“To Grow Patience”

 Pa·tience (pāSHənst) noun. the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Patience is a Virtue.

It was a great time, a week-long trip to the Midwest. We were out of town seeing family and friends. It was very relaxing to the point of distraction. As we drove to ORD, we mused about just what a great trip it had been.  I was heading home with an important early meeting the next day. Spouse had planned some extended time away to visit more family in Michigan. Time to Kiss & Fly. She went to her gate. I went to mine. It was Sunday and all was right with the world (so far).

About 30 minutes after wheels up, it occurred to me that the spouse had the car keys to the one car at the airport I was arriving at. My spouse also had the only set of house keys with us on the trip. Thought to myself, “Oh Gosh darn-it”, I am at a bit of a disadvantage here, (not in exactly those words but you get the idea).

I landed and attempted to call the spouse when the cell phone started continuously re-booting, for reasons I still cannot explain to this day. I had to habitually log in to get a call out in the one-minute window of time the “smart” phone would acknowledge my existence. Once again thought, “Well gosh darn-it here”

The good news? It wasn’t raining and there were options. Okay, got through to the Spouse and explained the predicament. The spouse was going to call the locksmith, from Michigan, on my behalf. Before I could explain that it wasn’t necessary, yep my phone re-booted.

Took the car service home - $75. Sat on the front porch, on my black roller bag, realizing the world was spinning around at 25,000 mph and really not caring much. We had about :90 minutes of daylight left.

My neighbor walked by and I used their cell phone to call my spouse to exchange mutual pleasantries. Then I called the locksmith. The locksmith, of course, could help me for a premium fee on Sunday late afternoon. Okay, it seemed like a solution was finally in sight. The locksmith arrives, the same one who installed the original locks on the house, with about 45 minutes of daylight left. Ah, how good that hot shower was going to feel!

He got there and said, “Hmm, I have never seen these before”. After about :30 minutes of “lock-smithing” he was not able to gain entrance. I thought, “Gee golly gosh, we have some really great locks on our house. Not even the locksmith can get past them”. Indeed, how truly fortunate we were!

So, slowing down, we (the locksmith and I) enjoyed a beautiful sunset all the while I contemplated which window to break to gain entrance. And it was a beautiful sunset! It was an amazingly beautiful celestial canopy, a unique tapestry of spectacular colors and hues, a veritable cornucopia of colors designed specifically for this time and this place. Even the lock-smith was impressed.

My phone rang, yep that same demon possessed phone that was about to put me over the edge. It was my spouse calling to exchange more mutual pleasantries and to remind me that it would be preferable not to break any windows. (What we used to call in the “old days” a real bulletin!). I reminded my spouse that we had both been up since o-dark hundred and that after such a long and rewarding day how much I was looking forward to that hot shower.

Then it occurred to me, Stop, Focus, Think and Study the windows. What? Study the windows. I thought “Well Gosh darn-it here”, we did have excellent Pella windows with great locking mechanisms, guaranteed to keep out whatever you don’t want in, (short of breaking the window). While the apologetic lock-smith looked on, I studied the windows. “Which one doesn’t belong here”?

And sure enough, they all pointed the same way except for one window. That window was over the kitchen sink. It as well off the ground, but being tall it was no problem for me to reach. All we had to do was to carefully loosen up the outside screen and Viola! I called my spouse from the landline inside the house and said to ignore any process servers headed in their direction as it was all a big misunderstanding.

Procedures are now in place to never replicate such a moving experience. To quote PJ O’Rourke, “have not had this much fun since seeing the entire Mexican air force wipe out into a liquid petroleum field.”

Morale of the story - To Grow Patience:

1. Slow down. If you have the tendency to rush around and try to hurry things up, want things done immediately and can't wait for things to take their natural course, STOP.

2. Practice delaying gratification. When you want to reach for that quick solution, stop and think about it first. You can save yourself some aggravation.

3. Practice thinking before you speak. At times we blurt out the first thought that comes into our heads without considering the consequences. If we're patient, pause and go over what we want to say, we can avoid hurting or offending others.

4. Make patience your goal for an entire day. Make a concerted effort to take your time and think about everything you do, be mindful and live in the moment. Developing patience is much like physical exercise because it requires persistence and effort.