Patience is totally overrated. Even George Clooney says so.
Obviously, if the king of Hollywood says so, it must be true. I need an ally, okay?
It can be tough, constantly hearing the old adages in the face of stalled movement and progress:
“Patience is a virtue.”
“You should be more patient.”
And my favorite: “You’re not very patient, are you?” Gee. How did you guess?
In the right context, I see how patience can work well. It can provide a sense of peace in what might otherwise be a challenging situation. Horrendous traffic. Waiting to hear back about a job interview. Cooking with a CrockPot.
But for the most part, I think patience is what other people tell you to have when they don’t want to (or are not capable of) doing what they’ve been asked to do. Making a decision. Meeting a deadline. Keeping a promise. In other words, it’s like a pat on the head and a raincheck. Patience can suck it.
For the new year, one of several thematic perspectives I’ve taken on is the sense of now. Like Now. Nowness — which is actually a word, if you can believe it. Not now like Veruca Salt, fists banging on the floor. Now, like that’s all we’ve really got. That’s all we have. This moment. Right here.
In committing to this point of view around my work as a writer, how that shows up is there is no “later.” Okay, there is, ideally, but it’s not promised. So the time to work, create, share, produce is (all together!) right now.
I understand not everything manifests itself just because I want it that way. If I went through life like that, I’d be a miserable, disappointed person. Maybe what I’m really calling for is abandoning the sense of idle patience. That way of being that allows people to avoid fulfilling their responsibilities unless they’ve been called out. It’s the waiting in vain Bob Marley was talking about.
Back to King Clooney. He sure is handsome, isn’t he? This is a guy who has done great work in the Sudan. You don’t make changes like that in the world doing the Dusty. You ask pointed questions, you make clear decisions, you make mistakes and try again. But you act. You know. Now.