There is a collection of children’s books that I acquired as a child. I remember precisely what their covers look like and how my mother sounded reading them to me. Some of them I read to myself in ritual fashion. Some of them I read to my Barbies when they weren’t being flung from my ceiling fan. These stories probably had more influence in shaping my young mind than I’ve realized before.

Today I thought about virtues. The image that flashes in my mind is the cover to a book whose home was among the Beanie Babies on a tiny bookshelf in my 6 year old self’s closet. The Book of Virtues. I can see the images in my mind, but for some reason I cannot recite to myself a single story, poem, or line from the book. I can practically smell the thing and feel the gaudy over-sized bow in my hair, but I can’t place a single word.

the book of virtues

What can this mean? That I could retain the concept of the importance of milk when giving a mouse a cookie but not a single learned moral quality from this book? Somehow I remember the prevailing quest of Corduroy the bear, the unconditional providing of The Giving Tree, and plights of The Tub People, but I am still at a loss for a mere morsel of the teachings of this “treasury.”

Maybe I don’t remember the character names or rhyming verses, but this book obviously taught me, if nothing else, what an actual virtue is. The general idea. The meaning of the word itself. I know that much. So let’s explore this for a moment.

“Patience is a virtue.” I can hear my mother speaking this phrase just as clearly as I can recall her reading to me from those books.

Patience is not something that I grasp well. I’ve always prided myself in having an extremely level head and impeccable moral compass. Much like Corduroy the bear, I understand the irrelevance of the materialistic. I make it a point to practice the selflessness depicted in The Giving Tree. I even put my drain plug in at all times in case my tub figurines come to life when I am away.

My battle with patience is a vastly different story.

Maybe this stems from the feeling that I have been constantly waiting on something my entire life. Waiting to be old enough to drive. Waiting to go off to college. Waiting to start working. Waiting for relationships to form, for someone to get me, for opportunities and excitement. Waiting for life to happen to me, when really I should have been actively seeking my own life.

waiting room

Even waiting rooms make me uneasy.

For this reason, when I want something desperately, I have an impossible time waiting to pursue it. To achieve an end result. My type of impatience has evolved in this sense, and it has its very own cycle. It all starts with a vision. An idea. It could be something as simple as deciding that I want to go rollerblading this weekend or as complex as deciding I want to move across the country by the time that I am twenty-five  (25tofly).

The initial phase is raw excitement. It begins as overwhelming, optimistic joy and certainty. However, seeing this idea to fruition is rarely immediate. After a while, anticipation can start to feel less promising and more draining. Sometimes circumstances are such that a goal takes many steps towards achieving. Some steps are less enthralling than others, and these steps take time. For me, that time often passes so slowly that it can be maddening.

It’s as if increasing the time that lapses between the establishment and accomplishment of my goal also increases the likelihood of failure. This isn’t necessarily always the case, yet the anxiety that I associate with the passing of time is unavoidable.

The point is that my impatience is a fear of waiting. Waiting is inevitable, so there is an ultimatum to reach in this cycle. I can allow the frustrations from my impatience to break me, or I can attempt to endure the home stretch. Right now I am approaching that ultimatum. I’m trying to holding out for the home stretch, and it is taking everything I’ve got.

Patience has not been my virtue, but maybe it can be.

Note: This post is out of character, but my goal here was to write something heartfelt instead of pumping out something in my typical style that was unmotivated. I want to extend a special thank you to Rich for talking me through this post and helping me to edit this piece efficiently. My friend, you certainly have no problems with patience.

becca cord signature

About becca3416

Becca Cord is a twenty-something year old southern ballerina turned humor writer and video editor. Having lived in Louisiana her entire life, she is now perusing her travel dreams while starting her own free-lance Web Marketing business and organizing a nation wide blogging event, Blogger Interactive. She believes one of her callings is making people laugh, and she intends to do so. You can find Becca on her personal blog, Facebook page, or Twitter @becca25tofly.

Posted on February 27, 2013, in Opinion, work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 94 Comments.

  1. Wow, I need to see a psychiatrist. I didn’t see a clock at all in that pic of the guy waiting. I just saw an arrow pointing at his crotch.

  2. First of all, I love that you’re not afraid to push the boundaries of a ‘humor’ blog, because these posts (like your FP’d one) are so great, and so many people can relate.

    Not me, of course. I’m so patient. I love waiting. In fact, I didn’t read any blogs yesterday because I just wanted to let the anticipation build.

  3. How come at the bottom of your posts there is always an ad? Are you making mega bucks of this bloggie?!?

  4. Sorry, I’m so terribly late to this party, Becca. Nice post. I like it, too. You do serious well. I know the feeling of waiting for life to happen. My advice…don’t! Don’t wait. Take a chance. Time passes and then you realize you still feel this way, so my advice make it happen, and it won’t happen to you or for you. You shape it and take it to where you want it to go.

