writing and the art of patience

This week’s post is about a subject that is near and dear to me, as it is one of my life goals to further develop my patience.

Fortunately or unfortunately — depending on how you look at the cup of life — circumstances that I have been dealing with (or compelled to embrace) have been teaching me the importance and necessity of a greater level of patience from within. I know that is good, but I have not found it to be easy. 

Being married to a man (nearly) 25 years my senior has provided an excellent in-house university at which I can study and further develop the art of patience. As a man in his 70’s, Reg has had to accept the terms of getting older: your mind and body begin to fail and falter over time. There is nothing you can do about that, so it is better to look on the bright side and be grateful that you are here to experience them versus NOT being here — meaning you have passed on and left before you had the chance to firsthand experience these challenges. Watching and helping Reg embrace his age and health related challenges has taught me much about life and about the creed of embracing things we cannot change.

I have also been experiencing some work-related challenges that have helped me further develop my patience. Having a book published earlier this year has been a real rollercoaster ride. The book was printed and ready for distribution in late February, but it took a full month following that for it to reach the hands of media and contributors. And just because a book has been sent to members of the media doesn’t mean that they will immediately read or review the book. Or that they even received it! So we wait, sometimes not so patiently, for media reviews to appear. Thus far, I have been very grateful for any reviews and coverage that has appeared, for they have been positive and encouraging.  But Oprah hasn’t called and no big breaks have occurred — yet. I am patient. They will come. Yes, this is a mantra that I have been repeating the past month or so. I thank my new friend, Christine Smith, who has helped me embrace the importance of mantras and the power of intention.

I have also learned much about the power of patience from my cat. Don’t laugh! Felines possess the highest level of patience imaginable. Think about the images you have seen on television, where lions and other big cats sit waiting patiently for just the right moment to attack. For the most part, Junior is a very patient creature and welcome member of our family. He is happy to be here. He chose to be here. And for the most part, he is grateful for each and every happening of each and every day. So there you have it. I live with two wise gray-haired “gentlemen” who are helping me to become an aging gracefully wiser woman. (We’ll hold the gray hair for many years to come thank you very much. ) 


This post was inspired by a series of quotes I encountered on the Beliefnet site, and I particularly liked the one that follows. I’d love to hear your own thoughts on patience. Has it come easy to you or is it a constant struggle as it has been with me?  

Art of Patience

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”
-Brian Adams

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

21 Responses

  1. This is a wise post indeed. You mention your book – well, I am going through the same at the moment with my blog. I am working so hard at it and I know that it will take months for the results to show, but the anxiety sometimes take over and makes me want to give up! So I agree with Brian Adams – discipline and patience are key!
    Carla Corelli recently posted…The Amazing Power of Pet Therapy – how pets can help you overcome stress and anxietyMy Profile

  2. wizardofwords says:

    Hi Elizabeth:
    Yes, Junior is a dream. He was a stray that adopted us.

    And he's my 3rd grey cat! Always seem to be attracted to them. Although … I must admit, I pretty much love all cats!

    Looking forward to meeting Stella someday. Enjoy the rest of the holidays.

  3. Elizabeth Campbell says:

    What a lovely cat! (I think that's what Stella meant…). I am very partial to grey cats – the only kind I think I could own, really (speaking as a dedicated dog woman here, and within earshot of Stella! lol).

  4. Anonymous says:

    Waist deep snow out to the LIght House at the Point at Heckla. Did it one winter's day while we were staying there as a family. Did so just to do it and get some exercise! Your pix there reminded me of my quest to get out and back from that point.

    Another winter with one of our American Eskimos (is that with an e or without at e like in potato ?), I told my self I would never go out of the ice on the Black Island side of the point, as I walked across the snow covered golf course, and then started out onto the snowy lake with Snowball leading, and having a great time. At the point we turned inland and headed across the inlet to the boats and bldgs on the west side. Snowball had a tough time due to all the wind blown snow, that just left the ice on the inlet there for him to manage. However we both made it to the shore. It was still thick enough to make it. It was just may concept of ice thickness, and that spring was approaching, that I had to overcome. I attempted the treck as I had a friend with me (Snowball), otherwise I doubt whether I would have that strong memory, to also be recalled from your photo there of the lite house at the point. He's barking downstairs at the moment, as he want to let us know he wants or needs to get out this morning.

    Bye for now and many thanks for sharing your pictures.

    Regards, and all the best;

    Warren
    ps Robert started at Klondike Days yesterday in Edmonton as part of his western canada tour as a carney. He's been doing set up since Monday when they left the stampede in Calgary. He's enjoying this summer's travel as that is what he wanted to do, since first viewing the opportunity on Kojiji (check spelling). Loves his customers, and fellow carney's at their various booths, since he has gotten to know them all better since starting first here in Wpg. at our Red River Ex.

  5. Jean at The Delightful Repast says:

    Doreen, thank you for this delightful post which mentions a few things I need to work one. Patience does not come naturally to me! So I will take a lesson from your darling cat!

  6. wizardofwords says:

    Well, thank you, Joanne, for making your debut on the blog as an active participant! I know you have dropped by before, but I think this is your first online comment.

    Yes, cats have a way all-their-own of keeping their humans in line and challenging our patience! I used to have a cat named Goldie who sounds like your own feline friend. I had to watch her eating antics, as she always tried to sneak food from the other cats' dishes. She was chubby, but extremely cute. Alas, cancer took her at the age of 16, but 12 years following her death, I still think of her daily as her compelling personality was one of a kind.

  7. joanne carnegie says:

    Loved the comparison of Reg to your cat. If he is even a quarter as handsome as Junior, he would be a fine specimen of a man indeed! (But with better breath.)

