They say patience is a virtue, or a gift. That somehow you’re born with it and you cannot build it through the sheer force of experience. I am not sure I agree, to be honest.
I reckon that if patience is a gift, then impatience would be a gift too. A terrible gift, I must say, but a gift nonetheless. Using those opposites logically, you would not be able to switch between being patient and impatient. I feel, however, that I am somehow between those two mindsets at the moment, and I’m finding it difficult to work out whether I am a patient person or not.
I was an impatient child and young person. I really wanted things right here, right now. With time, of course, you learn that things only happen after a while, and that there’s nothing really worth your time and effort if it happens from one day to the other. Those things are just cheap thrills. Like getting yourself a new car, or a new phone out of the blue. Any time I have wanted to make a purchase of a certain caliber, I have always over-thought and I have been patient enough to: 1) either gather the money or 2) wait until an offer that makes sense comes around or 3) it was my birthday or some other occasion, 4) above all, make sure I would not regret it and it was a genuine need. It took three months of owning a dying Blackberry to get myself a new iPhone; we have been thinking about getting a new telly, but still haven’t made up our minds; I have been looking for new basketball shoes for over a year, and nothing matches my needs; I had been looking into getting new Nike IDs for refereeing for at least 9 months before buying my Lunarglide5s. I seem to be able to be very patience with purchases and owning things. If you wait for long enough and you still want it, then you must really want it.
Similarly, I have learnt to be patient with my research and its outcomes. I received some funding from the Fundació Mercè Rodoreda last year. I have been writing the text I proposed for such funding in the meantime. I believe the text is finished, but I am happy to go over corrections over and over again. The money pressure does not really exist. Whenever I get it, I will be happy to have it. Sooner than later, I guess, but I’d rather have a good text and not just something stupid. In the meantime, I am revising an article and hoping that I can publish it in a few months’ time, or next year if needed. There’s a lot of work involved and very little instant recognition in these things. Yet I am happy to do them with the premise that “One day…” they will actually happen.
Lately, however, it’s been more difficult. Due to external factors, I have been in an incredibly impatient mode for the past few weeks. I just don’t seem to be able to wait. I’m constantly worried and think things too much and I find it hard to focus because I feel I am riding an emotional roller coaster. I have learnt that none of those bad moods will help speed up things. I can’t seem to be able to talk myself out of it. I reckon (and hope!) that by writing this down, I will be able to see how stupid my position is, and relax. I have plenty of things to be doing and to be worried about, and I can’t afford to be impatient, because it will only interfere with the spiral of stress.
The last time I tried this technique (saying things out loud in order to commit myself to do or not to do something), it worked very well – I finished writing the article I was working on! I hope this helps me again – because I have to prepare the APR presentation and script and rewrite the full conclusions of that article in the next 3 days. Yay for challenges.