Posts Tagged With: Patience

A Friendly Game Goes South

Are you one of those people who believe that you should let little kids win at board games and matching games? Or do you come from the school of thought that advocates winning at all costs, little kids feelings and sense of fairness and fun be hanged?

I tend to err on the side of kindness which isn’t necessarily good for anyone involved in the long run.

I had a child that insisted on winning at the game “Husker Du?” as a toddler.  At a very young age she showed stellar skill at this fun matching game. She possessed such outstanding skills, in fact, that we began to work at winning against her. She did not take kindly to our gamesmanship. In no uncertain terms she let it be known that she was not going to stand for losing at this game.

It got ugly. The word tantrum took on new meaning when she lost. We almost seriously considered exorcism a time or two because the tantrums escalated so badly (not really, I’m joking, calm down.) But ugly described the scene that ensued time after time. It became easier to just let her win. It wasn’t much fun for anyone. Not even her. To add to the challenge she didn’t want to know we were letting her win, it had to appear that we had really tried to win, but the outcome must result in her winning.

Stupid, yes!  We got tired of that game rather quickly. And it mysteriously disappeared one day, never to return.

Fast forward about twelve years.

We had graduated to more challenging games such as Scrabble. Like Crocodile Dundee I would scoff when  someone would suggest most board games, then pull out my Scrabble set and say in my best Australian accent, “Now there’s a game!”

Scrabble

Scrabble (Photo credit: williamhartz)

Scrabble requires a tad bit of patience as each player needs to mull over various possible word plays. Of course, some people choose to put a time limit on a turn, but that’s a game of a different flavor. The patience factor lends itself to Scrabble as an internet game. Take your turn one day, wait for your opponents to take their turn over a few days, get on with your life, make your next play when you get around to it.

But playing the game live and in person requires more patience than your average, ordinary board game. If one of the opponents in the game seems deficient in the patience area you might want to consider tweaking the rules for time usage. Just a suggestion. A strong suggestion.

I am a person of extreme patience, usually. But twelve years ago “Israel” and “Palestine” (also known as daughter 2 and daughter 3) had inhabited my house for several years at that point. Occasionally a cease-fire would settle in but peace hung like a cadaver blowing in the breeze and threatened to disintegrate at the slightest provocation.

One day, during a deceptive lull in the lobbing of grenades and anti-aircraft fire and scud missiles in our home, the three of us decided to play a nice game of Scrabble. I know what you’re thinking at this point, and you’d be wrong. Trust me. Keep reading.

The game proceeded along as games do, with high interest in the proceedings initially, then boredom itching to join in the game, followed by snarky comments, occasionally drifting back into interest if a high score got played or the leader dropped behind. Halfway into the game things got a bit heated. The Tilby MIddle Western War threatened to kick into high gear. The peace treaty hung by a thread. Snark became argument, a well-played score became fodder for offensive posturing, two of the three parties bickered and argued ad infinitum.

Then it happened.

The long-suffering and patient camel hauling straw through the desert finally had the last straw laid down on her back.

I erupted in total and complete insanity.

“ENOUGH!!!” I yelled, slamming my hands on the table. “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!” The Scrabble tiles jumped and shifted on the board at the onslaught. In one fell swoop of my angry arm I cleared the defenseless Scrabble board. Tiles flew across the table and scattered like so much shrapnel across the kitchen floor.

Both daughters stared at me, shell-shocked and nearly silent.

“WE!”  I yelled picking up the empty Scrabble board. “ARE!” I yelled louder, if that was even possible. “DONE!” I yelled finally as I ripped the Scrabble board in half down the center fold. Then I tried ripping the pieces in half some more, but the dumb cardboard resisted my efforts. I bashed them over my knee to bend them in half.

hadesI’m pretty sure some uncensored and inappropriate words for children escaped my snarled and probably foaming mouth as I stomped to the garbage can and hurled the offending destroyed Scrabble board into the garbage. I then gathered several handfuls of nearby Scrabble tiles and stuffed them inside the garbage can with the dead game board.

Nervous laughter was erupting from the table at this point, which of course only served as fuel for the flaming torch my head had become à la Hades from Hercules.

