Posts Tagged ‘Impatience’

momma time

September 18th, 2012    -    15 Comments

Reprinting this, because it’s about time.

Last week I received this message from a young mother. I asked if I could respond to her via this post so others would benefit. No matter what our stage of parenting, we could all use a little time out to reflect and refresh.

I have two little girls, age 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. They are wonderful and show me what aspects I need to work on as a person and a mother.

Children are indeed wonderful. They are always showing us aspects of ourselves we aren’t familiar with. One aspect, for instance, is happiness. No one has ever made a mother feel as happy as her children do. The other aspect is sadness and despair. We’ve never felt so frustrated, hopeless or inadequate. Every day our children introduce us to a completely new human being: their mother. And although she vaguely resembles someone we used to know, at times we hardly recognize ourselves. When it becomes especially tiresome and difficult, our relationship with our children sounds an alarm. We need rescued.

I have them both at home with me everyday except for four hours each week. Perhaps I’m overwhelmed but lately I’m finding motherhood to be a total drag.

Too much togetherness is too much. Every mother needs more help. The first step is to admit it; the second step is to ask for it; and the third step is to take the help that comes. You never know where help will come from. Not every angel wears wings.

When we have help taking care of our children, it magnifies the love in our lives. When either by circumstance or choice we think we have to do it all by ourselves, we scrimp on love. Everyone suffers for it.

We don’t always have the money to pay for help, so we have to rely on family. We don’t always have family nearby so we have to make friends. We don’t all have friends so we have to be brave. We have to speak up, make calls, trust strangers, invite people over, walk the street, meet, listen and console one another. Last week I called a friend who talked me off a ledge. Just by contacting me you’ve done the same thing for yourself. And look: no one jumped. read more

the gardener is patient

March 11th, 2012    -    12 Comments

A letter received in a hand-addressed envelope in the mail:

Dear loyal customer,

I have been in the hospital since 3/5/2012 and will be undergoing surgery on Friday 3/9/2012. After surgery, I will be out of commission for 2-3 weeks due to recovery. I would like to continue to work for you in your garden after my recovery and hope you can be patient until then. I do apologize for this inconvenience.


Mr. J.I.

This gentleman is close to 80 years old. Today, he swept away inconvenience and pruned my impatience. I will never take his work away from him. His work will never end.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Facebook me • Follow me.

the rolls of a lifetime

July 16th, 2011    -    5 Comments

The role of a parent in the life of a child: Patience
The role of a child in the life of a parent: Impatience
The role of a partner in the life of a relationship: Acceptance
The role of a relationship in the life of a partner: Irritation
The role of a teacher in the life of a student: Demonstration
The role of a student in the life of a teacher: Attention
The role of toil, trouble, disappointment and inconvenience: Service
The role of anger: Equanimity
The role of hatred: Love
The role of enemies: Harmony
The role of community: Solitude
The role of light, food, shelter and air: Generosity
The role of the self:  None*

*Which means replace the empty roll while you’re at it.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to a retreat • Fan me • Follow me.

Radical impatience: the angry mom’s manifesto

May 5th, 2009    -    34 Comments

Patience is overrated. Or more to the point, it’s overwaited.

Bad-mouthing patience seems like heresy. Everyone asks how can I be more patient, when will I be more patient, why can’t I be more patient? We’ve seen what impatience can do, and we’re impatient to be patient. It’s a nice idea, but so far it’s gotten me nowhere.

I’m so fed up with myself that I’m not waiting for patience any longer. I’m going to elbow my way to the front of the line.

Maezumi Roshi once said, “If we were truly patient, we would never have any problems.” That tells us that all problems are problems of patience. Things aren’t the way we want them to be, and we want to change them into something else.

Patience is undisturbed with the way things are.
Impatience is disturbed with the way things are.

I’m disturbed most of the time, and that means I’m angry most of the time.

I’m angry most of the time. I really am. Are you?

And so I thought, “OK, I’m going to give up on this patience thing and let myself be angry. I’m going be undisturbed with myself.

Can you believe I said that? I said ,”let myself be angry.” I didn’t say, “let myself act angry,” although I still do that plenty too. I said “be angry.” There’s a difference.

When I let myself be angry, I say something like this:

I’m angry.

When I don’t let myself be angry, holding out for that halo of patience to arrive, I say something like this:


And then I throw something like this:

coffee cup
salad plate
laundry basket
car keys
wedding ring
the car into reverse and screech out of the driveway

That’s a lot of trouble, way more trouble than I want to keep picking up after, and so I’ve resolved to practice impatience. Radical impatience. I’m going to let myself be angry – that’s it, be angry – because the more angry I can admit to being the less angry I’ll be. The sooner I’m impatient with patience the sooner I’ll be undisturbed with the way I am.

Patience! I’m letting you go.

Subscribe to my newsletter • Come to my retreat.

archives by month