I'm good at a lot of things. But I'm REALLY good at being impatient. I've always been like this - wanting things done "yesterday", rushing to finish as fast as humanly possible, even cutting corners so that I don't have to wait a single moment longer than I have to. But it's only been within the last few years that I've come to understand that some things aren't supposed to be done quickly. Not only can they not be rushed, they turn out markedly worse if they are. Yes, much to my dismay, there are many situations which are completely out of my control...no matter how much I wish they weren't.
Over the past seven months, I've chosen to immerse myself in a project (a little thing called a whole-house renovation) over which I've had very little control. Sure, there were decisions to be made, and I can assure you, we were involved in every one of them. But when it came to productivity, time-frame, and getting the job done, it was pretty much out of my hands. The process could not be rushed - and if I tried to do so, quality would have been compromised and the results would have been less than stellar. It was the ultimate exercise in patience. And with our move-in date of July 31st right around the corner, I think I'm going to make it.
The renovation process has served as an excellent benchmark for me. Everything un-related to the renovation gets compared to the wait time I've endured during this process. If I find myself becoming impatient about something, I just think about the 3 extra weeks I waited (patiently) for my cabinets to arrive, the 5 additional weeks for my bathroom tile to be finished, or the delayed schedule of the painters, gutter installation, or the door hardware. The list really COULD go on...but bottom line, there's was nothing I could do but wait. Patiently. And boy, is that difficult.
While the renovation definitely tops the list of things that I've learned I can't rush, here are a few more things on my list::
1) My body. I used to be impatient with my body. Why does it take so long to recover from a cold, the flu, or even a late night out? Why won't my bruises fade faster? Why can't my hair grow back sooner? Of course, as I get older, and more accustomed to life with lupus, I've learned that the body just takes time. To heal. To rebound. To regroup. And the less preoccupied I am with rushing the process, the faster it seems to go.
3) My daughter. I'm going to single out Bernadette here - because her sister Deirdre does a pretty good job of moving quickly. Bernie, on the other hand, cannot and will not be rushed. Trying to move my youngest daughter along - whether it's as she's getting dressed, buckling her seat belt, or eating her peas - is a very futile exercise. She wants to do things on her own time, and the more I push her, the more she resists. (And at age two, you know where resistance goes? Straight to a tantrum!) We're working on it, and of course, we try a new strategy every week. But for now, I've learned that if I wait the extra three minutes for her to do "X", rather than rushing her to do it in one, we all emerge unscathed. Usually.
4) My business. This point deserves a future blog post of its own, but for now, I'll just say this: I would love to grow my business. I would love to expand my lines of Pillbags, expand the reach of my book, maybe even write another one. And as an entrepreneur, I'm anxious to make these things happen. But as a lupus patient, a stay-at-home mom, and as someone who strives for balance in her life (and whose health depends on it!), I've learned to take it slow. Rushing the process, expanding too early, or spreading myself too thin won't get me any closer to my goals, and it would actually prevent me from reaching them in the long run.
So it turns out that slow and steady does have its merits, and I'm slowly learning to appreciate that fact. Let's just hope I remember that as the sea of boxes surrounds me on August 1st!