[pey-shuh ns] noun
1.the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2.an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3.quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
I wish I could say this post were all about me and my unending patience. But it's not. Rather, it's about my husband and HIS patience with yours truly.
Two days ago I lay in bed, the cell phone ringing out some peppy alarm music. I don't normally wake up at seven on my own accord. However, I asked Paul to help me lose weight. In an effort to get fit we signed ourselves up to do Jillian Michael's 30 day shred every day at 7 am. The first few days were great; I had lots of energy, was excited at the prospect of getting fit and felt extremely motivated.
Fast forward 20 days later to the morning I described above. The moment I heard the alarm my arm flew out from under the covers to hit snooze-- a skill I developed in my teenage years. Three seconds later my eyes were closed and I was dozing back to sleep. Paul, on the other hand, rolls out of bed and begins to pick up all of the nick nacks and toys on the floor. He turns on the tv, fills up my water cup, gets me five pretzels [because I can't work out on an empty stomach] and then comes to coax me out of bed.
Meanwhile, an internal dilemma is being battled in bed. When Paul gets moving I think to myself, "I should just get up and get this over with" but then the other part of me says, "It's terribly cold out there, and you're tired and it's so cozy in bed. You shouldn't have to get up if Vince isn't awake!" Obviously the second argument is more convincing. Thus, I lay in bed and torment myself as the same dilemma replays over and over. "I really want to lose weight... but when I don't get enough sleep I feel grumpy all day."
Two days ago was an especially rough morning. Oddly, I felt angry. I got upset with Paul because I felt like he was pushing me even though I had already said "no" over a thousand times. Then, he crawled back in bed and cuddled me. With him arms wrapped around my shoulders, it dawned on me that instead of getting mad at me [because he's only working out for my sake] for not getting out of bed, he showed an outpouring of love. Had the roles been reversed I would have told him to get his butt out of bed. I shared this with him and he sweetly said, "I'm not allowed to talk to you like that, Libby." More than a half hour late, I got out of bed and we exercised.
As the day wore on I kept finding myself thinking about Paul's patience. I couldn't, and still can't, wrap my head around how he stays so calm and loving when I'm being lazy, annoying and slow. I have a long journey ahead of me if I'm ever to become like him. But it starts with baby steps, right? Perhaps I can't jump straight to the point of bearing annoyances with an outpouring of love... but I CAN bear annoyances without rudeness, name calling or, better yet, in silence. Because is there really a need to say something about everything that bothers you? I think as I slowly take away my negative reactions I can fill in the gaps with kindness, like Paul.