  5. i think i have a lot of patie- ah fuck it.

  6. Well, you know this one hits home for me. I have struggled – AM struggling – a lot with waiting. It’s ironic that I’ve placed such a heavy emphasis on waiting throughout my adult life because if you look at the pieces of my life, I’ve got a lot together. I have a happy marriage, a beautiful child, and I’m gratified with my relationships. But there’s still the question of The Waiting and what exactly I’m hanging around for. When will the big thing that’s supposed to happen begin? What the hell is that big thing anyway? Adulthood? Pfffft.

    The good thing is that I don’t think saintly patience is completely necessary to get to the point where you want to be. Sure, it may make waiting easier, but if anything it may actually prolong it by fostering a sense of complacency. Becs, you are a pretty frackin’ amazing gal and you are going to get exactly what you want. Don’t worry to much about patience. You see something you want? Take it.

  7. Becca,
    I like this post, and all the comments it has generated. Patience for me has been acquired with age. I’m more than twice your age and maybe you don’t want to hear that.
    Understand i’m still impatient with moronic drivers or dipshit coworkers or people who talk on the phone about NOTHING, but I don’t think that’s the impatience you’re writing about.
    I guess some people do have that virtue inherently but I think I learned whatever patience I have. And it’s not so much worrying that failure may interrupt the waiting part; it’s more about being vulnerable to attack by people or circumstances that might delay or destroy the ultimate goal. I had a root canal once and I hope I never have another. There’s a point when your mouth has been mechanically held open for too long and the drilling and the other horrible stuff going on has pushed you to the point of “fuck you I’m out of here”. But you can’t. You’ve got a gaping hole in your mouth that needs to be fixed before the novocaine wears off. So you go to that place in your mind and you turn up the music and you think about a warm beach and a cold beer.
    I know that’s not what your writing about either but the patience I have now with the goals and dreams that I have to wait for, uses the same methods.
    I spent too much of my life waiting to be happy; after a good job was found, a good partner, a better haircut, whatever! I’m not saying don’t strive to have or be better; I’m saying spend more time understanding what is really important to you, and realize that for an incredible person like you, that shit doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with planning and calculation, and unfortunately, patience.
    Love from Seattle,

  8. Dearest Becca,
    I’m going to have to agree with what a lot of others have already said. This is a side of you that is refreshing to read. You’re a super talent no matter what you write, but your honesty echos far.

    Oh, and I’m not a patient person either…

  9. I struggle with waiting every day! I’ve been waiting to hear from producers about opportunities that could change my life and let me tell you, my impatience is literally burning a hole in my gut.

    You, my friend, are wise beyond your years, and that’s why you’re sure to succeed at any challenge you accept.

  10. Excellent post, Becca, on a subject that I think is more and more overlooked and less and less understood. To me, patience is not so much about waiting as it is about establishing pace in your life — the kind of pace that allows you to experience the moments. When I was about 30, I had a life epiphany, realizing that “success” in the form of dollars and “things” wasn’t nearly as valuable as being in control of your time and having the ability to live in the moment as much as possible. I had been a successful chef, ascending the corporate ladder and buying a home by the time I was 23. When I turned 30, I suddenly realized I had spent so much time in pursuit that I had no real memories of the moments that got me there. My life constantly evolved around time with a level of impatience: Purveyor deliveries, lunch rushes, dinner rushes, menu rollouts, flights, restaurant openings… One day, I removed my watch as a reminder to myself that I was going to stop living according to the clock. Within a month I had turned in my notice. Within six months, I had moved to this small town on the Oregon coast and started working as a journalist/columnist. I was earning less than half of what I had been, but I doubled my commodity of time. Peddling your bike as fast as you gets you “there” faster, but you miss out on what’s most important: What it feels like to be “here.” I still don’t wear a watch, but I’m always on “time.”

    • Your response gave me chills Ned. This is exactly how I want to live. I believe that nothing is more true regarding time and experiences over money and material. Thank you so much for telling me your story. I hope to do the same thing you just described within the year.

  11. There are currently 69 comments on this post, and I almost don’t want to comment so this piece stays SUPER SEXY.

    Waiting is so damn hard, it really is. It puts me on the edge of my seat, and I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin until everything unfolds. How do pregnant women do it? I’d be knocking on my belly, “GET OUT ALREADY.”

    Also, I’d highly recommend moving if you want to. Do it now while you’re still young. I’ve lived in California, Washington and now Oregon. I’ve loved the experience of moving around even though I stayed in the same general area.

