Of Patience and Perfection

Patience has always been my nemesis. That elusive trait I refuse to embrace. As I fly around my universe at warp speed, juggling a thousand balls in the air, I choose not to allocate precious time for that which I perceive to be an overrated virtue.

I have no patience for inflated egos. Or for bullying. Or for blatant stupidity. These traits are not worthy of my attention, and I tend to cut folks off at the knees and push them off my radar in a matter of nano-seconds if they show any hints of them.

Them sounds like fighting words, don’t they? And for some folks, they just may be.

But according to the folks who are nearest and dearest to my heart, this particular attitude of mine is in stark contrast to the high level of patience they say I have always gifted to my clients. And my friends. And my family.

So what has sparked this sudden angst over what I seem to have determined is my lack of patience?

Was it the visit I had with my elderly mother a few days ago? When she regurgitated the same conversation I’ve been having with her during every visit lately? A conversation which took every ounce of patience I could muster not to scream in her face, and instead, sit with her hand in mine and quietly explain it to her…over and over and over again?

Is it because when I see the confusion and frustration in her eyes, I am saddened that I cannot find the magic answer to make it all go away for her?

I know I must remember both my mother and I are in a learning curve. Learning how to cope with her dementia. And her increasing physical limitations. And the roller coaster ride of emotional responses.

I know I need to cut myself a break. I am not perfect. No one is, I know. And I have to realize I have traveled a long way on the road to understanding. I have found methods to deal with every issue which has come across my path.

So what if it has taken me more than one shot to hit the bullseye? I’ve hit the target more times than I have missed.

I know I must keep putting one foot in front of the other. And take comfort in the knowledge my efforts are not in vain. Quite the contrary. For my clients and my friends and my mother…who tell me my efforts on their behalf are a lifesaver. I must accept them to be as my own as well.


4 thoughts on “Of Patience and Perfection

  1. It’s hard to be good all the time. And the repetition…human brains are wired to dislike that – it’s dull, boring, and already been there so why there again. I understand your irritation, frustration and guilt.
    Hard to not shout at them – especially if they are afflicted with the daily “sundowning” and every afternoon it’s like that movie “Ground Hog Day”
    That’s when you just have to remind yourself, this isn’t who your mom was…and it’s OK to admit it drives you crazy.
    As for “normal” people – the older you get the harder it is to tolerate some of the foolishness, meanness, stupidity. Just so much time and energy – no need to waste it on those who could do better, but won’t.
    Hang in there – you are the good kid – and doing the best you can.

  2. Thank you. I have learned so much since starting this journey with my mother. About how we age. About my mother. About myself. And how truly fortunate I am to have been gifted the honor of being my mother’s daughter.

  3. You can and you will do this. It’s a special although difficult sort of journey.

  4. Thank you. And yes, it is a journey I will never be sorry I have taken. The gifts far outweigh the burdens.

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