Finding Patience Again
I feel so impatient these days. I try to figure out why this is, and why it seems to be more of an issue than in the past, but I am struggling to sort that out. The only reason I think it matters to figure out why is because I am hoping that I can then restore my ability to have patience in the future! Being patient is a helpful tool in managing chronic diseases like RA, and, if for no other reason than that, I need to get this corrected.
Why am I so impatient?
I wonder if it is related to my age and/or work status. I am 65 now, does that matter? I have recently retired from a long and busy career and so my life is now a lot more relaxed and I love that. I don’t think blaming it on retirement makes any sense since I am not under the stress I was when working full-time. On the whole, I am much more relaxed. I actually feel great at 65. The responsibilities of parenthood have slowed as our sons are all happy, successful adults with families of their own.
Impatience comes in waves
Yet, I find myself feeling impatient when I have to wait for things to happen, like the sale of our home, for instance. I want to just enjoy our last summer here in Vermont, but I am struggling to do that. I know we have a lot to look forward to in our new location and I am eager to get that started. I suppose that may be the reason.
What I do know is that I need to find a way to get that attribute back in my life. I always felt I was a very patient person when it came to allowing life to unfold, but lately, not so much.
Having patience is important for RA management
Patience is so important to managing RA and something I felt I practiced well. I understood medications may not work immediately, for instance, and so I would patiently wait for them to take effect. I knew that seeing my Rheumatologist might not happen overnight, so I patiently waited for my appointment, knowing the staff was doing the best they could to get me in to see him. Having said this, patience has its limits and I am not suggesting that I did not have times where my patience was simply maxed out. Dealing with the complexities and vagaries of insurance, for instance, is enough to send the most patient person in the world over the edge. But aside from those exceptions, I believe I was generally patient.
Learning how to get my patience back
So, how to get it back. I think I have some ideas on that. One is to get back to the practice of mindfulness. I have strayed a bit over the last few months and I need to bring this back. Being in the moment and acknowledging that now is the time to relish and enjoy should help. I have also slowed my meditation practice and I need to get back to a fuller and more frequent practice. Meditation has always brought me to a place of clarity, calm and peace and I think that would naturally allow for patience to be restored. Simply, pausing when I feel that impatience coming on, then reflecting on it, acknowledging it, and then letting it go will help as well.
I am sure you have other thoughts on how to restore patience to our lives or how to keep it there. Whatever your strategies, keep them up as patience is crucial to our disease management.
Has having RA put a hold on your ambitions?