    • I think it is a good sign that we both noticed and experienced excitement over the comment count being stuck at SUPER SEXY 69.

      Fuck pregnancy. Except when my mom did it. And yours. And everyone else’s mom who birthed the fine folks in this comment thread. And….

      I DO plan to move Jen. It is just a matter of…. wait for it…. ,waiting until the perfect moment. But don’t worry. I have a feeling it will be soon. Hence the “home stretch” reference.

      • I think we should secretly doctor up the Blogger Summit results so that we visit your potential future city. You can run off and check out apartments, hot local guys and potential job prospects. Kill two birds with one stone.

  12. Nice post, Becca. I’m quite patient up to a point and then start to feel frustrated and need to rush things through. I am getting more patient in some areas as I get older, but less patient in others. Sigh.

  13. I am with you on this one, sister. Impatience is a pain in the ass. I am waiting, and I am impatient as well, and sometimes I am unsure as to what it is I am even waiting for….but I know it’s good. That’s why I am impatient. I hate wasting time! I’ve tried yoga and stuff to slow me down, but it’s hard. I just keep thinking and thinking about it. Great post! I am trying to be around more often. Sorry I haven’t been here!

    • I like how you put that. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what I am waiting on either. It adds to the initial excitement but also the later frustration.

      I haven’t done much yoga, but a good run is about the only thing that can somewhat clear my mind when I get in an impatient trance.

      You are here now. That’s all that matters ma’am. Good to hear from you 🙂

  14. Waiting blows. I’m not patient either. At all. Never have been. I can feel my blood pressure going up just waiting for a few seconds for things. I’m sure that’s healthy. I especially hate it if there’s nothing for me to do WHILE I’m waiting. Passive waiting is the worst, if you’re waiting for a decision to be made, or for something to be finished—something you don’t have any control over. And I completely understand living in the future, looking at the end result and getting excited about it, and then going on a downer when you realize how much time/effort will be needed to get to that result. Sure, “They” say we should learn to be comfortable with the waiting time, with the unknown, but I say “They” should bite me.

    • Passive waiting? You might as well sedate me.

      If ever you have a choice, the rule is now and forever, go with what Weebs says and not what “They” say. Because it is bound to be much better, or at the very least make you laugh.

  15. Becca, this is a great post. I like that you’re going outside your normal realm. You did it well. I’m seeing more bloggers step outside of the confort zone these past few weeks. It’s very inspiring. I myself, took your advise and stepped outside the zone today. Patience is not my virtue either. Never has been, never will. Some will even go so far to say I’m demanding and bossy, which is true, but it’s because I have absoloutely no patience, whatsoever. Keep these posts coming!

    • Thanks a lot Amber. I am off to check out your change of pace. I have been seeing the trend as well, and I figured why not. Plus, as I have said in response to other comments today, this is meant to be a place for any and all topics. Most of them will be funny but every once in a while you have to just write for yourself. To clear your head. If it is heartfelt, it will come off that way. I believe anyway..

  16. Bang on the money about the waiting issue. Have a beer in the shower to pass the time!

  17. This post resonates with me because I have zero patience with life. On the flip-side, this post also showcases your more natural (and more infectious) writing style, which is really strong and inviting. Just when I thought I couldn’t like you any more than I do.

  18. I too like this departure. Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with long johns or what is inside a box hidden in the closet…This just shows what is going on inside you as a person…and well, pretty much all of us.

    As for patience and not seeing the fast results, I could go on and on about this. Some of my friends are doing pretty well for themselves. None of them got where they are without taking a lot of risks and they all failed miserably.

    • I really appreciate that. I told myself a long time ago that this blog was going to be free-range topic wise. I plan to hold true to that.

      Risk is huge. If there is one thing I struggle with more than impatience, it is opting to take the riskier route to the more rewarding outcome.

      • Most of those sayings like “Patience is a Virtue” sound corny yet the truth to them are so unshakeable.

        With Great Effort Comes Great Reward…

        My friend who is a professional athlete did not get to where he is because he was talented or lucky. He was always doing something. When we were at the party, he was waking up early and training. In the end, his countless hours of sacrifice has paid off in the form of being financially successful and being able to travel on a whim.

        If you are taking action then you are moving.

        Crap! I am sounding like some kind of motivational speaker! Ha ha ha!

  19. I’ve been down the road of “waiting” for certain things that can only come in time, like important dates or milestones. And I realized that by spending my time waiting, I was missing out on life, or taking the time I did have for granted.

    You can’t make time pass any faster, but you can make good use of the time that you do have. Unless you’re waiting for something like, “Turning 21 so I can drink,” there’s almost always something you can do while waiting.

