Can I be real with you for a bit? I’m not a very patient person. I’m the type of person that I like to have everything planned out and I get very frustrated when things change, even if they are things that cannot be helped. So, as part of my goals for 2018, I want to learn to manage stress better, and as a result, be more patient.
Let me tell you this, it is not easy. I have to constantly remind myself to breathe and relax. Things get to me so easily, and I don’t always like how I respond. A big thing for me is punctuality. I get very annoyed very quickly if I or someone I’m not meeting is not on time. I’ve already had this happen a few times this semester. I would be meeting people, mainly friends, and they would get behind and tell me they’re running late. Instead of being bitter about it and upset, I had to remind myself that it is okay. Things happen.
And it’s not just other people I need to be patient with: it’s myself too. Last week, I was driving to meet someone for lunch, and there was a blinking traffic light that I could not avoid. It was hard for me not to get irritated. I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely despise sitting in traffic (Side story real quick: one time there was construction on my way home that required one-lane traffic and then switching over lanes at least once. It took me almost two hours to get home, and I was so irritated when I did. It wasn’t even that long of a trip, but I was just irritated because traffic caused a delay and I wasn’t patient). Anyway, instead of getting fed up or irritated like I normally would, I took a deep breath and let it go. Me getting irritated wouldn’t help me get anywhere faster. It would just sour my mood and could have left me bitter on what was an excellent day.
Another example I could give of this is a couple weekends ago, the girls in the room next door to us invited my roommate and I to come play some games and hang out with them. Well, I was originally told a time, but then it got pushed back due to circumstances that could not really be controlled (A.K.A. one of them was still asleep/ needed time to get ready). I could have been irritated or frustrated. Honestly, I could have gone next door and knocked on their door to see what was up. But I didn’t. I waited until the agreed-upon time (the new one, not the original), and we went over there. And honestly, the four of us had a great time. We played some Mario Kart on their Wii, and since I have a couple card games, we played those as well. I was actually really excited because I had never played either of the games, and one of them I bought with my money for Christmas because it was something I really wanted but forgot to ask for (it was the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? card game if anyone is curious. It’s only sold at Target, but I highly recommend. It’s $15). The other game my roommate had gotten me for my birthday. I had a great day with the three of them, and I was able to be patient in time, and in explaining the Carmen Sandiego game. It is fairly new, and most people have not heard of it. It can be a complicated game to play, but I did my best to be patient and explain things as best as I could.
My last example is even more recent. But first, I need to clarify how my work operates. I have my boss, who is in charge of things like scheduling shifts and giving general instructions. Then there’s the first shift custodian who I never see. The second-shift custodian is the main guy I work with (who will henceforth be called my supervisor). There’s a part-time guy who I usually see for about an hour. Then there’s me and another student, and we usually have only one overlapping shift a week. Finally, there’s a Graduate Assistant (GA) who helps when we have events, but does not necessarily do all the same/ as much work as the other student and I have to do. So now that you know my work, let me tell you my story. So my supervisor has been out for over a week and a half now. So when I’m there, it’s usually just me and the part-time guy finishing the last hour of his shift. Occasionally, the other student is there, but again, that’s only once a week. Part of our job as the students is to pull the trash from all the offices upstairs, do the bathrooms, vacuum, and mop. When there are two people there (supervisor and student or student and student), the jobs get divided up (one person pulls trash and vacuums, the other cleans bathrooms and mops). However, when it is just one person there, they have to do all four jobs by themselves. It takes me about two hours to do all four, including locking doors and turning lights off as I go. First of all, that’s already exhausting. Second of all, I think last night marked the 3rd or 4th time in a row I had to do them all. There was also this huge event going on until 7. Thankfully, the GA was there as well. The part-time guy left at 6, and I did not even get downstairs until about 7:20. My boss had sent both the GA and I a text of what we needed to do that night, which was a lot. At the beginning of my shift, he told me that I was allowed to stay over on nights like last night when we are short-staffed. in fact, we were so short-staffed that the part-time guy was coming back in at 9 for another hour and a half. Well, I kept my boss’s suggestion in mind as the GA and I worked. I was not really planning on staying over, but I ended up needing to stay more than an hour simply so I could get everything done that was my responsibility. I could have gotten impatient and irritated with my boss and my job and everything else. I do not think that would have been wrong. However, I did my best not to get too upset. I also think I was a little too worn out to really feel anything but tired.
So what? What’s the purpose of me giving you these examples? Well, I’m glad you asked! I am so far from perfect. I get so impatient so easily. But I want you to know that I am working to improve on that. I’m sure I’ll have examples to tell of me backsliding, of days where I get short with someone and my temper gets the best of me. But you know what? That’s part of life. This is a goal I have for myself, and I am working towards achieving that goal to become a better person.
Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments!