Practicing Patience: With Others, Life and Yourself

Patience, some have it, everyone wants it. And almost everyone struggles with patience when dealing with their health. How many times have you made a commitment to change some healthy habit, then you get frustrated or give up because you don’t see enough change (or any change)? Or you slip from your commitment and instead of being patient with creating that new habit, you feel guilty? Maybe you feel impatient with someone you love, who is trying to learn a new healthy habit.

I learned patience with others (some others at least) while working with young children with autism. There is a high level of repetition and the children often have little to no language. This is not a job for everyone! But I loved it. I loved the time I spent with those kids.

Right now, my tomato garden is teaching me patience with life. I planted my tomato seeds in either September or early October (Can’t remember at this point). And slowly they have grown. With fertilizer and lots of patience, they flowered and eventually fruited. Then the fruits seemed full-size! Then…nothing. After weeks of seeming full-sized, THE COLOR BROKE!!! And a week later, I still haven’t eaten one.

SERIOUSLY?!?! A WHOLE WEEK?!?! I'm picking it....maybe....

“Vine-ripened” is best, and really, that is a BIG part of growing it yourself, but I’m going a little crazy here. I have eaten two of my yellow pear tomatoes. One was almost two weeks ago. I realized yesterday when I ate another that the first was NOT RIPE.

Two weeks ago and yesterday - see the bright yellow on the bottom?!

I did do some research today though, and I think that Cherokee Purple you see in the first picture is actually ripe, they can have green on them. So it’s time to go grab that for dinner, you know, before the 40 degree Florida weather takes it. Yeah, that’s why. Be right back!

Indoor lighting doesn't do it justice, but it's gorgeous, cracks and all.

I literally just left writing this post, to go outside, at 8:30 at night, to pick my first Cherokee Purple. It had been getting quite soft, so I justified picking it (ever tried being patient with something, then come up with an excuse to do a short cut – it happens). The tomato did NOT want to be picked, but I’m bigger, and I won. A tasty, tasty victory.

(top) Look at the beautiful fleshy tomato! (bottom) This is what happens when my husband grabs the camera....

We’ve covered patience with others (I’m still very patient with children and when people don’t know better, but have to work on patience with people who DO know better), patience with life (wait for those tomatoes – it’s worth it!), and now time for patience with self. I have struggled with exercise and food for many years. These are habits. I have habits and cravings that draw me towards foods with lots of flour and sugar, the same foods that make me moody and unhappy. I tend to be lazy, and while I love exercise (GO YOGA!) I struggle to make it a regular part of my routine.

I’ve felt guilty.
I’ve felt responsible.
I’ve blamed others. 
I’ve tried doing well, and then stopped. 
I learned forgiveness.
I learned to take baby steps.
I learned that it’s not how many times you fall off the wagon, it’s how many times you GET BACK ON.

I’m proud to say that as time goes on, I spend more time on the wagon than off. And when I fall off, I get back on faster. Better yet, sometimes I don’t fall off, I just schedule a stop. I exercised more last year than I have in a long time. And for my 2012 New Year’s Resolution I am publicly committing to daily exercise.

Starting January 1, I will do Sun Salutation every day. I will do as many as I feel comfortable doing, any time of day. And then I’m going to tell you about it (not daily, don’t worry). I’m going to buy a calendar (tomorrow I hope) to keep track of my daily numbers. So far I’m at 6 sets day 1 & 2, still have to do day 3. That’s it. Simple. 

This is a public commitment to create a new habit that is a) measurable b) doable c) worthwhile. Is it a huge commitment? No, but it’s something I CAN do. I need to make a new habit, and this is how I’m going to do it. I’ve learned to be patient with myself because I don’t change easily. This is my Resolution Solution, be sure to check out the class if you want to join me.

What are your 2012 commitments and how will you be patient with yourself? Do you have any tomatoes that need to ripen?

 

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