I grabbed the already falling apart box from the table and tore it in half, stuffing it thoroughly and decisively into the garbage. Then the four wooden tile trays suffered the disgrace of death by garbage can.

Without another word I stomped off to my bedroom and slammed the door as loudly as possible.

After this little fiasco “Israel” and “Palestine” maintained a cease-fire for an unusually extended period. The disgraced and embarrassed camel with the broken back has never lived down the events of that fateful day.

Several years later, and by several I mean at least three, a new deluxe version of Scrabble appeared under the Christmas tree, to me, from, you guessed it, my two warring countries, daughters 1 and 2.

I’m happy to report that the Tilby war ended a couple of years ago, meaning both daughters moved out and found lives separate and apart from one another. With age and experience they’ve become friends of sorts and get along well enough.

Their mother, well, she’s another story. Sure she seems calm and serene most of the time, but there’s always a bit of a simmer under that facade. The secret, she’s found is to let lift the lid occasionally and let the pressure dissipate. Hopefully, with age and wisdom, the temper tantrum throwing mother will never, ever erupt again.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

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Categories: Family, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

On Attempts at Keeping the Unwieldy Tamed

Sunday Quotes

I’ve found I don’t always make clear transitions of logic that others can follow. That’s particularly true if I’m not well, or slightly medicated, which is the case today. So please bear with my leaps of sensibility and know that it made sense in my mind at least for a time.

I’d never read this poem by Robert Frost until this week. Not sure where it’s been hiding. Thought I’d share it with you today.

                  God’s Garden

photo-19 copy 10“God made a beauteous garden

With lovely flowers strown,

But one straight, narrow pathway

That was not overgrown.

And to this beauteous garden

He brought mankind to live,

And said “To you, my children,

These lovely flowers I give.

Prune ye my vines and fig trees,

With care my flowers tend,

But keep the pathway open

Your home is at the end.”

~ Robert Frost

Isn’t that a lovely picture as we wander and wonder through life, pruning and pinching back the wildness around and in us?

photo-18 copy 16Then I found this thought, which seemed to fit with my week of pain and impatience.

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.  Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” ~ Oswald Chambers

Never been much of a fan of God’s timetable. But then, sometimes, usually I’ll admit, God’s timing is perfect. What else would it be. It’d just me thinks the timing is off. Patience is not one of my strong points. Especially if pain is involved.

Also, never been a fan of Stephen Covey, but this rang true to me. Not sure if this idea fits with the previous two, but I like it anyway and so it gets inserted here:

photo-23 copy“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” ~ Stephan R. Covey

I think what I like about this is the “pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically” approach to saying “no.”

And clearly, this brief paragraph by Beryl Markham (aka Karen Blixen from Out of Africa fame) doesn’t fit with any of the three thought preceding it. But, I feel I’ve reached past the fourth day of unkempt and wild and thought I’d share the sentiment in her poetic words, with which I’ll close today’s post.

“I had never realized before how quickly men deteriorate without razors and clean shirts. They are like potted plants that go to weed unless they are pruned and tended daily. A single day’s growth beard makes a man look careless; two days’, derelict; and four days’, polluted.” ~ Beryl Markham

photo-20 copy 4

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fortunate

Fortune cookies play as entertainment in my book. I don’t place much credence in fortune-telling, or in predicting the future, or stuff like that. I do, however, find some interesting tidbits of wisdom or humor in those crunchy pockets of cellophane wrapped take-out.

20130915-095630.jpgTake this one. “Good luck is the result of good planning.”

I plan much and then play things by ear. I’m spontaneous, flexible and easy-going. Planning on my part seems like a way to bring some humor into God’s day. “She thinks she’s going to do what today? Hahahahahaha.” As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m easy and I’ve learned how to fall without getting hurt too badly. I do feel lucky but not in the classic sense.

I’m glad to provide someone with a good laugh on occasion, even if it’s God, or the Fate’s or someone looking on at my attempts at leading a productive and helpful life.

20130915-095659.jpg“Most spend lives reading the menu instead of enjoying the banquet.” I can never decide what to eat when I go out to dinner. I end up getting something familiar then watch whoever I’m with enjoy something new and yummy. Put me in front of a buffet and I’ll have a grand time! Lately life’s banquet has been sumptuous. And if I’m honest, it’s always been a feast of epic proportions, but I haven’t always recognized that.

