Patience is required of me on a daily basis.
In my job as a preschool teacher, having patience is about 90% of the job. I've had people say to me, "You're so patient with the kids. I don't know how you do it."
My husband frequently acknowledges, "I could never do your job."
But it's just a part of me. I wouldn't be a successful teacher without a mountain of patience.
In that area of my life, finding patience comes easy ... most days!
But what would probably shock a lot of people that know me is that finding patience in other areas of my life is very difficult for me.
Waiting can be torture, for me and the people around me, because when I'm focused on something I have a hard time letting it go.
There are different forms of waiting. We wait in line at the store, wait for the end of the work day, wait for dinner in the oven, wait for the doctor, the postal carrier, the traffic light.
Waiting is just a part of life. According to an article written by Tom Englehoff, the average person spends about "38 hours/year waiting in traffic, and 13 hours on hold waiting for customer service."
With my writing, I have a drive to finish the story. When immersed in a work in progress, it becomes the focus of almost all of my free time.
That feeling of typing the last word in a novel is more satisfying than ordering pizza on a Friday night.
It's that drive that won't let me stop.
But in the writing profession, a good percentage of my time is spent waiting.
Once the story is done and sent off to agents or publishers, the process is out of my hands and all that's left to do is wait.
Many agents say they'll respond in 8-12 weeks if they are interested. Some say they'll only respond if they're interested within 3-6 months.
Let me tell you, the waiting is torturous for me. I count the days, checking email a hundred times each day, like a dog waiting for a treat after performing a trick.
Growing up, my mom's favorite saying was: "Patience is a virtue."
But for some of us, it's not so simple.
So, here are my suggestions for helping to pass the time without losing your sanity!
Eight Easy Things To Do When You're Impatience Threatens to Drive You Crazy:
1. Take Deep Breaths.
Purposeful breathing helps prevent a panic attack and hyperventilation.
2. Find A Distraction.
Find another focus. For me, that's starting another writing project or working on promotions for KEEPER OF THE WATCH. (Social media also offers a time-consuming distraction, as you know!)
Start a journal ... or write a blog!
I highly recommend 'Stranger Things' and 'The Crossing'.
And have you started watching 'The Walking Dead' yet? Now's a good time to start!
4. Read A Book.
A really great book can take your mind off waiting and transport you into someone else's world!
Seize the day, and try living in the moment. Focus on what's happening around you, instead of whatever you're waiting for. Your family will benefit, too!
6. Put Things Into Proper Perspective.
How dire is the 'thing' you're waiting for? Is it life or death? I'm currently reading 'The Last Lecture' by Randy Pausch. It's a story about his final months of life after finding out he had pancreatic cancer. Along with the inspirational value, it really has opened my eyes to the importance--or lack of importance--of the things that I worry about on a daily basis.
7. Try Something New.
Open yourself to the possibility of discovering a new thing. It can be as simple as searching for new recipes to try, and can even help cross off an item on your bucket-list.
8. Connect With Nature.
Even if your not a nature-buff, there's a real calming factor involved in communing with nature. You don't have to join an outdoor yoga class! This can be as simple as watching the sunrise/sunset, or bird-watching in your own backyard. Nature is all around us, and we often don't even see what's right in front of us. "Stop and smell the roses."
I wish you inner-peace during all of your future hours of waiting.
Waiting is a part of life that we have to accept. There really is no way around it.
The next time you're waiting, try something on this list.
And if you're looking for a good book to read, I recommend trying KEEPER OF THE WATCH!
It is my hope that you'll want to keep reading! Have a great weekend everyone!
Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH
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