When people look at the work I do, especially the fine wire work or chainmaille, they often remark that I must be so patient. And I nod and smile, not exactly sure how to respond, because I don't think they'd believe me if I told them the truth.
What's my little secret? Well. As it turns out, I'm the most impatient person I know. Seriously!
I want to make huge, artistic jewelry pieces. I want to make smaller ones to sell. I want to set up an Etsy store, as well as sell my work privately. I want to create tutorials and kits and do podcasts and enter contests. I want to write novels and cook amazing food and teach hula hooping and... and... and...
And I want to do it all now! Oh, forget now -- I want to do it all six months ago. ;)
This can be problematic, as you might imagine. It's impossible to do all of these things at once, no matter how good I am at multi-tasking (or time traveling). If I'm not careful, I run around, trying to decide what to work on first, and I end up doing nothing. My life is further complicated by my injury -- I have to make sure not to hurt myself, which can be frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to know your limits until you've surpassed them.
This is why I'm writing today's post. I need a nice reminder that patience is not only a virtue, but the way to staying happy, healthy and sane. Hopefully I can help anyone who has a similar problem. I'm going to work on patience in two areas, and you're welcome to work right along with me.
1.) Patience with ourselves. With all the opportunities in the world, it seems like there's always something more we could be doing. And it's true! But that doesn't mean we should do it. If we've chosen work that we love, that we're passionate about, that makes us happy, odds are, we're doing more than enough already -- and doing a super job. We should remember to reward ourselves with some down time. Taking a nap, watching a movie, reading a book while drinking hot chocolate.
Everything we want to do, we probably can at some point. It's just a matter of prioritizing. What do we want to do the most? What can we do easily? I've started keeping a to-do list with only these things on it -- no chores, no appointments. If they're complicated, I break them down into tiny steps and cross off a few each day. I keep the number of tasks low and add things to the list only if I've reached the goals I've set for myself.
Also, every night before I go to sleep, I review everything I've done and congratulate myself on a job well done. It's become a habit at this point, and it makes me want to continue being productive. And in case I forget all my hard work, I keep a physical list on my computer of the most important things I've done. I add to the bottom of it, or at least the middle, so I have to scroll through all of my past achievements in order to add new ones -- talk about a reminder!
2.) Patience with the process. Whether it's a novel or an organic vegetable garden, most of the things in life that are worthwhile take time and effort, as well as trial and error. They don't happen overnight. It's important for us to realize this, and to come to enjoy the process. To celebrate all the little victories, to learn from our so-called failures so that we emerge stronger and more competent and ready for greater success, instead of focusing on the outcome like it's the only flavor in the ice cream shop.
So that's my advice to myself, and to anyone who is a bit challenged in the patience department. Keep going, take care of yourself along the way, and use whatever little tricks work for you. I believe that with the right mix of hard work, talent, dumb luck, persistence, and yes, patience, we'll all be just fine.
So. Are you impatient? What are some of your strategies for coping with it?
Oh! I almost forgot. I picked up my sequin order today (after a week of checking the mailbox every day -- this patience thing is an ongoing process for me!). I've already started making kits for my Etsy store, with color themes like fire, ice, and rainbow. Soon to come are mineral, evening, and ocean. I'm very excited, and I'm thinking about having a giveaway -- to stay tuned!
Thanks, and have a sequintastic day!