Speed

I am not, by nature a patient person.

I’ve often wondered if my impatience might be a reflection of my inner tempo – my mind, even under the best of circumstances, operates at a momentum that verges on manic, and any external reality that doesn’t match my internal velocity is cause for immediate distress.

My meditation

It has taken me many many years, meditation, medication, and self discipline to be at a point in which I can settle myself into equanimity when I encounter the inevitable impediments of everyday life. Slow down, I remind myself. Don’t react with immediate frustration when something is taking longer that you think it should. It’s all a matter of perspective.

Being in quarantine, in many senses, has forced all of us to slow down. The simplest activities take longer; if your situation is anything like mine, you can’t just run over to the grocery store to grab a few items – a 5 minute errand has turned into a 20 minute wait in a socially distanced line to enter the store. Getting anywhere on public transportation requires more time because of diminished service on most routes. Everything moves at a different speed.

We’re all looking for silver linings as the world continues to hurtle into a new, unsettling normal. I have to override my tendency towards pessimism, but I look for them, every day.

And today, I found myself in a situation that would test the patience of a saint – I helped my supremely tech-unsavvy, septuagenarian mom set up her new iPad, via FaceTime, translating between English and Japanese. The fact that her eyesight is poor and she was trying to show me screens through her magnifying glass added to the challenge.

But nearly an hour later we completed the task together, and although it was an exercise in frustration at certain points, I realized that I was able to be calm enough to not respond to her with irritation. Instead, I was able to slow myself down to the pace that was comfortable to her, including the multiple repeated explanations. I was patient with her.

We learn things in unexpected ways.

Do you often find yourself impatient? And how does it manifest in the way you respond – frustration, disdain, anger, indifference?

My task today: put away a mound of folded laundry. For some reason, this is one of my least favorite tasks in the world. It makes me…impatient. It’s not done yet, but I’ll report back tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Speed

  1. Robert says:

    Dear Sarah, I have indeed found extra patience through the most unfamiliar circumstances relating to out with ‘normal’ routine endeavours ! I’m extremely surprised to hear of you being so impatient by nature in the first instance.
    Yourself being a conductor of Music, one would think the discipline needed to bring to the fore such a talent as yours, would be a great deal of patient observing and tuition.
    Through various projects and, in particular one such venture of my own being a Research into the most extraordinary subject, suffice as to say, would, although I think you would find surprisingly interesting.
    Would take too long to go into in detail here.
    I can relate to your angst. Patience I think, is either a trait you’ve got or you haven’t got !
    Meditation can help, it’s a good thing.
    But each individual has himself or herself, their own ‘inner clock’ their own personality. It’s what makes them ‘tick’.
    What makes you Unique.
    Or you wouldn’t be who you are today.
    Which would be a great shame.
    So you see Sarah, you can see just how important you are to the Music genre and, the World in general.
    Have a whirlwind of a time,and stay safe, strong & most importantly, who you are ! 🙏👍x

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  2. “Do you often find yourself impatient? And how does it manifest in the way you respond – frustration, disdain, anger, indifference?”
    As I’m aging up (I’ll always be young at heart) I’m less impatient (even thought I’m known for being calm and patient but hey like everyone I do have my limits). I even laugh of myself to ease my impatience. A good laugh never killed anyone and it does indeed decrease our cortisol level.
    A sweet example. My parents are 85 and 86. They’re not from the generation of electronics (computers,…). When I was still living at home I was fixing their vhs, dvd and remote controls. Now that I’m living a bit too far away my dad decided to put some black electrical tape on the long tv/cable remote to make sure he and mom would only have the basic stuff (channels and volume’s buttons) to deal with. So they would not mess. When they succeed to mess up I do my best to help out over the phone. Breath by the nose, Sylvain. Everything will be fine. They will understand your explanations.
    When I’m seeing them I sometimes bring my job’s computer. I don’t have to explain why they don’t have internet. When I’m showing them some horses pictures, landscape pictures,… on Fb to please them it is magic for them. Even if I once try to explain them in simple terms there was a vpn with a secured line throughout gps and satellites it was like talking in a kind of alien language for them. I now prefer to leave it simple and create some kind of magical moments. Magic is important.
    Perspective and tempo seem to be interwined and/or interconnected. Tempo might even be a reflection of our inner interpretation of time’s perspective or flow of time. Time is indeed an illusion on a quantum physic’s level.
    Finally when you thing about it a tiny virus that our eyes can’t even see put the entire world on his knees and forced us to change our perspective on time. The world will never be the same. I try to see the positive outcomes out of this catastrophy. Time will tell. Que sera, sera as in late Doris Day’s famous song.
    Merci Sarah Maestra! The Best is yet to come. You know it.

    Like

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