The concept of impatience is a rather interesting one when you take the time to delve deeper into the inner workings of the human mind. We rush through hours only to wait days… We spend our whole lives trying to get somewhere as fast as humanly possible and yet we only ever get anywhere at the time and place we are supposed to.
I’ve spent a few days conceptualising my thoughts into a coherent piece of writing on the subject and was listing various examples of being impatient when a prime example happened in front of my very eyes on the train. A stand off in the rail doorway. You want to get off. I want to get on. Let’s waste time in a face off while others climb on effortlessly at alternative entrances. So what did either of us gain? Absolutely nothing but annoyance for the rest of our journey home, the train still arrived at its destination at the exact time it was supposed to.
We are impatient even when we don’t realise it. Driving along you may find yourself cursing the traffic light because it turned red just before you managed to get through it, not stopping to realise that had this light been green, the next would’ve been red anyway. Aggravation reigns and we arrive at our end destination at the exact time that the universe intended… Either way, would it not be easier to be thankful that you arrived rather than annoyed at the inevitable waiting?
We watch our children grow in anticipation of the next event… Their next birthday, the next Christmas, the next family holiday or another year at school. We forget to live in the here and now, focusing on what’s coming instead of what’s already in front of us. Ignoring the fact that ageing is measured anyway and the children will only be that age in that particular moment, never again. There is no time to waste on anything but the present and yet we become the parents impatient with their dawdling around a shopping mall or rushing them through homework, we become the parent holding one hand tightly and dragging them along as they trail behind doing the very thing we cannot seem to get right into adulthood – Living.
Every day we exist through impatience. We rush through breakfast, push through traffic, race to our desks, hurry through the day, escape through the door at the end of the day and then relay home again until finally we make our way to our beds… Not understanding why we are so worn out at the end of the day. The elevator will not go any faster by pushing the floor buttons multiple times, the train doors don’t open any quicker if you push the button repeatedly before the lights come on, your dinner won’t cook any faster when you’re watching the oven and the kettle won’t boil any sooner while your fingers tap the counter. You’ve risked your life impatiently running across the road before the pedestrian crossing light is illuminated, took a chance on an orange traffic light, ran across a train track. We leave the house and cannot remember if we turned the hair straightener off or not, blaming it on OCD instead of lack of attention. We speed walk around instead of stopping to take it all in. We skip the song before its finished in anticipation of the next one. We read the back pages of books before we’ve even read the blurb. We speed read to avoid reading the full article and abbreviate words in texts because we’re too impatient to write out a full word. We rap songs instead of sing ballads, we break dance instead of waltz, we order take out instead of cooking, we shower instead of bath, we drive instead of walk and we are too busy doing all of this that before we know it, we wake up as a middle aged human being realising that all we did is speed to this point of existence and anything of substance was lost in the stream…
I am tired of being impatient. I’m tired of being tired… It’s difficult to let go of what’s been tattooed into your very existence, it’s almost impossible to back track to before fast paced was normal. The thought of doing everything at an average speed instead of the rate of knots is daunting but it’s the resolution I intend on keeping in the forefront of my mind in 2015. To be impatient is to be ignorant and inconsiderate – to be impatient is to the detriment of no one but yourself – to be impatient is a rather lonely existence I’d like to pass up on. To be impatient is merely to exist.
Slow down, no one is going to slow down for you, no one is going to thank you for speed reading through life and at the end of it all, no matter how fast or slow you may be going, it’s at the exact pace it’s supposed to be so you may as well enjoy the ride.