Patience is a virtue. And I will never have enough.
If only I had listened to Justin Timberlake years ago when he sang, “What goes around comes all the way back around.” Now while I certainly realize that Justin was singing about karma being a total bitch, I have learned (the hard way of course) that things in life have a way of coming around, or coming back around, when the time is right. And this is where patience comes into the picture.
I will be the first to admit that it’s hard to have patience in a world that moves so very quickly, when time passes in the blink of an eye. It’s hard when you miss someone dear to you and want to hold them close, or at least see their smiling face in person and not only on a computer screen. It’s hard when you want to create work that is meaningful and find yourself wishing you had started sooner. It’s hard when you see time catching up to your loved ones. It’s hard when you once felt so young, and now suddenly you can feel yourself aging too. On the one hand you can’t rush timing, and on the other hand, you see that time is slipping away from you and feel as though you can barely hold on. But where does it go?
Time is an uncontrollable force that cannot be reckoned with, though you may try and fight it with all of your might. I’ve spent far too much time feeling as though I was waiting aimlessly, convinced time was playing cruel jokes on me. I’ve spent far too much time making foolish attempts to try and race the clock. I’ve spent far too much time trying to make up for what I was so afraid would become lost time. Instead I set a pace I could not even pretend to keep up with, and I took for granted what was there in front of me. I forgot how to exist in the moment. Sometimes I still forget.
It’s hard to process that time will not stop for us. It will not stand still for you, for me, or for anyone. It will never be on our terms. And so, it’s up to us to make the most of the time we have. This means we have to decide what matters to us, and what we are okay with letting go of. We have to decide where we will choose to spend our energy, and what we will stop worrying about. We have to accept that we will never fully understand life’s timing, even though we are and will forever remain at its mercy. And still through all of this, somehow we must make way for patience.
Patience means remembering that although time keeps ticking, the best things in life have always been, and are still, worth waiting for. And that good things really are coming to those who wait. Patience means believing that it’s never too late for the people, the places, and the things that mean everything to us.
I will never have enough patience, but I’m finally learning how to be more patient with myself. I’m learning to let go of the mistakes I have made in the past and learning that there are still more mistakes to be made in the future. I’m learning to accept that I am a human and that it’s okay to make mistakes, and that I wouldn’t be learning without them. I’m learning to accept that I don’t have the power to go back and undo anything and that I can’t buy myself more time because, well, there’s no time to be bought. I’m learning life’s too short to do everything I want to do, but that I must go and do the things I care about most, with the people I care about most, while I am able. I’m learning that the time is now and that now is truly the only time I have. I’m learning that it’s not too late to make this precious time I’ve been given count.
image – jurvetson