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Patience

Virginia Watts's picture

What if you went to Hawaii and fell down some stairs in Kauai and broke a rib just halfway into your trip?
You might pack yourself in ice that night, take some ibuprofen, and the next day climb back up those same stairs and get in the rental car and drive to Hannalei to see the view. Of course you probably would not know that your rib was broken just yet. But since you seemed to be breathing fine, and the pain was not THAT bad, you just might as well get on with it. Some would say you were "rolling with the punches."
And the next day you might take a river tour in Wailua to see the cave where so many destination weddings have been held. You might listen to the Hawaiian Wedding Song and thereby renew your wedding vows with your beloved of almost 43 years.
And then you might go back to your room and pack yourself in ice again, and the next day go to an amazing luau with incredible entertainment and so-so food, but get a nice communal hit from all the tourists who gathered to enjoy the show. Oh, and you might get a pretty orchid lei.
Then it would be time to pack up and go home, with a three-hour layover in Honolulu where you could buy some pretty nifty souvenirs for the family back home.
And then what if you went to your doctor as soon as you could and found out that yes, indeed, you did break a rib?
You might just go home with the realization that it was going to take some time to actually recover from this "punch" you had recieved, and that "rolling with it" while saving some vacation experiences, did not save you any real pain in the end. But what other choices were there?
You might then come down with a respiratory virus that made you cough. No rolling with that punch when you have a broken rib. You have to cough, and you have to feel it pretty intensely. You are aware that suppressing the cough could lead to pneumonia, so you cough. You cough a lot.
The virus lasts much longer than any virus you ever remember having, because, guess what? Your immune system is suppressed because you have a broken bone. Yes. So patience is called for. Patience is not "rolling" with anything. Patience is sustained quiet, rest, and taking medication to keep the cough productive. Patience is waiting. Patience is not doing the laundry, cooking, or watering of the garden. Patience is letting other people wait on you while you wait. Patience is hard. Patience is not doing.
Rolling with the punches is easier because at least you are rolling, moving. You might get up in a different place. Patience is keeping yourself in one place.
Then imagine if you actually learned that you could be a little bit patient with yourself and the process your body needs to heal itself without you doing anything, really. You might wake up one day and feel like you could make something for breakfast besides toast and tea.
But it will take some time.
And even when the day comes that you feel like putting on your shoes and going to the market, you might still need to be a little patient with yourself.
You might even decide that sometimes you do not have to roll with the punches. You can just lie there and recover.

Sometimes.

Comments

Brilliant.