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November 7, 2020

Patience was never my virtue…until now. So, I guess thank you 2020?!?

I’ve always had some semblance of patience (I guess) although I am a recovering Type A personality for sure. I understood the basic idea of what a having patience meant. I knew the definition of the word. I also knew people that had it but I wouldn’t say it was a strong personality trait of mine. Now, almost 9 months into the pandemic, I get it. Like I never got it before. 2020 forced it on me. Ultimately, I’m thankful.

I absolutely  kicked and screamed for a while. As  the year dragged on and more and more issues arose (and didn’t go away), it became perfectly clear: find patience or be anxious and irritable indefinitely. I was already uncomfortable with the latter. I wanted to find a new plan.

I chose to explore the notion of patience as an alternative way of living in late Spring of this year. I was knee-deep in trying to understand the likely new reality of this pandemic lasting for more than a few months. My Son’s school year was staying online and toilet paper was something you had better hope to find by 7:00 am on any given day or it wasn’t going to happen. My employer closed our office indefinitely.

I don’t have aging parents to contend with so that was one less thing for me but it mattered to people I had hoped to be able to still get together with in person…even outside, wearing a mask. But they weren’t going to take the risk. That was another thing… the widespread mask-wearing and the anonymity of that was one of the most difficult pieces for me. It felt very dystopian and cold. It still does to be honest.

Friends and family that chose to disagree and protest against the circumstances were ever-present in my world. It was very loud most days and that didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t disagree, I just couldn’t live in a state of contention on a daily basis. When I’d had enough, I made the conscious choice to seek  acceptance. Little did I know that with acceptance, I’d find patience and patience was something I was missing for far too much of my life.

At first, my acceptance was not accepted by the people closest to me. They felt I was choosing to agree, conceding. Basically, giving up my belief system. It’s far from that and the fact that they didn’t ‘get it’ had to be a non-issue for me. I needed to do what I needed to do. I did, however, state in no uncertain terms (after telling everyone how much I loved them of course), that I couldn’t be the sounding board for the controversial topics and opinions everyone had all the time. I suggested they all find other outlets, maybe even a community of supporters but it couldn’t be me. I drew a self-preservation line in the sand.

I wasn’t conceding or throwing in the towel on my core beliefs, I was simply stepping out of the boxing ring that was life at the time. I was bruised, bleeding and tired and it looked like the world had a long way to go.  I couldn’t afford to be tired already.

The first thing I did was write down my commitment to myself. Affirmations have always worked for me. It was my way of showing the Universe my willingness to change.

Next, I decided to stop a little more by meditating just 5 minutes longer in the mornings. I also set alarms on my phone to pause more during the day. The alarms progressed from twice/day to every hour on the hour. I needed more at first. It was 2 minutes of me shutting down the chatter and the chaos of the world, opting to briefly but regularly, tap out.

The palpability of this effort was evident in just a matter of days. I was quickly in a new energetic flow and it felt good. It felt right. The chaos of the world didn’t change, my engagement in it changed. I let others have their upsets but I didn’t choose the same. I literally pictured it all rolling off and a sense of calm seemed to not only engulf me and my world but I honestly feel it changed the household temperament.

When we change, things around us change. I just needed to remind myself of this just as I had in early recovery. With acceptance came patience. With patience came peace.

Thank you 2020.

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