Patience

There are moments when I am simply waiting. I want something to happen so badly. I want somebody to reply to my text message. I want hear that the projects I have been working on are progressing. That something is happening. I am moving towards my goals.

Tonight is one of those nights. And as I sit here, impatiently, I start to wonder what I am actually wanting. Is it simply for somebody to tell me that things are okay? That my plans are coming to pass? Or is is loneliness? That I want to feel part of something, and like somebody is listening to what I have to say?

I don't think either of those two desires are necessarily bad, and I think I am looking for both of them. I want to move steadily towards my goals. And I want to share the journey with others, and have them respond when I reach out to them.

There is something else I can be at times like this. In not hearing from them, in not getting some feedback that I am moving towards my goals, nothing in my life is actually different tonight. My goals are not going to progress. I will hear from these people in time. It is patient that I can be. It is simply being in this moment, and not doing, that I can be.

Doing nothing can be such a hard thing. Wisdom is knowing when to act, and doing it, and when to be patient, and pause.

Tonight, for me, it is time to pause.

Consistency

Right now, having taken on a full-time job, it is a lot of effort to keep the rest of my activities going. Like the podcast. And even thinking about a social life makes me want to sit down.

I remind myself to be consistent. That starting a new job takes energy, but it is not going to be this energy sapping for long. It also requires the creation of new routines which also require some trial and error before they are optimised, but then they become optimised and easy.

So for this period my priority is to do the basics of looking after myself well: sleep, food, movement, meditation. My other priority is to be consistent in producing the podcast, writing this blog, and of course showing up and producing great work at my new job.

Soon I will have time and space and energy for other things. But right now it is about getting through a slightly more difficult period.

Is it me or them?

I write an email asking a not-quite-yet friend for some assistance. I wait a week after getting no reply, and wondering if I have written something that offended or annoyed them.

I am at a cocktail party, and somebody who I thought I was pretty friendly with doesn't talk to me for much of the night. I wonder if I they have heard something about me that has put them off me.

In cases like this my immediate reaction is to think that I am the problem; I have done something, said something, thought something that has caused them to not want to respond to me.

What usually happens is that they do end up writing back, even if it is after another prompt from me. They do end up talking with me, even it is at another social occasion. It wasn't actually something I had done - it was actually about them, all that was going on in their world, which has drowned out what I was looking for from them.

As a rule of thumb I would say that in 95% of cases if I get a sense that I have wronged somebody simply because they have not got back to me in a timely manner, it is because of all that they have going on - not about my offensive behaviour.

Therefore it is much more productive to make this assumption, and be right 95% of the time, then the opposite, and be stressed and wrong 95% of the time.

And as for the the 5% when it is me...well, I'm pretty sure I will find out soon enough.

Where am I rushing to be anyway?

I am walking along a footpath and get to the traffic lights. There is a graphic of a red person telling me that it is not my time to cross the road. I feel agitated. I look up and down the road impatiently. No cars. I hurry across, feeling a sense of guilt at being naughty and elation at saving myself 20 seconds. 

I get a bit further down the road and I think, saved myself 20 seconds of what? Of waiting time? Of time to stop and think? Where am I hoping to be 20 seconds faster? At the shop? On my couch? In front of my TV?

I start to wonder why I feel like I need to be just a bit faster than what the world seems to be allowing me to be. Because if I really needed the 20 seconds I saved to make all the difference in my day, then I have some larger questions that need asking and answering. 

The answer is not clear to me, but as I ponder this thought I notice all the small ways I rush: cutting the vegetables; folding the clothes; typing the blog. Something inside me does not want to accept some of these moments as they are.  

My task is to notice the times I am rushing, and to deliberately take a deep breath and go slow. And to observe the results.