A-Z Survival Guide to Life
I – Impatience
This is the ninth installment in the A-Z Survival Guide to Life I am writing for my boys (I thought I was getting caught up).
This is all something we are quite familiar with in our house. Surrounded by three males with strong wills and little tolerance for things not going their way, we are privy to a great deal of impatience.
One needs to learn to be patient, and with patience comes perseverance. And at times it may seem like being patient is just a waste of time, but great things can be accomplished by plugging along, slowly, methodically and thoughtfully.
Here are some areas in your lives where patience will serve you well.
Fixing things – This is a feared event in our house. When something breaks, stops working or isn’t working correctly, there will be a great gnashing of teeth, the violent hurling of objects and tools around the house, and there will be a never-ending torrent of expletives bursting forth from the mouth of the person attempting to do the fixing. And the object will remain unfixed.
None of this type of behavior does anything for the object that is broken, or for any of the other people residing within the same house. And honestly, the person that behaves in this manner really just comes off looking like a total butthole (I can’t think of a fancier word).
If something breaks, or isn’t any functioning correctly – step back from the situation and take a few deep breaths, and analyze what has happened to bring you and whatever is not working to this point. Did you hear a strange sound, did it start smelling weird, is it plugged in, is it turned on, did the fuse blow? Go step by step. Look for the easiest things that could possibly be responsible for the malfunction and keep your fingers crossed that it is something simple.
If none of that works, get on the computer (unless it is the computer that is toast). Search the internet for similar occurrences with the same machine or item. See what people have to say. Follow the reasonable advice. If that fails, call the toll-free number, if it is a machine that is still under warranty.
If all of that fails, say “Poo on it.” And go take a nap.
Assembling things – To save yourself a great deal of frustration and irritation, the best thing to do is read the instruction manual (or the destruction manual – as my dear old Dad says). Again, go step by step. Do not assume that you are so smart you know a much cleverer way to assemble the item, and your way doesn’t require using all the parts. If you are left with a little pile of nuts and bolts – be concerned, very concerned.
Cooking – To be a good cook, you have to be patient. If you become an excellent chef at some point in your life, then you may be able to cut corners. But you cannot hurry cooking, because it will suck, and then you will not want to attempt cooking again and you will have to rely on others to cook for you or you will be eating stuff that tastes horrible. Follow the recipes, don’t skip steps, and don’t forget ingredients because they seem useless.
Education – It is most unlikely that you will find a shortcut around getting an education. Sure, there are the very rare instances where people have not finished their schooling and have become very successful. But in these cases, the person was in the right place, at the right time. It is like anything else, such as fixing or assembling stuff, you have to plug along, doing the right thing and not taking any shortcuts.
Children – When you have children, which I hope is very far into the future, keep in mind that children cannot be rushed to grow-up. Childhood is such a fleeting moment in our lives, and it is the parents’ job to ensure that is filled with happy and fond memories. Do not overschedule children, allow them to play. Play is the work of a child. There will be plenty of time for them to be overscheduled when they grow up. Revel in their love of magical thinking and maybe in doing so you can experience the pure joy of loving life like a child, again.
Traffic – There is nothing you can do about traffic jams. You can throw yourself about, bang the steering wheel, make a complete ass of yourself and not one person will care. It won’t make the traffic move any faster. It will only make you that much madder. I saw a Fellini film the other day “8 ½”. It is a very strange film, which really isn’t earth-shattering news if you have seen any of Fellini’s films. But the opening scene is a man in a car with smoke billowing in; he was stuck in a traffic jam, surrounded by vehicles, filled with people just blankly staring at him. No one cared. My point is – no one will care if you are unraveling in your car. And when the traffic does finally move (unless you happen to float out of the sunroof, and over the traffic), don’t drive erratically and impatiently because you will only ending up hurting yourself or possibly someone else. Try and get to your destination in one piece. That should be your primary objective.
Life – Don’t hurry life. Like your Dad says – Life ain’t no dress rehearsal. You only get one shot at it. Don’t rush it. Do the things that make you happy. Don’t tread on others, so you can reach your goals quickly and at the expense of others. Most importantly, find something you like to do, set a plan to ensure that is what you can get paid doing, and work towards that goal, slowly and methodically.
Enjoy the moment, because as you get older, time somehow seems to speed up, exponentially. Have you ever noticed, it is only older adults that say things like “It just seems like yesterday”, or “Where did the time go?” You don’t ever hear kids or young adults saying that, because they are always looking forward. It is not until you get older, do you begin to look back and wish you had really paid attention.