In Search of a Virtue
April 17th, 2010
Patience is a virtue.
I get that. I do. I appreciate the value of patience. I just don’t happen to possess very much of it — when God was handing out virtues at my birth, I think He skimped a bit on that one.
I love jigsaw puzzles and will spend hours patiently bringing to life the design hidden in those countless pieces. But that’s voluntary patience. Involuntary patience, on the other hand — like when you’re stuck in a traffic jam or the slow lane at the grocery store — isn’t my forte.
And if, by chance, I’m running late or some other stressful force is at work in my life, I tend to freak out a bit. It’s probably worst in the car. When I find myself at an insanely slow stoplight when I’m running late, for example, I am overwhelmed by a totally irrational and yet nearly irresistible desire to slam on the horn with all of my might and scream at the top of my lungs.
Today wasn’t such a good day for me in that regard. On my way to a morning Tyke Hike with Miss Mouse, I underestimated how long it would take and then ran into unexpected road construction, causing us to be 25 minutes late to the hike. The group patiently waited, but my blood pressure wasn’t so good.
Then, I got a late start heading to a friend’s baby shower. I hate being late. With a burning passion. This doesn’t help on the patience front. And my GPS unit was also decidedly less than helpful. That darned “estimated arrival time” display was mocking me, I swear, as it deliberately clicked to later and later. 10 minutes late. 12 minutes late. 19 minutes late. AAAAAAAHHHHH.
And last but not least — the final straw — was the drive home from said festive event. The demon-invented piece of technology upon which I depend to navigate decided, for reasons of its own, to avoid the major highways on the route home, opting instead for a course straight through civilization on a two lane highway. It’s entirely possible that this route technically involved the fewest miles, but the ungodly traffic immediately negated any benefits there.
A trip that should have taken 45 minutes took an hour and fifteen and by the time I got home, my eyes were puffy and my face blotchy from the shriek fest that had been building all day and finally escaped. At least no one was in the car to witness the disintegration of my sanity.