When Patience And Persistence Butt Heads

Mountain weekend 086

I have no problem waiting my turn for things. I don’t mind waiting in line or for other people to do things…that is unless they are dawdling. Still, I am an impatient person. Yes, when I ask someone to do something for me I expect it to have already been done YESTERDAY. See, my problem is that I won’t ask for help when I need it. I wait until I’ve exhausted all measures; you know, like I’ve failed attempts four or five times. Because I know I get aggravated waiting for someone to do something (like take out the trash or hang a picture) I just do it myself. And yes, sometimes my efforts are half-hearted.

Perhaps this problem of mine has more to do with control than I’d like to admit. Because I am aware of this fault if the task is something I cannot do alone I try to ask for assistance well before I need it to be completed. I also remind myself not to nag. Now being a woman, that alone is some feat to accomplish!

About three weeks ago we had several pictures that needed to be hung. I hung about half of them  and relocated several existing wall hangings while the hubby was at work. I pulled my back out in the process. See what I get for my impatience? Two weeks passed and the hubby still hadn’t hung the others. One was too heavy and awkward for me to handle. The other set of four were being placed along the stairwell which required the precision (measuring) of my engineer husband. I casually asked, “When were you planning to hang those pictures?” A week later when I was shopping with a friend he not only hung all the frames but did some household repairs (ones I’ve been waiting on for a long time!) as well. So, does this mean patience pays off instead of persistence?

The other thing about impatience I need to learn is that “haste makes waste”. I was in a hurry to finish a quilt: I knocked a new bottle of Fresh Press off my ironing board and broke the sprayer. I failed to properly measure something I cut. I ran my machine at top speed resulting in a crooked corner. I’m sure I probably made more mistakes, but who’s counting? Though I finished, I wound up frustrated.

Writing takes both patience and persistence. I mean a novel won’t write itself. I have to allow myself time to work out plotlines and scenes in my head and then I must be diligent in putting them on paper. Sometimes it takes several rewrites and edits to perfect a scene and then it has to flow into the next scene. This is where both patience and persistence comes in. The only way I get anywhere is by taking time off and coming back to it with a fresh perspective.

These days my main problem is not patience or persistence but prioritizing. I’m learning to divide my free time between sewing and writing by simply going where my soul soars and not letting the guilt of what’s left behind hold me back.

38 thoughts on “When Patience And Persistence Butt Heads

  1. “Because I know I get aggravated waiting for someone to do something (like take out the trash or hang a picture) I just do it myself. ”

    I do the same thing, Suzi. Yup, I am a very impatient person too and also struggle with control. So I think that might be why I ended up saying, “Oh…I’d just rather do it myself.” But on the other hand, and to be honest, it IS aggravating to wait for someone to do something if you ask them and they take forever to do it. Some people always say they’re going to do something, but don’t (or do it in their time). So I guess it’s about balance and learning to wait patiently, up to a point.

    Great post topic! And I love the photo!


  2. I tend to be impatient and I do have control freak issues. I also have to keep reminding myself not to hurry. My husband sounds similar to yours, down to the engineering part. Patience, persistence and prioritizing. I like that. A great reminder. All the best to you follow the soaring of your soul! 🙂

  3. Patience is one of those over-rated so called virtues that continues to pop up in my life. It seems everything I truly enjoy doing – gardening, knitting, baking, even motherhood – requires large doses of it. I swear, the universe is conspiring to make me a better person.

  4. Very thought-provoking, Suzi! We share that impatience trait, you know. Probably got handed down along with the perfectionist one. Let’s keep reminding each other that Rome wasn’t built in a day (and neither will our novels be!)

  5. Reminder versus nagging works wonders!
    So simple but so valid is to follow the activity where the creative juices are flowing, and not worry about the neglected one during that time.

  6. “simply going where my soul soars and not letting the guilt of what’s left behind hold me back.” Beautiful and oh-so true. The learning that truth is the hard part!

  7. Oh, I am the same way. When I was child, my mother used to scold–“You cannot do two things at once–at least not well.” Now, 50 years later, I am learning to take my time. Instead of envisioning the end of a sewing project, I focus on one seam. Same with those crazy stitches in learning to knit. Our culture demands expertise, multitasking, and speed–and we forget to enjoy the view.

  8. I am learning to sink into the moment, instead of rushing to someotherplace. It is constant work.
    Have you read Karen Mazen Miller’s Hand Wash Cold? I believe her words will resonate with you.

  9. I am learning that, no matter what you write, it is like poetry…your choice of words, your visual images, your use of the other senses in describing things important to you. This should stand you in good stead for your writing. The beautiful picture at the beginning of this post represents to me how you write.

    One of my favorite fantasy authors, Alison Croggon, is a renowned Australian poet. Poetry really isn’t my thing, although I can appreciate the great poems. However, even more do I recognize how her poetry training lends delicate beauty and powerful emphasis to her fiction prose. And how vastly enhanced it makes her writing – see The Books of Pelinor..

    Another writer whose work shows signs of poetic influence, although she denies she is a poet, is Jacquelyn Michard, whose latest best seller is The Most Wanted. She gives poetic justice to a fascinating and powerful modern-day novel.

    That’s why I think poetry, besides being beautiful in and of itself, is also such wonderful training for fiction writing. And so as to not make this a complete derailment of your topic, this is why I believe your writing, actually non-fiction as well as fiction, has these graceful counterpoints of delicacy and power. I further believe that you might have bestseller-dom within you 🙂

    • Thank you, Sandra. You are more than gracious with your comment…you’ve given me hope where I was losing confidence.
      I love Jacqueline Mitchard. I’ve read several of her books but not The most wanted. I will check on that one now.
      I have a novel just dying to get out of me. It’s a matter of tying it all together which frustrates me.

  10. Don’t lose hope, Suzi. That’s usually the point where things are starting to go your way. As for your novel, just begin. It’s amazing how often the tying together follows by itself. If it doesn’t, though, then write the separate pieces down and play jigsaw puzzle with them.

    By the way, I promoted you as the best blogger in my blogosphere. 🙂 Go to Sonia G. Medeiros’s post “Where Can You Find the Best of the Blogosphere?”. My comment hasn’t been moderated yet, but I’m sure it will be soon.

    • I’ve written part of it, and then I decided I needed a complete outline and I’m stuck. Perhaps if I just go at it again things will start to fit. I’m hoping to get a whole day this weekend to work on it.
      That is so sweet of you. Thank you, Sandra.

  11. Writing takes both patience and persistance. I’m definitely feeling this as I head past the 50k mark on my novel. While we writers often speak of these things the truth is most things in life requires us to be both patient and persistant. It’s the only way we succeed. 🙂

  12. I can relate to your lack of patience, and doing things on your own because you don’t want to ask for help. I love the ending, “..simply going where my soul soars and not letting the guilt of what’s left behind hold me back.” I think that’s key. Writing out of guilt, or avoiding writing out of guilt, isn’t productive.

  13. I find myself feeling this way, too. I have learned from experience that I can not do everything any more and that patience waiting for someone to help me is the only way it will get done. It can be very frustrating knowing you need help and help is not immediately available.
    When creating things, nothing is perfect … sometimes the most meaning is in the flaws. There is a visible lesson in your “crooked corner”. 😉

    I am sorry I have been an absent blogger … I am also working on my prioritizing, too. I love the new design of your blog!

  14. Don’t you wish we could clone ourselves? Wouldn’t that be handy? Oh, wait…there was a movie about that, wasn’t there. And it didn’t end well as I remember! Oh well……..

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