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Patience (I want it now!)
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Probably my worst fault is that I am impatient. I just cannot seem to dredge up the wherewithal to slow down, to adjust to someone else's speed. Yes, those are teeth marks you see on my lip and finger impressions on the edge of the table from my efforts to contain my impatience.

When I blurt out an uncomfortable truth and hurt someone's feelings, it's because I wasn't patient enough to build the big picture with them, and help them see how my perspective is only part of the larger whole, and how much I care for them even if the present issue is painful.

When I rush past someone in the hall, hardly acknowledging their existence, (it is expected that you always stop and "speak"), it's not because I'm intentionally rude, but that my mind and body are racing a mile a minute on some topic that seems vitally important, and I'm too impatient to stop and pass the time of day.

When I snap and snarl at someone who blathers on, grazing as they go, meandering around Robin Hood's barn in their gradual approach to the point of the conversation, it's because I'm impatient to get to the point. For them, the journey is just as important as important as the goal, I suppose, but I just want to get on with it.

I guess it's because I'm goal-oriented.

So yesterday I went to visit N. We had a couple of forms to fill out to withdraw money from IRAs.

It took him 15 minutes to find the form. It took another 45 minutes for him to give me the answers while I did the writing. A simple 3-page form that I could have done in 10 minutes. He knew I was coming to visit for that purpose; couldn't he have found the form ahead of time, read through it, and been ready for its completion? Aaargh.

Then we came to the second form. 20 minutes to find it. Another 30 minutes to go painfully through the exact same questions. As you have no doubt guessed, by that point I was ready to chew nails and spit out the rust.

I know it's his Parkinson's that makes him so slow. I know that I went at twice his speed, even in his pre-Parkinson's days (he would talk it to death, while I wanted to leap up immediately and get it done). But it's still so hard for me to contain my impatience, maintain a pleasant demeanor, and just let him fumble his way to the papers, search for the words.

And then if I do get impatient and snappish with him, I feel terrible. He doesn't know how to plan ahead--never did. What makes me think he's going to learn how now? He always was the kind of person who does things at the last minute, trying to beat the deadline, and he's not going to change, ever.

So let me try again to be patient.

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