Patience & Persistence

If two words in the English language could get married, I bet it’d be patience and persistence.

Both complement and almost require one another in order to exist.

Patience had some interesting definitions around the web. Let me share a few:

the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset (google.com)

good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence; solitaire: a game played by one person (wordnetweb.princeton.edu)

the art of delayed gratification; an essential ingredient in parenthood and adoption. (godsfamilies.org)

Here’s Persistence:

firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something (google.com)

(persist) prevail: continue to exist; (persist) persevere: be persistent, refuse to stop; (persist) stay behind (wordnetweb.princeton.edu)

(persist) (-ed) – not giving up, especially when facing difficulty (pinkpowergirlsrock.com)

(persistent) Deciduous leaf blades that remain on the tree for more than a year (treespade.info/)

Persistence is continuance despite difficulty and patience is tolerating difficulty.

I suppose one could exercise one of these traits without the other, for instance I can envision someone training for a marathon but having a hard time accepting that they’re not instantly able to run 26 miles after a few weeks (persistence without patience), but in general I think persistence and patience go hand in hand.

Lately I’ve felt not-so-willingly forced into the hands of both persistence and patience.

I’m awaiting the arrival of decision letters from graduate programs, which I have been readying myself to attend (in some shape or form) for the last 7 years or so.

I’m awaiting the closure of a personal injury lawsuit that started 2.5 years ago.

I’m awaiting the future for Dan and I, which may be influenced by graduate school and/or the lawsuit to some extent, but mainly our own experiences/ decisions, etc. Our relationship is something we are continually living and working on.

It’s pretty difficult to foster patience and persistence.

There are definitely days when I just want to know what the future holds – I want to know if I’m making the best decisions possible to achieve the end closest to ideal, and for goodness sake, I’m just weary of waiting. I want tomorrow to hurry up already. I want to live my life, not feel stuck in a perpetual limbo of potentiality.

Then there are days when I’m content in the present – I can appreciate sitting on the precipice of impending change and look around, survey the landscape, if you will, with staying still as the only action I have to commit to right now.

But for someone who believes in self-empowerment, individual choice, and simple independence, staying still is a challenge. It’s a test of persistence because I am committed to various paths which I must continue on, and it’s a test of patience because I want so badly to dance, skip or run down the paths but I’m being forced to walk, and walk slowly- at a pace undefined by me.

When I’m feeling the waves of frustration at the lack of control, stirred by the winds of anxiety seeping into my thoughts, I freak out (e.g., cry, furiously scribble thoughts on the nearest sheet of paper, lose sleep, eating copious amounts of chocolate, etc.) and I try to find solace. I try. Lately The Eagles’ Learn to be Still provides a soothing reminder of what I must do for now. Not forever, I remind myself, just for now.

And I try to accept the fact that life itself is not a sprint, but a marathon. So in some ways, it’s good that I am being required to exercise patience and persistence because these skills will surely help me far into the future in ways I am not even aware of at the moment.

But it is challenging – of body, mind and spirit – to be still. To continue. To wait. To continue. To wait.

For those of us needing a little zen while we progress in a waiting position, here is a link to I Am Waiting by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Thanks for reading, S

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About regulardaze

Hi, I'm Sarah. I enjoy photography, dancing, travel, theatre, delicious food, and learning (constantly, about almost everything imaginable). I currently live in Austin, TX. Thanks for sharing in my thoughts and adventures! :)

2 responses to “Patience & Persistence”

  1. Kristin Barton Cuthriell says :

    Thank you reading my post and hitting like. It brought me to your awesome post. I also struggle with being still. I am an achiever, which is a strength most of the time, but it does interfere with my ability to be still, which is also important. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thank you. Kristin

    • regulardaze says :

      Hi Kristin! Thank you for reading my blog as well, and for sharing your thoughts on stillness. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who finds it challenging sometimes. Best wishes always, Sarah

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