20130915-095710.jpg“Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.” I’m not sure I can add any more to this one. Like most doctor’s advice, we don’t want to follow through, we want a pill, a quick fix, an instacure. Let Nature work her miracles on what ails you. She’s a master healer for me. And the twins Time and Patience, they’ll work their own special brand of healing whether you want to wait and see or not.

20130915-095825.jpg“Any troubles you have will pass very shortly.” If by “shortly” they mean eventually, then this one speaks truth. While we’re in the middle of chaos and mayhem and heartache, time seems to stand still. I’ve found it helpful to remember what  the Persian sufi poets have said, “This too shall pass.” I also try to picture myself still dealing with the particular flavor of trouble I’m experiencing, oh say, five years from now, and often picture seems brighter with the trouble in my rear view mirror. This is particularly true of children trouble, oddly enough.

20130915-095648.jpg“You will have a long and wealthy life.” Subjective words like long and wealthy can mislead. Long enough is long. And wealthy in what? Money? Sure that’d be nice. But, I like to think of myself as wealthy in family, rich with experiences, decadent in knowledge, comfortably well-off in friendships, affluent in laughter and prospering with gratitude. What greater wealth could a person hope for?

20130915-095841.jpg“You are strong and brave.” I have this one in my wallet where I can see it daily. Hopefully I’m internalizing the idea as well. It’s something I really need to incorporate. If you can believe that you’re strong and brave, then you can valiantly and gracefully endure any troubles you face.

*A side note here for a select few. If it doesn’t apply to you then skip ahead to the last paragraph, or if you can listen quietly, then go ahead and read anyway.

*I know a few of you think of yourselves as weak and scared. You’re wrong. I’ve seen as life has woven strength into and through you. I’ve watched as you’ve battled frightening odds and climbed treacherous trails. You’re braver than you believe. Say this to yourself today. Say it to yourself every day. “I am strong and brave.  I am strong and brave. I am strong and brave.” Say it until you believe it. Say it for the rest of your life. It’s true. You just need to believe that it is.*

An unopened fortune cookie

My favorite chinese food is crab puffs. There. I’ve admitted it. Followed closely by egg rolls, spring rolls and fried rice. I never have much luck with Kung Pao. I usually end up with one of those red peppers burning off half my tongue before I can swallow the rest of the deliciousness. Not sure why I felt compelled to disclose that. But it’s out there now.

And from what I’ve heard and read, fortune cookies didn’t even originate in China. You can read a bit more about it by clicking here if you feel so inclined. Wherever they came from, they sure make for some great conversation starters and often some good laughs.

Wishing you good fortune and happiness today and everyday.

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Yin and the Yang

It’s Gratituesday! Today I find my heart filled with gratitude for a sweet companion. I often wonder at his patience with me. I marvel at his resilience when I’m criticizing, nitpicking or complaining. I’m amazed at his willingness to stick around.

Seesaw

Seesaw (Photo credit: nzgabriel)

At first we were both equally antisocial, avoiding double dates, making friends, making connections. But over the years, very slowly, I’ve picked away at my shell of shyness and found that I need and want people in my life beyond family. Friends have become part of who I am. And he has occasionally, and carefully, waded into a few social puddles with me.

I tend to seek the limelight and he will be mortified that I wrote about him here, so publicly. I try to respect his privacy while still writing, honestly about my life and that is why I refer to him as MSH, My Sweet Husband.

The Joy of Flying

The Joy of Flying (Photo credit: caribb)

Just as he said he would when we were dating, he has traveled far and often for work and I’ve been left to tend to hearth and children. Not quite as often we have followed him across the country, crisscrossing it, then settling, sort of, here in the heart and heat of the desert.

I joke that all his traveling is what has kept us together. It sounds funny, but it’s been the reality. And, I’m afraid that cuts both ways. for the two of us. And yet, that old missive that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is as true as any fact you can hold and touch and taste.

He’s kind of my opposite, which is probably a good thing, but doesn’t always feel like it is. His willingness to take chances probably balances out my complete and total lack of desire to risk much of anything. We’re still working on this one. And many other things.

The idea of Yin and Yang, seems to describe our relationship better than almost anything I’ve ever run across.

