In Defense of Patience

*John Legend voice* Take it slowww, ohhhh, ohhhhh woah.

a friend's wise words during my road bike hunt

Patience is something we're told to have when we lack it. It's what we're told to seek when we don't have what we want.

I didn't realize how impatient I was until I tried to quickly acquire all the gear I needed for triathlon training. I kept checking the shipping progress on my running shoes and became more agitated. I even considered paying twice as much for a road bike after just one day of waiting for a response. I was excited to train, but waiting for the things I needed trained me in a way I didn’t intend.

I defend patience as a key ingredient of a well-paced life.

Patience widens my perspective. When you're moving too quickly, it's hard to pay attention to much of anything. If you're driving too fast, you miss the neighborhood changes. A packed itinerary keeps you from exploring and getting lost. Rushing out of the grocery store, you miss helping the elderly person at the self-checkout. Moving with patience makes you more aware.

Patience teaches faith. It helps you focus on what you can control and trust that everything else will be taken care of. It shows there’s more to the circumstance than what you can see. In my bike purchase, patience taught me that waiting can save hundreds of dollars instead of hastily going for the immediate option.

Patience succeeds where indecision fails. Patience reveals next steps at a natural pace, while indecision procrastinates and paralyzes progress. Patience gets you to the right place at the right time, while indecision gets you nowhere at all.

If indecision gets you nowhere, anxiety gets you where you don’t want to be fast.

Patience combats anxiety and prevents hasty, misaligned decisions. Believing there's not enough time leads to anxiety and a scarcity mindset. The good news is there's always enough time to do what matters. Embracing patience and resisting the urge to rush connects us more deeply with ourselves and the world.

There's always a counter push, an alternate approach to time, lack, and desire that calls out to us with a voice, half-siren and half-sergeant. It urges us to do more, work harder, move faster, now, we’re already too late, better hurry up.

Speed is attractive because patience is difficult. But patience is not the opposite of speed; it's about moving at the right pace at the right time. It’s a practice that has cultivated a more easeful, kind, observant, empathetic, and understanding approach to the world around me.

I thought patience meant idleness and idleness meant waste. But patience doesn't mean idleness and idleness isn't necessarily wasteful. Idle hands are more available to help, do, react, and create. Patience provides room for excitement and hope. While I wait to find a bike online, I’ll start my training with the bike I have.

Being patient doesn’t mean I’m being left behind or wasting time. It just means I’m doing my best with the time I have.

Thalia is finding ways to be more patient and confident in things she's trying for the first time.