My worst thing is waiting. I suffer mightily in the patience department, and it’s apparent in all areas of my life. At my job, I get frustrated when I’m waiting for others to do their part of a project, so that I can do MY part of the project. Never mind that they’re on schedule – why aren’t they ahead of schedule? At home I find that I won’t even start a big project, because I know that I’ll get impatient halfway through. I’ve got two or three necklaces started that are very intricate and time consuming, and I’ve just bagged them up in order to get them off my workbench so I can focus on the things that can be completed quickly. My husband, an easy-going man, walks too slowly for me, and I stride ahead in the hope that my speed will encourage him.
Hurry up, I feel like saying to everyone. Hurry UP!! I grind my teeth, grit my jaw, hunch my shoulders… things just aren’t moving at my pace.
If I am having a particularly self-aware day, I will catch myself doing this. I’ll notice my shoulders all sore and cramped, or my teeth aching, and I’ll try to physically stop myself. Let’s be honest – I’m not saving lives. Sure, it’s great to be on time, it’s great to be completing tasks, etc. etc. But why in the world does it have to be at the cost of making my body hurt?
I had a therapist who would kick off her shoes, pull her feet up into her cushy chair, and lean back. She’d take a huge, wooshing breath in, then whoosh it back out. “Let’s take a couple of deep breaths,” she’d say. Tense and irritated, I’d take 2 quick breaths like a bull in the ring, and look back at her like “well?”
“Sometimes it just helps to center ourselves. Sometimes it just feels good to get that rush of oxygen. Try it again.” So I’d try again, and this time my breaths might be a tiny bit better… and then better again. And damn it if it didn’t feel good. I laugh now, when I think back about it – she was a great therapist. A little kooky, but really good at helping me identify those places where I set traps for myself. Today I’m taking a lot of those deep breaths. They’re helping me fight off a headache, deal with a recalcitrant website, and deal with the stress of having a house on the market. Breathe, people. Join me in a few big, fat, oxygen sucking breaths. And tell me if that doesn’t feel better.