• David Smeltz

Patient with Patience

To my understanding, the only way to practice patience is by curbing my demand for instant gratification. I want what I want when I want it! Sounds like something a selfish and self centered "only child" would say. I can certainly identify! When growing up I would occasionally be told how selfish or spoiled we kids without siblings were. I didn't believe it and thought they were speaking of other kids without sisters and brothers - not me! It was only after taking inventory of myself years later that I realized I was not an exception but an example of such behavior. Growing up without brothers and sisters made the action of "sharing" alien to me. Even waiting my turn for something was an exercise in futility. It wasn't until I got into recovery that I learned I was not the center of the universe. I continue questioning my responses and motives daily and work on adjusting them accordingly. I lacked patience in particular. I would be irritated over the slightest things. Waiting in a 12 items or less line with the person in front of me taking too long really pissed me off. I remember counting their purchases. If there were over 12 items I'd give them the evil eye and exhale forcefully-showing my disgust with having to wait on them (as if that made a difference). Impatience only aggravates me and me alone. I cause my own misery until I can accept the situation as it is. I cannot afford to sacrifice my peace of mind over flat tires, power outages, lost jobs, lost relationships, perceived-missed opportunities and 12 items or less check out lines. The list of possible irritants persists ad infinitum. Which brings me to my current situation.

After finding some kind of spot or nodule on my left lung by accident at the local Urgent Care a few weeks back, I went to my Dr. two days later. Well, it wasn't my Dr. because I couldn't get in touch with my Dr. so I found someone else that could see me asap. They were unable to get a copy of the x-ray from Urgent Care but they were able to pull up an x-ray from January 2019 which showed a spot developing. It was overlooked. Remember, I'm practicing patience throughout all of this. They tell me I have to schedule a breathing test and a CAT scan. The CAT scan can't be performed until after 10 days because of my insurance. They didn't have any appointments available in ten days but they did in 13 days! So, I practice patience, trust the process and, once again, listen to Jagger singing in my head: "You can't always get what you want". Although, I have found that I do eventually get what I need. The CAT scan is scheduled for August 5th. Once again, I can only practice patience when provided with circumstances by which to hone my ongoing and burgeoning coping skills. Next up? Acceptance. So, I hurry up and wait.

Grateful to finally grow up (sometimes)...

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