I have this symbol, and three others, tattooed on my wrist. It's sanskrit for breathe. People that know me were not surprised by my choosing this symbol. People who don't, like to tease, "If it wasn't there, would you forget?" The answer, actually, is yes. I often have to remind myself to do just that; breathe.
Everything comes to us so quickly now; information, access to people, updates on what our friends are doing. It's easy to get used to having what you want right now. I noticed I was becoming a little too dependant on this the other night, when playing a game of Ruzzle (I'm highly addicted to, and sadly pathetic at, word games), my friend had not yet taken her turn. Rather than being patient, I asked my phone to randomly search for an opponent for me. When this did not yield results fast enough, I texted my friend and told her to play. When I returned to the game, my random opponent had already played their round and my friend had not only played her round, but invited me to play an additional round. Okay. Now I could breathe.
Other signs that I may have a problem with patience include: texting one letter at a time to my friends when they don't respond, until they do. Also, while I wait for my laptop to load up, I have my phone beside me so I can text and my iPad beside me so I can surf the internet. When I watch T.V., I crochet, write, and lose at word games during commericals, or, occasionally, during the shows. So, when a moment comes that I have to wait, really, actually wait to get a response, an answer, or something I want, it feels hard to breathe. The lovely, hypocritical kicker is the number of times a day I tell my children, "You need to be patient!", "Just because you want it now, doesn't mean you can have it!", or "Why can't you wait just five minutes?" Well, because mom, what are they supposed to do in the mean time?
Truthfully, the reminder to breathe, for me, is not just about instant acccess to whatever I need. It's also about getting caught up in everything. I don't look at things in tiny pieces; I look at them in one big, huge, overwhelming wave. When we have a busy week scheduled, I am not good at the 'one day at a time' philosophy. Instead, I see that whole, busy week as insurmountable because there is so much scheduled. These are times when I remind myself to breathe. I remind myself to take a deep breath, and find those tiny pieces of things I can take care of here and now. Then I breathe a bit more and tackle the next thing. Or, I ignore the calendar, pretend I have no commitments and write.
With writing, I also have far too much impatience. Writing has always come easily to me. I think something, I write it. When it doesn't come easy, I have to remind myself to breathe. No matter how good you are, or think you might be, at something, there is truly never a time when you lose the ability to become better. I look at my new venture into writing (this part where I actually share it) as another reminder to breathe. Things are not going to come quickly as I try to establish a 'presence' in the writing world. Some things still take time. While I started with one follower on Twitter, I now have 44. I do not know most of them, but it is 44 pieces of proof that I'm establishing myself as an author; for that next stage. I look at people with thousands of followers and think, really? How? Well, likely one step at a time. One follower, one day, and one breath at a time. So, while I wait for the next stage, which I hope will include seeing my name on a picture book that I'm very excited about, I will remind myself to breathe.