Patience is as hard as the gravel that bighorn sheep is traversing. I don’t know why I chose him for this post … but here he is (or she … sheep sex identification isn’t really my forte). I know I’m a product of Western culture. I’m why Starbucks is still in business. Shameful but true. I want everything at the snap of my fingers, despite knowing that if my wish came true my life would end atop a bowl of bitter-tasting accomplishments.
BUT … BUT …
Everything feels like such an arduous process when patience is at play: fighting to get better, finishing nursing school, finding the right job, washing my hair … ugh! I’m climbing (metaphorically climbing that is … ) a million flights of stairs, and frankly I’d rather schedule a demolition and replace that shit with a giant elevator. You push floor “2” or “20” and you fly up effortlessly past all the painful crap in between … and surprise. You’re here. Oh hey there smiley greeter. Welcome to your destination. Hope the ride was smooth. Here’s a hot towel for your face.
I get it. I really do. I know I can’t take a shortcut (Adam Sandler’s oscar-worthy performance in Click illustrated this point beautifully). I just. want. to.
(I’m going to channel Veruca Salt for a minute.) I want to wake up with a detailed user-friendly instruction manual. At 6:30 am, instead of my iPhone alarm chiming, I’d prefer a message from My Life In Checklists application. A push notification would show up (vocally narrated by Regina, Siri’s smarter cousin from London): Good morning Sarah. Your daily checklist has arrived. Here are the things you need to accomplish today in order to obtain joy and inner peace. Now start by making yourself a delicious cup of coffee on your new french press. And don’t forget to use lactose free milk. We don’t want any tummy aches now, do we?
I love how this plays out. Smooth as pie. I’d have so much extra time on my hands without needing to contemplate the big questions … or even the small ones (like should I eat that extra piece of delicious, calorie-packed bread?). I could forget everything I worry about consistently. I could spend my time gardening, or join an a cappella group. I could re-watch episodes of Lost while making a scrapbook for my mom.
I’d check off the necessary tasks to cure my Lyme infection instead of trying something new, being patient, and waiting to see if it worked. Make sure to take the little blue pill, Sarah. That one is bloody important (Regina means business). I’d be guided to do all of the right exercises, eat all the right foods, take all the right herbs or antibiotics. Unbelievably easy! Doesn’t matter if you get sick … EVER … just download the app to get better. What? You haven’t found your soulmate yet? No problem. Here are the steps you should take to find him or her. 10 daily steps to happiness. And another 15 steps to accomplish your life’s mission. Each checked box would feel so good, so right.
Patience would be redefined. It wouldn’t be practiced while floating in the dark waters of the unknown. Instead it would be a light feat that you could easily manage on par with waiting for water to boil or charging your iPhone. You’d know your goal was attainable and approximately how long it would take to get there. I could handle this kind of patience.
Unfortunately this world, with its checklists and the lovely Regina, doesn’t exist. So instead I’m stuck inserting dialogue boxes into pictures of bighorn sheep to illustrate how random I feel my life is right now. Siri will put me to bed, and my alarm will chime tomorrow. I will take my pills with a glass of lactose-free milk (I didn’t need Regina for that one). And I will gracefully wait. Because patience is a virtue. Right?