The waiting game

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

In an age where modern conveniences like fast food and the internet have made everything available to us at the touch of a button, we have become a society that seeks instant gratification. We are no longer willing to wait for good things to come our way, we want them right now. If we seek knowledge on anything, rather than looking it up in a book we head straight to the internet to find all our answers. I am just as guilty as then next person. My mother always said patience was not a virtue I had in store, and to this day I hate playing the waiting game.
No matter what I have tried, I have never been good at waiting for things to come my way. Whether it is waiting for something to arrive in the mail, a phone call from someone, or just the time to pass before a good movie starts, it has always been a terrible thing for me. For some reason when I get an idea stuck in my head, either plans that I am making with friends to meet somewhere or a job interview, I always get anxious. If I have to be somewhere, I end up getting there way too early and then being frustrated because I have to wait on the other party. If I have a job interview and it is something I really want, I get very anxious and upset when I don’t hear back from the person right away. Basically I want everyone to do things on my terms when I am anxious, rather than wait for them to happen naturally.
The thing about being impatient is not only that it frustrates you, but others around you. People often see those with impatient characteristics as arrogant, insensitive, and rather impulsive. These qualities can be bad in large quantities because it can show people that you are quick to judge others, interrupt conversations quite often, and also have poor decision making skills. All these things can not only affect your personal life, but also limit your professional life. In order to better get in tune with myself, here are some things I have begun to try in order to better practice patience and cut anxiety out of my life.
First off, whenever I find myself getting anxious over a situation I stop and take a few deep breaths. If I realize that I am become anxious over the smallest of things it helps me to take a step back and look at the situation and reason with myself a bit. This allowed me to most often talk myself out of the anxiety and impatience that I was feeling. Second, I force myself to slow down. I used to eat fairly quickly when I was anxious. It always seemed like I was in a hurry, even when I was a child. I always wanted to get on to the next thing rather than take a break and eat my meals. Now, no matter where I am or what the situation is I force myself to chew at least twenty times before swallowing. This helped me to not only enjoy my meals, but also slow my entire body down, including my mind. This released a lot of tension in my muscles, and I quickly saw that my anxiety levels were reduced, resulting in more patience.
This realization that I am highly impatient and the steps I am taking to overcome it are not something that happens overnight. It has been a lifelong struggle of mine and now that I am fully aware of it, I have reached the halfway point. So if you are in the same situation as me, I hope that my tidbits of advice can help you play the waiting game in a little bit better frame of mind.