  20. I have been so impatient lately too. I find that my impatience increases with my technology addiction, I just don’t know which one causes the other. It feels like I’m either living in the past or the future, but never the present.

    Better luck to you! I hope you get patience, but really, I just hope you get the things you want in a timely fashion, because then you won’t need patience.

    • That is a great point. My impatience has me constantly living in the future and pulls me away from enjoying the present. Which is why I wanted to address myself about it.

      *slaps own hand* STAHP IT BECCA

      And me too Jill. Maybe I should try to find a magic genie. Sometimes it seem that would be more feasible than me trying to wrangle my patience.

  21. Becca, what is it you’re waiting for? What is testing your patience? Besides me….

    Also, I agree with Le Clown about this post. I like seeing glimpses of the real you. Just as you told me the other day, it’s nice to see a different side.

  22. Becca,
    You know how much I love your blogging when you take these tangents… You are a much stronger “serious” blogger than you give yourself credit for… I’d like to see more, but that’s just me, and who am I to tell you what to do, but all-star blogger Le Clown?

    Patience. I have none of it. Not a virtue I have ever grasped… It is actually probably my worst quality… See, I couldn’t even wait to finish this comment…
    Le Clown

    • And you know how much that means to me when you say it. I’d like to explore more in small doses as well. Like I told Rich, when I was working on this, I wrote it more for myself more than the audience. I know that all y’all are into is sexual innuendo and wordplay, so it is going to be an extra reward for me if it is received well.

      Thank you for having no patience. It aids to your brilliance, I am sure of it.

  23. Patience has never been my strong suit. I want everything right now, whether its desirable or not. And when it’s not and I don’t get it, I blame myself for it. I’m still trying to figure out patience as a virtue…

    • If I discover any kind of epiphany on the subject, I’ll drop you a line. But don’t be waiting on it 😉

      Oh and thanks for taking the time to read this.

      • It was a joy to read! I think I speak for everyone (that’s dangerous) but you don’t give yourself enough credit for writing the serious stuff. This was pretty stellar.

  24. i was flattered that you’d ask for my help. and, for some people, the well of patience is bottomless. thanks for the thanks, and you’re more than welcome.

  25. I find that there are these weird solar-flares of fury when I wait. I’m fine, I’m cool, I’m zen, I’m GOD DAMN IT WHAT THE HELL??? WHATEVER NEEDS TO HAPPEN, DO THAT THING AND LET’S… ahem… I’m centered, I’m here, I’m cool…

    • I agree BM! I am usually extremely level headed in the beginning and then out of no where, it hits me. I go into panicky, over analyze mode. I’m pacing, biting my nails, biting Jack’s nails… it’s sick.

  26. Waiting has always been an issue for me. I have an anxiety problem and it is complicated by waiting. I become increasingly anxious with waiting and need to concentrate on my breathing to get through the wait. I’m usually a rather patient person, does that seem strange, but waiting is difficult. I know this was a difficult post for you to write since you usually write with such humor, but I appreciate your honesty and openness about your feelings on this subject. You are not alone.

    • I have never considered myself to be an anxious person, but I am learning lately that impatience brings this side out of me. It’s good that I am recognizing it, but controlling it, well that’s another story…

      I didn’t have trouble physically writing this post. Actually it all just kind of plopped out onto the page rather effortlessly. What was hard was deciding whether to share it or not. Knowing that y’all have my back told me that I should. Thanks for the support Marie.

  27. Patience is a tough call for everyone I think. There’s a humorous prayer: God, grant me patience, but please be quick about it!

    Even people who you’d think should be patient can be very unpatient at times.

    I like Thinking Becca. Please can we see more of her?

    • I’ve heard that joke. That’s me! I think it depends on what you are waiting for, for most people. I seem to be impatient when it comes to most things. I plan to work on it… somehow. It may take time though– oh great, I am screwed ;).

      • Yup, you’re up the creek without a paddle. Altho’ I reckon you’ll find that there are some things you are good at waiting for, but maybe that’s because you don’t actually realise you’er waiting for them?

  28. My favorite mainstream artist (well, next to The Cars)….he’s got a song for ya.

    Waiting is hard for me as well, but it depends on what kind of waiting…waiting room – easy… I can read. Waiting for the bank to open on Monday b/c of something I screwed up on Friday at 5PM is torture. I hate when i don’t have control of of that kind of situation.

    Good luck with that virtue – it’s always easier to wait with a book ~

  29. I know something about impatience. This is exactly what my issue often is. It’s not something that is necessarily driving me to pursue a thing, though… in a way that impatience, because of the association with potential failing as you just said, is something I actually avoid. Weird stuff.

    Great post!

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