Monday, January 02, 2012

The Resolve to Evolve—by Jamie Levine

"I’d really like to exercise more." "Eat healthier." "Drink less." "Manage my money better." "Spend more time with my family." So many people seem to spew out these resolutions at this time of year—every year—and never stick to them. I, personally, rarely make New Year’s resolutions—and if I did, none of the aforementioned would be on my list. I already exercise more and eat healthier than most people whom I know, rarely drink alcohol, manage my money just fine, and certainly spend plenty of time with my family—I live with an extended bunch. But there is one thing I’d like to resolve to do this year: be more patient.

My daughter, Jayda, always craves instant gratification, and I often find myself admonishing her to “be patient” when she wants her dinner the second we place our order at a restaurant, wants to be sitting on the merry-go-round the moment we step onto the line for it, and when she screams for a friend’s toy when she’s waiting for her turn to play with it. It’s tough to teach a four-and-a-half-year-old to have patience…especially when I often don’t have it, myself.

In 2012, I’d love to find a way to be more patient with my daughter…with my family…and especially with the men whom I’m starting to date. Life would be so much easier, and less stressful, if I could. When it comes to Jayda testing me with her strong-willed nature, I always start off calm and strong…but eventually lose it and wind up either screaming at or stomping away from her. Jayda knows just how to chip away at my calm façade and get me to lose my patience. She pushes and tests me…and I often fail.

When it comes to dealing with the rest of my family, I rarely raise my voice or even walk away, but I do tend to get antsy and irritable. I want slow-speaking relatives to hurry up and finish their stories, slow-moving family members to get out of my way when I’m in a rush (which is often), and those with whom I don’t see eye to eye to bow to my opinion and avoid an argument. Since these wishes of mine rarely come true, I often lose my patience…and I’d love to change that.

And most significant of all, is my lack of patience with men. I hate to wait for the objects of my interest to contact me…or to initiate plans with me. I get frustrated sitting around anticipating a text, and always break down and text a guy first…or text back too quickly. I rationalize that I don’t like to play games, or that my time is precious and I can’t wait around to make a date, but the fact is that like my daughter, I need instant gratification, and simply…have no patience. Similarly, at the start of a new relationship, I always crave more attention—or rather validation from the man that he’s into me. I never need to see a guy often, but I want to hear from him…and if a few days go by without any contact, I lose patience, and always wind up reaching out to him, instead. I make myself seem too available, or maybe too interested…but the fact is, I simply have no patience. Like most things in my life that I’m interested in, I like to dive right in. But there’s something to be said about being slow and steady—and worth the wait. So in 2012, I’m going to try to do some waiting for a change. Take more deep breaths. And acquire some patience. Because in my heart I do know that things that take time and effort to achieve or acquire, generally prove to be the most valuable things of all….


Blogger Cara Meyers said...

It sounds like your daughter and you have similar temperaments, which can be combustible, unfortunately. My son is the King of Power Struggles, however our temperaments are completely opposite. It took a lot of research and finding a way to deflate the power struggle before it escalated. Thank goodness I finally found a way to get around them. You simply need to find your own way to defuse confrontations with your daughter in a more calm manner. I know you can do're an excellent mother. But you are also her role model. Find a way to reach her without the confrontation. Believe me, once you've found the solution, life is SO much more enjoyable with your child. And it will probably permeate other areas of your life as well!

7:04 PM  

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