Like all of us, I’m a work in progress. Sometimes I think my super power is extreme patience and other times I have a pretty short fuse. As a professor, I was endlessly patient with my students. I truly wanted them to do well and to really get it. Of course, there were those who had to be dragged kicking and screaming over the finish line, but I often reminded myself that my job was to plant seeds. I could only hope that my work would bear fruit at another time or season. (SN: I wonder if parenthood will be similar.)
When I think about the times that I’ve lost my patience, it’s usually triggered by something happening that I have very little control over. Like when you’re stuck in traffic, running late for an appointment, and you still manage to hit every single red light. It’s funny because when that happens we’re usually on our way to yoga. I show up feeling the exact opposite of how I want to feel. I guess that means I need more yoga.
One way that I have been working on practicing patience is by growing plants. It’s funny that all you need is light, water, and nutrients to care for plants and they’ll (hopefully) reward you with something beautiful to look at and/or something to eat.
Right now, I’m taking care of the most plants that I’ve ever signed up for. I have three bell peppers that are going strong and beginning to flower. Five (!) strawberry plants that I hope will survive being transplanted into their new pot. I have a lot of hope for these little guys since two of my favorite people are strawberry lovers. I just bought five succulents while at the spring plant sale. They were just too pretty to pass up and are very low maintenance. Lastly, I still have my avocado plant.
Of all of my plants, the avocado has to be my biggest patience project. I have been growing it for almost a year now. It’s only 18 inches tall and recently started working overtime in growth mode. I don’t know if it will ever bear fruit. I think that’s actually the hardest part about it — the not knowing. But again, all I can do is plant seeds and hope that they might bear fruit eventually.
patience and the path to financial independence
Working towards financial independence is also a project in patience. Building up enough money to call ourselves financially independent takes time and care. It can be hard to stay the course knowing that you could take a step back and slow down. It can also be incredibly easy because we have momentum and have been working towards it for quite a while. The push to it and the pull from it are both very real though.
Would you consider yourself a patient person? How do you react when the going gets tough?