    Very thought-provoking post. Having read the one following (on networking), I will say that I intent to show up here more often in the year to come.

    My cat is practising her own 12-step Serenity Prayer mantra at the moment. As the resident Food Cop, I am very impressed. It is 15 minutes to feeding time. (She gorges, hence the need to police.)

    Grant me the SERENITY to accept that my human is an idiot.

    The COURAGE not to bite her in the ankles (although they're just three feet away!)

    And the WISDOM to realize that she'll just make me wait if I give in to my fantasy.

  8. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for the comment, Shel. Interesting how we all have our own unique exercises and activities to help develop our patience. Seems to be a skill that most of us struggle with. And Dr. Seuss's comment certainly applies to the feline persuasion! I'm amazed at how long cats just sit and wait patiently for something interesting or worthwhile to come along. We can sure learn from them.

  9. Shel Zolkewich says:

    As you know, I'm a hunter, and the primary reason that I hunt is to learn patience. You really don't have a choice but to be patient while you sit in the bush, alone, for four or five hours at a time. I also love these words from our friend Dr. Seuss.
    "If I wait long enough, if I'm patient and cool,
    Who knows what I'll catch in McElligot's pool?"

  10. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Molly. It's always great to hear from you! Hope we'll have a chance to meet sometime soon.

    And I think Junior prefers to think of himself as handsome, but I'll definitely pass on the compliment. I hope you're enjoying the long weekend.

  11. MOLLYC says:

    I too, am married to an older man. And I have five cats. This was a wonderful post. Sorry I have not commented lately; I have been remiss. Your cat is BEAUTIFUL!

  12. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks to everyone who has posted a response in the last couple of days while I have been away.

    Miss V: I don't have any children. I wonder if I might have further developed the art of patience if I had also learned the art of mothering.

    Irene: Your comment about your father reminds me about how Reg is coping with aging. He is using his sense of humour to help him thru the changes he is facing, and for the most part … that is helping dramatically. I deeply respect him for that as I know how hard it must be for him to accept the new reality.

    Lua: Welcome to the blog. Yes, I think patience is something we all need to embrace and develop, but for some professions … like writing, it certainly is a "must have."

    Christine: Yes, I was thinking of the Serenity Prayer when I made reference to embracing things we cannot change in my post. Patience indeed does hopefully come, but for those of us having trouble with developing our patience … it doesn't come fast enough!

    And thanks to my dear friend, Roy Yerex, who always sends me cherished words of support following the posts, but he is still having trouble posting a comment here.

    We've got tremendous dialogue happening here and for that, I am extremely grateful. Thanks to everyone who has helped create this community.

  13. Christine Peets says:

    Patience is not one of my virtues either Doreen–perhaps another reason why you, Kathe and I have become such good friends–we can commisserate over our lack of patience, and why the world isn't marching to our drum.
    A lot of things help me try to maintain some balance in my life, and seek that elusive patience.
    One of my favourite mantras has become the title of that old Doris Day (Patti Page?) song,
    "Que Sera Sera" (what will be, will be.)

    I also like the Serenity Prayer used by many 12-step programs that help people with addictions:

    Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change

    The COURAGE to change the things I can

    And the WISDOM to know the difference.

    I'm with Kathe: I'm here, I'm healthy, I'm happy. Patience will come.

  14. Lua says:

    This was such an inspiring post… My mother always says the best way to learn patience is by being patience! 🙂
    I am still learning but it is not easy- being patience about something you’re deeply passionate about. But I guess it’s a skill every writer has to develop.

  15. irenemgordon says:

    I really liked both the picture of your cat and the quote re patience.

    My father, who definitely was not a patient person, lived to be 92. He believed that being quick was an important virtue, and we (his 3 children) always feared that he would have a difficult old age because it would drive him crazy when he was forced to slow down. I'm not certain how he did it, but he coped surprisingly well when (at the age of 80) he began to have difficulty getting around. When he had to move into a nursing home, he once said, "This is a hell of a place to live." His actions belied these words, however, because he always treated the staff with patience and respect — unlike some elderly people who become so difficult and cantankerous. I am much like my father, and I just hope I can age as well as he did.

  16. MissV says:

    My children exercise my patience muscle daily, bless their little hearts!

  17. wizardofwords says:

    Kathe: Yes, you and I share so many commonalities. We'll help each other along as we move forward toward perfection. 🙂

    Cathy: I will be away June 2nd and will not be at TM. (I'll be with the other Kathe in Toronto!) I would love if you could postpone your speech on patience one week as I'd love to hear it!

    Enjoying the dialogue on patience. Hope to hear from more of the "tribe!"

  18. Cathy Marynick says:

    You will have to stay tuned for my next speech at Toastmasters about patience! My goal will be to motivate the audience to adopt patience.

    I am trying to learn patience at an elementary level yet I have seemed to nurse the skill at an advance level.
    Hmmm… to be patience… you must be patient!

    Stay tuned for my speech on June 2 during our meeting.

  19. Kathe Lieber says:

    Ah, Doreen – a subject close to my heart too! I'm impatient by nature. I speak and do things quickly most of the time. I'm not good at waiting. So I will follow your example and emulate my ever-patient felines. Thanks for pointing that out, and also pointing out the benefits of Reg's attitude to aging. Having had a disability that turned out to be temporary, I am grateful every day. I'm here, I'm healthy, I'm happy.

  20. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks very much, Erin, and welcome to the blog! Will look forward to hearing from you again.

  21. Erin Reel says:

    Love it! Wishing you all good reviews! They'll come.

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