“two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and 

feminine; Yang is positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to

 maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it.”

The harmony of our universe has been a constant flux of give and take, up and down, sorrow and joy. It hasn’t always been fifty-fifty. But we have become an interesting balance of and with each other.

The man I married wasn’t interested in things that got you dirty, like camping, or the outdoors. But that changed as I embraced that part of my life and pulled him into it. He became the avid camper, the rock climber, the rappeller, while I became afraid of heights and decided I’d prefer a cabin to a tent. His ideal home would be in the wilderness and mine, somewhere between wilderness and civilization.

Yin and yang blue

He has always looked forward to the future, and I have always been firmly settled in today.

How we’ve managed to stay together so long is more a testament of what weathering a storm or two or three will do to a relationship than any other thing we’ve consciously done. I’m grateful he hasn’t given up on me. And I’m glad I haven’t given up on him.  We are a pair, oddly matched, but strangely well matched.

We do have some things in common.

We share a love of music. We share a passion for knowledge and learning. We love to dance. We share a love of our children. We share similar spiritual values.

We share a love I didn’t think was possible. In that I am more blessed than I deserve.

As Robert Browning wrote, I repeat to MSH, my love, my sweet companion:

“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

Thank you MSH, for the ride so far!

Categories: Family, Gratitude, Gratituesday, Love, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

If Only I Could Bottle This and Sell It

Dictionary (software)

PATIENT

\ˈpā-shənt\

NOUN: an person awaiting or under medical care and treatment

ADJECTIVE 1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint

2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain

3: not hasty or impetuous

4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity

Being a patient (noun) often requires having patience (a virtue and an adjective.)

Noun or adjective, no one really wants to go through what it takes to be one or have some.

Receiving treatment for a serious medical condition, especially in a hospital, can’t be defined as fun, enjoyable, or easy. Sometimes there’s relief involved, medications administered that temporarily ease some pain or discomfort. But mostly healing takes time and requires enduring unease and pain. The patient waits.

Then there are those other people in the hospital waiting areas, the non-patients, the family members, the friends, the support team. They hope and wait and pray and wait and ask questions. They wait and wait and wait. Sure, they visit and express love and optimism. They wait and cry. They wait and remember. They wait and think positive. They wait for the day the patient can come home and life can return to normal.

Dolphins at Loro Parque.

My favorite patient is my Mom. She is the ultimate patient person, putting up with all of us kids over the years. You’d have thought once we reached adulthood she could have let out a big sigh and said, “Finally, I’m done with that.” But no, she’s continued to love and support, suffer and endure, give and share, laugh and cry. She’s continued to mother all of us long past the expiration date of our childhood. Surely she has learned, and earned, patience.

Now that she is a patient in a situation that will require lots of patience and endurance and frustration, all of our “training” of her patience will pay off. She’ll be jumping hoops and running circles around all those therapists’ treatments and regimes.

Interesting that the origin of both the noun and verb form of patient is the same.

Old French and Latin and even Greek shed some light, where the root of patient means “to suffer.” Indo-European roots imply that the word patient began in the concept “to endure.”

To suffer, to endure.

Hmmm.

When we want to be more patient, I’m pretty certain we aren’t wanting to suffer or endure. Yet, our ability to endure things that require patience gains strength as we suffer or endure. Or at least it can, if we let it. Patience requires practice, at least that’s been my experience. But who wants to practice patience? Not me.

The mortar and pestle, one of the internationa...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I learned the hard way many years ago, NEVER, EVER pray for patience!

What happens? Oh, you get to practice, a bunch. More than you ever dreamed possible. Just don’t go there. Take my word for it. Please.

I wish I could just walk down the grocery aisle and pull a bottle of patience off the shelf and pay for it. Actually, it’d probably be something we’d have to ask the pharmacist for, like Sudafed.

“Have you used this stuff before?” he’d ask.

“Yeah, I’ve had lots of experience with it,” I’d reply with a wink.

“Two teaspoons administered twice daily, don’t take more or you’ll drop right off to sleep in the middle of something worrisome,” he’d remind me anyway.

I’d be a new woman by middle of the afternoon the next day.

Sigh.

I can dream can’t I?

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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