That is my new mantra. I chant it in my head almost daily, like Dory's "just keep swimming". I thought I was blessed with a satisfactory amount of patience. After becoming an author, I found that I had room for improvement. A vast amount of room. My past helped prepare me, but I've got more growing to do in that area. "God ain't through with me yet."
The publishing process is exciting, but frustrating. You've written a lovely book, gotten it accepted, but each step from editing to cover takes more time than you would like. With each approved phase, your excitement builds, but the waiting becomes excruciating. All you want is to see that bundle of joy in the mailbox, ready for mass printing. I've often compared it to pregnancy and childbirth. My sophomore and junior efforts have not changed that opinion. I'm currently about to burst to see Bebeaux and Pierre in the flesh. Unfortunately, the timeline is out of my control and I must have patience once again.
Teaching elementary children helped prepare me for this. Try dealing with 12 six year olds wanting your undivided attention and calling out your name at the same time. ("Bibi, Bibi, Bibi...") They were all important and deserved to be heard, but I was only given two ears. There were times that I wanted to run screaming out of the classroom, but I knew they would just chase me down the hall. To teach, you must have patience.
Retail management prepared me as well. The Christmas season made customers quite special. I understood that they had extra things on their "to do" list, because I did too. My list was often neglected because work hours nearly doubled to meet the needs of impatient shoppers. Holidays brought stress, I get it. However, there was never a need to curse me out because the lines were long. Lines tended to grow from Thanksgiving through December. It's been happening for years. Keeping a smile on my face and holding my tongue was a daily lesson in patience. (My shoulders are tightening up a bit just thinking about it.) To work in retail, you must have patience.
To be completely honest, my mood isn't always rosy. (I know that shocks most of you.) I wish I lived every moment humming songs and feeling magical. However, I've completely blown a gasket when the toilet seat was left in the upright position, especially during the middle of the night restroom visit. Now, I am fully aware that I'm outnumbered in the household, but that shouldn't matter because it's just nasty. Closing the lid should be a sanitary act, I don't care if it's not as convenient. The two seconds it takes to shut that lid would save you five minutes of hearing me fuss upon discovery. Unfortunately, hub has been on the receiving end of most of my toilet tantrums. Bless him. I've tried to maintain a unicorn and rainbow kind of world, full of creativity and adventure, but sometimes Positive Pollyanna turned into Negative Nelly. Being a spouse requires patience.
I tried to raise my boys with patience. I would often say, "Patience is a virtue" when they began to complain about waiting. It must have stuck, because they often remind me of that precious little quote when my patience is wearing thin. Hearing your words come back to you is not as charming, no matter how true they are or how cute your man boys look while saying them. Parenting requires patience, no matter the age of your children. Can I get an "Amen?"
So I will wait. My next two books will be launched when it's time for them to be launched. There is a plan that has been designed by One far above my intelligence level. My job is to trust in that plan, patiently. God help me.
Are you struggling with patience? Are you in a "hurry up and wait" situation? Share it at bethroperstewart.com We can form a support group.
Let's have patience with family, teachers, and retail workers as we go into the holidays. They're trying their best. You never know how much a smile and a kind word means. Spread love and peace, ya'll.