They say that patience is a virtue. I have learned to be patient in most situations, and I think it has helped me to remain calmer. For example, when another driver cuts me off, I don't let it get me angry anymore. If my husband does something that annoys me, I recognize that he didn't do it with the intention of annoying me, and I can let it go easily.
I have trouble being patient with myself, and the need to limit my physical activities so as not to hurt myself. A month ago, we moved our son into his dormitory for his junior year of college. My job was to sit in the lobby of his building and open the doors when someone approached carrying boxes, etc. A perfect job for me. Sunday, I wanted to set up shelves and organize my workshop. In order to put the shelves where I wanted them, I had to move and rearrange all the things that were in the way, and vacuum the floor. This included moving and re-stacking 122 bricks leftover from building our apartment.
Sometimes I worked carefully, such as taking 6-7 trips to put books on a shelf, rather than carrying the whole box at once. That takes patience. I tried to use mostly my left hand, to limit stress to my right elbow, where I have tendonitis. But that was slow and awkward, so my right hand kept getting involved. I reminded myself to be patient. I didn't have to get it all done in one day. It is ironic that I find it easier to pace myself when my husband is not around, than days like Sunday when he was in the garage working, too. He is the one who posted me at the dormitory door, so I would not be carrying heavy boxes. Why is it then, that I have to fight the urge that says that as long as he is working, I should be too?
I don't think it is a feeling of competition. I am not a very competitive sort. I think it is more a need to feel I am pulling my weight. I know I have written about that before, but it is an ongoing struggle for me, as I believe it is for alot of people who have decreased abilities. Being patient involves being able to say, "Its okay." Its okay for me to do less physical work. Its okay for me to stop working and while my husband continues. (Actually, he is more okay with this than I am.). Its okay for me to take care of my own needs.
Being patient means accepting that not everything is going to get done right now, nor does it have to. Being patient means accepting that a slower pace of life is not only acceptable, but healthier. Being patient means accepting that I don't have to conform to anyone's standards but my own, and those standards are allowed to change with the circumstances. Being patient means accepting that my expectations and goals for myself are allowed to change. Being patient means allowing my life to unfold at its own pace, and appreciating the uniqueness of who I am.