Patience – a Traveller’s Virtue
Tick tok, tick tok…. The clock is ticking, very, very slowly.
As we look ahead to our impending departure for foreign shores in March, I am left feeling so impatient. Now I must say, that I have never been blessed with a huge dose of patience, although boy, what little I do have is being severely tested. Apparently ‘tempus fugit’, although not in our house right now, completely the opposite in fact.
Have you ever looked forward to something so much that you feel like you’re wishing your life away? This is how it is for us – a bit like a child waiting for Father Christmas and wondering whether he will ever arrive. The anticipation of our new adventures feels almost unbearable – so much excitement is running through our veins that it feels like we might burst. Just like that child, we watch our new website’s clock counter; tick tok, tick tok – getting giddy with excitement as it finally moves into double figures. I am sure though that the more we watch, the slower the counter moves – almost as if to prove a point.
The last six months have been incredibly busy with work projects and social commitments, which have been a welcome distraction. Although now, with our lives slowing to a more manageable pace, we approach our remaining 99 days with a list of all the things we need to do to prepare ourselves for our new, life-changing choices.
It’s so interesting because with my meditation and mindfulness practice, you might be forgiven for thinking that ‘being in the moment’ and allowing life to naturally unfold, would be dead easy for me! What my training teaches me is that I am human and that our natural instinct, when something new is coming into our world, is to look forward to it, often with a child-like anticipation. Although I also recognise that life is short and to be counting down the days feels somehow dishonourable to those who wish they had more. So amidst my impatience, I acknowledge my feelings and just let them be, whilst containing them with a degree of humility. They exist because something amazing is about to happen and for that we are blessed.
I’ve come to learn over the last few weeks, that patience is a traveller’s virtue, of that I am sure. Whether in an airport departure lounge, waiting for our travel date or simply in a traffic jam heading for our destination. Wait we must – things never move at a pace that suit our needs. If we remove our urgency for life to happen quickly, we can really appreciate this very moment. So many of life’s gifts are missed by us living in the past or the future. We only have the present – that’s the reality of it all.
Our departure will soon be upon us and whilst waiting; we plan, research, connect and we build. Wishing our lives away is not a healthy pattern and we’ll soon want to reverse the ticking clock when we’re on the road. With a mindfulness of my impatience, I give myself permission to experience it fully, whilst also being humbled by the very reason my impatience exists. Meanwhile I will practice my ‘being in the moment’ and avoid longing for March to arrive. It will come, it will go and our lives will still unfold as they are destined to. And so I remind myself of the Christmas child and with tender loving care, tell my eager inner traveller – patience, patience my little one.