I get home at 5h15 – I live about ten minutes from my office, and even in the evening traffic, it’s such a short jog from there to here.
I’m feeling pretty good. It was a productive, low-stress day. I had time to sneak in a little twitterification, and I was able to brainstorm on my next novel while doing Tedious Data Entry™. My boss was complimentary, and my coworkers were entertaining with their banter.
My partner’s in the next city over, half an hour away, at work. He’s a teacher, so his hours are never really set in stone. His class lets out at 5, but I know he probably won’t leave any earlier than 5h30.
I’m hungry, but I want to have dinner with my love, so I make some sweet tea and bide my time. I turn on music – can’t live without the stuff – and bob my head in time to the beat. I tidy up a little, tossing dirty clothes and scattered books into their places.
It’s 6. I try to ignore the clock. I slump in my creaky computer chair and surf the internet. If I’m not careful, I’ll check Twitter almost obsessively, so I pull myself away after I catch up on web comics and blogs.
6h30. I’m really trying not to clock-watch, but damn, it’s hard. I open my phone, start a text message, snap the phone shut before I finish. Breathe.
I pick up my guitar, my fingers worrying at the strings. She doesn’t want to talk to me today, though, and the random notes don’t have cohesion. The sounds aren’t telling a story. I set her back on her stand.
7 o’clock. I groan. I’m hungry, dammit, so I grab a pudding from the fridge and drown my nerves in banana cream. Mmm. I keep fidgeting, though, flitting from place to thing to place.
I could read a book. I could write a blog post. I could work on one of my novels or write a 15minfic. I could sing. I could…
I keep checking the clock. It’s past 7h30. I’ve been home over two hours and haven’t done anything worthwhile. I finally give in to the urge to call my partner. He hasn’t left yet. I’m not surprised. I probably won’t see him for another hour. I slump.
The above scenario happens more often than I care to admit. It’s not any fault of my partner or his schedule; my own impatience is what creates my unhappiness.
I’m working on taking these situations and using them as opportunities to practice patience. Tonight, it’s 7h45, and I haven’t called him yet. I’m writing instead, building thoughts and posts, exploring the concept and feeling of this site. I’m doing my best to ignore the clock in the corner of the screen.
Got problems with patience, too? Breathe deeply, pick something you want to do and can do without waiting for someone to arrive or leave, or something to happen or stop happening, and do it. Focus on what you’re doing, not what you’d rather be doing, not what you will be doing when you stop waiting.
Even if you stay impatient the whole time, at least that’s not all you’re doing.