Sunday, December 29, 2013

Theme for 2014: Patience

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to join the roller derby. There was a small problem: I had never skated before. 

Not one to be deterred by such minor obstacles, I immediately signed up for roller skating classes (me, one other adult, and a room full of seven year olds), bought protective gear and a pair of skates, and will be joining next month. 

I took 18 hours of classes almost every semester of undergrad while working two jobs, had a baby in graduate school, and got married and bought a house before I turned 25. 

I'm a jump in with both feet kind of gal. Sometimes I can make a decision, realize it was a mistake, and fix it before you even notice that I acted. I move fast, and in many ways it has served me very well. 

But there are other ways that it has not. 

There are little ways. When I am trying to write a blog post or a assignment for my students and my browser is moving slowly, it can send me into a near fury. When I am trying to leave the house in the morning and my daughter is dawdling around talking to each of her stuffed animals in alphabetical order, I get twitchy with anxiety. 

There are also big ways. Sometimes I get so caught up in planning the next move that I forget to enjoy the move I just made. I'm so swept up in figuring out when is the right time to buy a new house that I don't decorate the one I'm in. I'm so fixated on mapping out articles I want to submit that I can't enjoy watching a movie for pleasure because I feel like it's time wasted. 

And sometimes when a deadline is far enough away, I lose interest completely. For instance, sometimes it's hard for me to keep my energy on finishing my PhD because I know the dissertation is going to take a while (especially since I'm working full time). 

What I need is to cultivate some patience. 

This article that I stumbled across earlier today talks about crafting New Year's themes instead of resolutions. They're more likely to stick because they allow for flexibility as the year happens, and the theme "should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something that has been missing from your daily life."

So, that's my word for 2014: patience. 

What's your theme for 2014? Do you have any tips on cultivating patience? 

Photo: tsoleau

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