrician.
Everything went smoothly. The doctor was there, we were next in line. The consult was thorough but brief. We were done in less than half an hour.
The doctor however suggested that my son have an xray of the abdomen, just to be sure. He can have it done in the same clinic, so it wasn’t really a hassle or anything. And we saw that there was no queue outside the xray room so we thought we would finish fast.
I told my son to proceed to xray and give the technician his doctor’s request, while I go to the cashier to settle the bill. Instead of going to xray, my son stayed with me for two seconds to clarify what he was supposed to do and what to tell the technician.
Two seconds. In those two seconds, another person appeared from nowhere and knocked at the door to the xray room, handed the technician her doctor’s request.
Two seconds and thirty minutes later, my son and I were still at the hallway outside the xray room, waiting for his name to be called. Waiting for his turn. That one patient before him just took too long.
My son and I just entertained each other while waiting by telling each other stories. But inside, I was like, “Really?! Forty minutes for an xray??!”
When we finally — FINALLY — finished at the clinic, I had to go to the pharmacy to get my son’s meds.
There was a queue. The number being served was #26… my number was 35.
After about 5 minutes, I checked the number being served… Great, still at #26. Somebody must be buying half the pharmacy.
I was getting fidgety but still I tried to keep my cool. I sent my son (who opted to stay in the car) a text message: #forever.
The next numbers got called eventually. I saw an old schoolmate come in and got a number. Hers was #43… when we both looked at the counter, the number being served was #33. I gave a sympathetic shrug. Join the club, sister…
We just ended up chatting.
Things don’t always go as we planned. There are situations we cannot control, people who are not always reliable. There are trying moments. Patience truly is a virtue.
But when we don’t give in to that urge of lashing out, or allowing our emotions to get out of control, I believe we will be better off in the long run.
I won’t say, though, that I was not on the verge of a tantrum yesterday, because I seriously was. But then, exhibiting patience is more mature.
And so, I decided to take the high road. #chooseyourbattles
photo via google images
Patience definition from google