The Importance of Patience

We’ve been having some really great temperatures here in Nova Scotia for the last few days. +30 makes it feel more like summer than spring.

Hubby is ploughing the garden and I noticed he had some seeds out earlier. Feels a bit early to be thinking about planting but there are some plants that do okay in cooler temperature. I’m sure we’ll be having many days of temperature dips before summer technically arrives. It wasn’t that many years ago that we were hit hard by frost here in Nova Scotia the first week in June.

That’s when trees and plants are beginning to grow. I live in Christmas tree country and, believe me, it was brutal. The new growth was damaged severely. People were worried. What would this mean to the future of the Christmas tree industry?

But low and behold, the damaged trees healed with time and today they virtually show no signs of the damage they incurred. In fact some might say they look even better than before!

Things heals over time. What is required from us, is patience. (I actually needed to hear that message myself today.)

There is a reason it is said that patience is a virtue. Having patience is not always easy. We sometimes want to know what’s going to happen even before it happens.

Today will be an inside for me to do a little writing and some house decluttering. While I don’t consider myself a packrat (maybe I should) things eventually pile up. But as one friend said, if you haven’t looked at something in years, do you really need it in your life? She has a point.

Enjoy your weekend and this fine weather while it lasts. And wherever you are, may you allow patience into your life today.

Don’t Argue with a Bumble Bee

Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it, so it goes on  anyway.  ~Mary Kay Ash

I’m not sure if any of you have ever heard this myth, or if some of you have heard it and believed it to be true, but according to Wikipedia it’s a myth. Sorry to burst your bubble. If we were to pretend that this myth were actually true, I think the quote by Mary Kay Ash is rather thought provoking.

Think of the little bumble bee going about its business, having a grand old time, not even realizing that it’s not supposed to be able to do the very thing it’s doing.

How many of us in life have defied the impossible? There are many people out there who have. They’ve done what others said they could not, despite adversity, social or economical challenges, despite the fact that not one other person believed in them, they succeeded in what they set out to do. These are the people whom we need to take our hats off to. These are the people we can learn some of our greatest lessons from.

Determination and patience, something we writers are told we need to have if we want to defy the odds and get published (and if we don’t have it now, we best be getting ourselves some) applies, not only to those of us clacking away at the keyboard, but for all of us who set out to achieve goals in life. We’ve all heard that things worth having are things worth waiting for. Well, I tend to go along with that thought. If we were magically given everything our little hearts desired, the instant we desired them, our homes and lives would be cluttered and muddled to the point where we wouldn’t know which way to turn. Mind you I don’t want to have to wait and wait for that mama burger at A&W when I’m half starved out of my mind, and I wouldn’t mind getting that next publishing contract….But I’m sure you get my meaning.

Do you ever feel like that bumble bee? Some days I do. Everything falls into place for one reason or the other, and I’m on top of the world. I’m doing what others said couldn’t be done. If I’m working on a story I love, and the words seem to fall into place, there’s no reason for me not to feel this way.Right? But I’m not there every day. If I stopped to think of what all I want to achieve but have not yet, I could probably talk myself into believing that, like that bumble bee, it is impossible for me to fly. But I’m not going to do that. I’m going to keep flapping my little wings. When I get tired I’ll stop and rest for awhile because no one’s going to tell me it’s impossible. How about you?

Waiting For The Bus

“Dear God—I pray for patience. And I want it right now!

—Oren Arnold

When I came across this quote it made me laugh, but I could also see some truth in it as well. Patience is something many of us struggle with, myself included.

Granted, it might be nice to have our lives unfold in a timely fashion, but lets face it life doesn’t work that way. We wait and we wait and, then to add insult to injury, we wait some more.

I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for others over the years. When my daughters were away at school we’d go to the bus station to wait for them to come home, one from Fredericton, the other from Shelburne. The bus they travelled on was always late especially in the winter months. Sometimes we’d sit and wait for an hour or more. Of course once we saw that bus coming in the distance we were so happy to see them that we soon forgot about the long wait we’d just endured. Over time, we came to accept the fact that the bus would not be waiting for us when we arrived. It would be late as usual and there was nothing we could do about it.

Writing is like that. There is nothing fast about the publishing industry. Who spends more time waiting than a writer? A writer needs patience during every stage of the writing process. Patience is needed to keep us writing even after our initial love affair with that brilliant idea is over. Beginnings are filled with enthusiasm. Good thing or we wouldn’t bother to see it through to the end.

Stories do not just come about without a lot of work. Sure, it might be nice if we could have a polished story in three months instead of three years, but the truth of it is, some stories can take a long time to work out. Sometimes the buffing and polishing can take more time than the initial story, and yet we patiently rework sentences and paragraphs reaching for those perfectly sounding prose. Even during those times when we’re almost certain we’re writing pure drivel.

More patience is required to ensure that we do not become too anxious and send our work out before it is ready. I know I’ve been guilty of that in the past. Taking some time away from our latest masterpiece helps us to see any places that require more work.

Again we need patience as we await a decision from a busy editor. As much as we’d like to think that we are an editor’s priority, we are only one of many hopefuls out there. Even after our work has been accepted, we must have patience as we wait for our book to finally be published. My book was accepted in April and was not published until October of the following year.

I sometimes think those writers who are awaiting publication need the greatest patience of all. Once we’re published there is no going back. No one can take that from us. But for those still waiting it is easy to become discouraged and give up. This is when we truly need patience. This is when we need to remind ourselves of the day “when” publication comes and not “if.”

I wrote for many years before my book was published. When I first started writing it was my goal to be published in book form. I spent many years working at short stories, setting aside what my original goal was until the time was right. It wasn’t always easy. I wasn’t always patient. I often complained out of frustration.

Patience isn’t something we can hold it in our hands or sit it on a shelf and show it off for everyone to see. We can’t wait for it to find us and it’s not something we can go in search of. But it can be ours if we choose to allow it with a little change of thought.

How about you, do you struggle to find patience in your life? Or have you found that place of peace where you are content to wait for your bus to arrive?

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