Patience: A Minor Form of Despair Disguised as a Virtue

The past month has been a lesson in patience for me.   I have been in the long process of unraveling myself out of  one job, and my life within that company, and moving on to a new one.  Who knew it would be such a complicated process.  But I guess after almost 7 years  I should not be so surprised.    I know I’ve been anxious about it because I find myself unable to concentrate on one task for any length of time, I”m impatient and irritable – classic anxiety.  I’ve had to give myself task lists and make deals with myself to complete one thing before flitting off to the next – leaving a trail of disaster behind me – and more anxiety over all the half-completed stuff lying around – just to try to stay semi-organized.  This is me, the Queen of Organized.  My closet is organized by item and colour (no, I’m not kidding) it’s a character trait (not a flaw) that makes me REALLY good at my job and I try not to impose it on the people around me – hahaha – good luck with that one!!

I am also not by nature a patient person, so it has been a month of anxiety, upheaval  . . .and learning.     The quote I used in the title of this post “Patience. A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.” is by Ambrose Bierce, a prolific  journalist and short story writer of the 19th century American West.  Bierce was known most famously for The Devil’s Dictionary  a satirical reinterpretation of many common terms in the English language.   So while most people would have you believe that  patience as a virtue, I am with Ambrose on this one, it’s been a minor form of despair for me to simply wait for this new stage in my life to begin. 

To keep myself sane I’ve been doing a lot of running, paddling and hitting the gym hard.  If you’ve read any of my recent posts you will know that I’ve been pushing the exercise envelope – a lot.  And it’s great.  Rather than idling away the time in front of the TV or maybe indulging in some alcoholic stressbusters, I’ve been working off my excess nervous energy with long runs and harsh workouts.  And what a bonus – I’m  in great shape and loving it.

I also had a long list of projects to complete on my fixer upper (that’s my house . . .)  but somehow the time has managed to just slip by and here I am into the final weekend and my bedroom is still only half-painted and the shower is still sporting the old caulking.  Ok, so I had a minor painting disaster, and then I said f** it and just packed it in and went skiing.   If I ever meet Shell Busey in person I will probably kick him in the shins – or maybe a bit higher.  Just saying Shell, look out.   I am painting my room a gorgeous chocolate brown (it looks just like chocolate milk) so I decided to do the “proper” prep work, including washing the walls with TSP, filling all the holes and taping off the trim.  But once I started painting, the paint was not adhering, just dripping down the walls.   Grrrrrrr.  I’ve done lots and lots of painting and never seen anything like it.  A bit of research at my local hardware store unearthed some interesting information.    Turns out that TSP (which is great for removing greasy deposits off walls) unless mixed carefully and rinsed off very thoroughly,  actually acts as a repellent for paint.  OMG.  Who knew.  So back to the buckets of water, sponges and towels – the entire room had to be washed down again.   Like most of my reno projects, it takes twice as long as I think it will and involves at least one or two return trips to the hardware store.   But today – success!   First coat is on and it looks fantastic.  I should be done this weekend, barring any further disasters.  I can hardly wait to find out what surprises await me when I decide to tackle the shower caulking.  

To reward myself for all this effort (and maybe in a fit of WTF over the painting) I took myself and my daughter off to Whistler for 3 days of skiing and hot tub relaxing.  It was so much fun.   Got a great deal on a HUGE 2 bedroom condo off Craigslist that was ideally located right on Northlands and Lorimer.  Sweet location and comfort plus.   Monday morning we threw the last of our gear in the car and headed up the Sea to Sky Highway.  When we arrived it seemed a mite chilly so we threw on an extra layer of fleece and uploaded.   By mid-mountain upload we started noticing the signs saying “It’s -15 today, wear lots of layers” . . hmm.  We headed up 7th Heaven, where the snow was simply amazing and the signs there said “It’s -19 today – cover all exposed skin” . . .hmmm some more.  It didn’t seem that cold at first, but by our third or fourth run – yup, it’s was cold.   Had to buy a fleece bandana for face coverage at lunch.  But you know what, the snow was fantastic and there was no-one on the hill.  Jeez, I wonder why??   Day 2 was slightly warmer, only -10 but the snow was getting really bulletproof.    Day 3 – BONUS DAY!!!  It dumped 25cm of snow overnight.  We were skiing in boot deep and higher powder.  In the trees it drifted to mid-thigh (ok so on me that’s not very high) but it was freaking fabulous.  A truly epic day of skiing and so much fun.  We were utterly exhausted by the end of the day. 

Both my daughter and I have been really busy and we have not had a chance to get away together since last February when we went diving in the Florida Keys.  We genuinely enjoy traveling  together and have a great time on all our crazy adventures.  She keeps me honest and pushes my boundaries.   And I pay the bills . . it’s a pretty fair system.   So as well as great skiing it was also a real treat to have almost four uninterrupted days with her to just hang out.  Truth be told, she is now a way, way  better skier than me.  The days of me holding her between my skies and helping her down the bunny hill are long gone.  But isn’t that’s why we teach them new skills – so they can give us attitude when they are older.    Not really, she is a true gem and we have a lot of fun.  

Here are some photos from our condo and on the drive home – I don’t have any of us skiing because the first two days all our electronics froze (even inside our jackets) and it was too freaking cold to take your gloves off.  And powpow day was way too much fun to spend time taking pic’s.   But it gives you an idea of the amount of snow the dumped in 24 hours.  And no, they are not shot in black and white – these are high res colour shots.  Whiteout. 

Because this started out as a “patience” themed post, I will leave you with a few of my favourite quotes on the subject:  

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions  Rainer Maria Rilke

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”  Unknown

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity”  Carl Jung

“Patience is passion tamed”.   Ralph Marston (my fav)
And because it’s Friday night, I’m heading out now to a show at the Rickshaw – Ninjaspy and Fake Shark, Real Zombie.  It will be hardcore, loud and fun.   Here is some Ninjaspy  – they bill themselves as hardcore/ska/punk.   I call them awesome.  How could you not enjoy dancing to this!!!

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