The Luxury of Impatience

When you find yourself in a line, consider this: impatience is a choice.

Building up frustration about waiting and about the person who completes transactions accomplishes what exactly? Besides, of course, fall into that “Ugly American” stereotype that the rest of the world endures.

Sure, we’ve all done it. At the movie theatre you stand in line to buy your ticket. Instead of spending a minute at the window, your visit lasts 4 minutes and 15 seconds. It’s a miracle you don’t throw glares (or worse) at the sole cashier. Even though you are the one who left late for a popular showing on a Friday, acting like your time is more important. And, you’re texting.

With low vision, I’m taking it one step further: not only is it a choice, it’s a luxury.

Impatience leads to serious consequences for me. If impatient when trying to cross the street, do I step off the curb before the signal changes? If impatient filing case papers at work, do I slam them into a random folder? If impatient while in line at the store, do I toss my items aside and storm off to my car to shop another time?

No. I planned to be at this place at this time for a reason, and I may not have the opportunity of doing this later. I envy those of you who enjoy the convenience and privilege of hopping in your car whenever, wherever.

I enjoy living in the moment; I savor the small interactions of a day. I prefer to wait my turn and practice patience. And, it’s practice because I’m not perfect. When I rush, I make mistakes. All. The. Time. My white cane presence allows me extra slack to do things before people start huffing and puffing around me. Others might be thinking terrible thoughts, but I can’t hear them. They might be rolling eyes at me, too, but I can’t see those most of the time, either.

Were you in line today? Do you think impatience is a luxury?

Inspired by the NPR article: Impatient Nation.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Trisha says:

    I struggle with impatience sometimes, usually when I’m in a lot of pain. I like your idea of practicing patience. I’ll try to think of that next time I’m starting to lose it over standing in lin l

    1. Trisha: Pain cuts patience down for sure.

  2. I too practice patience by waiting for the next light change – even if it’s because a thoughtless driver has stopped in front of their line and blocked the pedestrian crossing clearway. I start to get flustered at their actions and then I take a deep breath and am grateful for the opportunity to practice patience and take in the surroundings more. I read a great quote last night regarding drivers in the city – “You are not stuck in a traffic jam, you are the traffic jam!” Awesome huh?! Talk about twisting it around to change the focus back to one’s own behaviours and reactions.

    1. Lucent: Wonderful point and what a great quote.

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