There it is, now I’ve said it.
While I would (possibly) like to be a patient person, I am not. I thought I had acquired more of the stuff, when my son was small, but it appears to have been as fleeting as a 70 degree day in March in New England.
It’s one of those things that I think we, as people, either have, or don’t, and if you don’t have it, the ability to get it – and KEEP it – is really tough.
I’m really not sure how to manage my lack of patience, although I am aware of it.
It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, on many levels. I often find myself speaking out when holding my tongue for a bit would have probably served me better in the end. I also find myself unable to stop fiddling with things, stop messing with things, to just be patient and let things develop on occasion.
[READ: Things We Do for Fun – BLOG POST]
I have come to realize, over the past few days, that my lack of patience isn’t really about patience, it’s about control. I have infinite patience for the things that I can control. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that I was on a sailboat regatta a few months back, doing the job called tactician. The job of the tactician is to decide where the boat is going and how it’s going to get there.
This job of tactician requires that infinite amount of patience. Oddly enough, I have an abundance of patience during most of the racing where I am either driving or in the tactician spot. I can wait, set traps, hold on at the marks to see who will make a mistake and then instantly know how to capitalize on it – after all, the patient person is one who takes the time to consider many alternatives and to know those options well enough to make a decision without wasting any time when the opportunity presents.
I mostly have this same kind of patience in business, although there are times that other entities, like the government, for instance, make me the same crazy that I am right now with this situation.
This week I’m in the spectator position, and I do not enjoy it, nor do I do well with it.
My other half is on a sailboat race of his own; he enjoys the long distance racing – the kind that requires days on the water to get to the finish line, as opposed to me, I like to do many short races in a day and my brain works well with those.
We once had a collision in a regatta that was a disaster, but as soon as the carnage was cleared away, the race committee gently reminded our team that we needed to be ready to go again immediately. And go again we did; we didn’t win the next race but we were soundly in the middle of the pack and nowhere near last place at the finish.
The reason we managed to get in a different boat (ours had been damaged too badly to use again that day) and race again so soon was because even though we were involved in a mistake (partly our fault), my tactician brain was able to move on and get back in order.
Back to the other half and how crazy it makes me to have to be the spectator.
He’s on a thousand mile race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, MX. That’s a long way, and it really is a lot of little races combined into one big race if you take a look at the “race track” and understand how it can play out. Winning the first leg does not mean you’ll automatically win the next leg, especially with boats that are evenly matched and should travel at roughly the same speed.
Depending on the conditions, one could say that winning the last leg is the only thing that counts in this particular setup, and that is fairly accurate. There are races where the boats stop and are scored separately on each leg, with a final total based on all the “little races” but this is not one of them.
I find myself yelling at the computer screen as if it were a college basketball game and Duke was playing UNC.
If you’re not a college basketball fan, or you didn’t grow up in North Carolina, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about. And that’s okay, I’m fine with it. It’s a silly comparison anyway, in this context. Kind of. At least if you don’t know hoops and you don’t know Tobacco Road. Look it up.
Yelling at the screen doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make the boat go faster, it doesn’t make them change course, and it certainly doesn’t mean that my plan for them would net any better results. My plan for them is aided by being able to see all the boats, and the breeze, on the big race course on my laptop screen. They do not have these advantages. But I keep on doing it. I can’t help myself.
Reasonably speaking, and given my lack of interest in actually doing sailboat races that take more than a couple of days, tops, I am sure that my plan would not net them any better results. It would likely end in a mutiny if I were in charge, and my being tied up and stuffed in the bilge until we reached shore in nearly any case.
Patience gives us focus.
This much I know to be true. I get sucked down the rabbit hole of online trackers and wind predictions and gybe angles and 24 hour VMG to the point that I’m not getting nearly as much done as I should be. I admit it. It’s like watching March Madness with sailboats instead of college basketball teams.
I also don’t go to the movies. It’s not that I don’t like movies – there are a few that I think are good – but at the theater I do not have the remote, cannot stop the movie to chat on the phone a bit, go to the ladies room, check my phone for emails. This drives me batty. I am all but climbing out of my chair, even if it’s one of those cushy recliner types, for the last 15 minutes of the movie. I can’t help it.
Which brings us back to that control freak thing.
Everyone who knows me well is probably getting a good chuckle out of this little blog post. I hate to admit it but I don’t like it when I don’t have the ability to change things, even in some little way. So I guess I’ll just have to keep watching the little tiny boats on the laptop screen make their way down the coast, and I’m likely to keep on screaming at the computer anyway. I did it when my BFF was on a race from SF to Hawaii, I do it every time my friends are racing long distance, and I don’t see that I’ll stop doing it any time soon.
I should really get back to work, but maybe I’ll just have a quick look at the tiny boats again before I do.