Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

I will readily confess I am an impatient person.  I'm an American, I like things now and just the way I like them.  I am blessed with a brain that processes quickly - upside I learn very quickly, downside I get bored very quickly.

I am not in America anymore, I am reminded of the need to be patient with others and myself.

I have already written about living without stuff.  My family is essentially camping out in our house at this time, but we are OK.  The house keeps us dry when it rains and we have a place to sleep.  We have food to eat and a couple of plates off of which to eat.

Every official process - ID cards, licenses, etc - requires a multi step process.  Some steps must be separated by weeks.  If I pass my signage test today, I will begin the drivers license process which will last who knows how long.

And then there are the times I am impatient with myself.  I haven't learned enough French, I didn't pass my signage test, I can't get the moving company to tell me where my stuff is, I don't know my way around yet. When I went to the grocery store yesterday, I couldn't figure out how to get a cart (they were all locked up) and I didn't know the convention of weighing and labeling one's own produce. I felt stupid - I didn't even know how to grocery shop properly.

Any of these situations would be enough to reduce me to a puddle of tears in frustration.  The fact I haven't succumbed yet has probably less to do with patience and more with grace.  I doubt I am more patient but I do hope I am more graceful (kind, forgiving, loving).

I am not in America.  I understand that.  I am in a new place with new people and a new language and different customs and conventions.  I am in a culture that is not in a rush, that is not all about the individual, that is not about catering to people's selfishness.  It is kind of refreshing and really I am not in a hurry - I have hours of free and open time.

As for me, well I've always known I am not perfect and can't control everything.  I'm just getting extra reminders these days.

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