Only Once

“Expectation is the mother of all frustration.” Antonio Banderas

I have an apparently peculiar quirk. I think that I should only have to do something once. Say it once. Touch it once. File it once. Isn’t that the teaching of efficiency? Oh dear…I have another quirk-I think things should be efficient.

No wonder some days annoy me. My expectations that things should run efficiently and smoothly are adversely affecting my blood pressure. Ah…a splash of insight. Many of the above expectations occur in an office and are impacted by other people; other people who are messing with my mode of efficiency.

Wait. That still admits I have an expectation of efficiency. Perhaps I could change that to a desire for efficiency, but realize that a multitude of events, and people, will complicate my hope. I do get paid for that complication. However, it does slow things down. Damn…another expectation-that I will get a lot of things done in a day. Some days it takes all day to get someone to get labs done right, packaged correctly, picked up and processed as they should be. How could that take so long? I don’t know, but some days it does.

What am I left with? Go to work, don’t expect people to be competent,  an office to be efficient, or to get much done. There! My frustration could vanish.

But who would I become?

Best I keep my quirks, and learn how to manage letting go of my expectations of others. Perhaps that was the mother of invention to the happy hour/cocktail after a day’s work!




Wine and iPads

I am not so good at waiting. I move at a fast pace. I don’t like unanswered questions or open endings.

Rushing has caused me some injuries. If I bump into a table, or turn into a door frame, I don’t do so casually. I ram into them. Because I am flying. In a hurry to get it all done.

Some say ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ Maybe so. I suppose the people who say that also say, ‘patience is a virtue.’ Maybe so.

I am not so certain that waiting makes good things come to you. But waiting does make you appreciate them more. If I want something new and immediately go out to purchase it, I will like it. I might love it. But if I save my money, research my options and I finally get to purchase the desired, chosen, purchase, I cherish it.

Did the waiting make it happen? No. But the waiting helped me to cherish it.

Prayer is similar. Did the prayer itself change the event? No. But it changed me as it helped me to embrace it.

In my fast rush to get through the daily demands of my life, I think it is helpful for me to be reminded to wait. To pause. To breathe. My tendency when called upon to wait-even 10-20 minutes-is to pull out my iPad, pour a glass of wine and say I am waiting. But I am still being active. True waiting, is silent, reflective, and restoring. It gives me a chance to catch up with myself.

So, in that vein, the saying, ‘good things come to those who wait’, I would agree. Waiting lets me catch up with me.

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceness as a beach-waiting for the gift from the sea.”  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Appreciate the Finish

“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” Thomas Carlyle

The trouble is, we often do not give ourselves permission to recognize the accomplishment. We rush from one goal to the next.  Perhaps we have too many goals? Sometimes the tyranny of the urgent is so pressing that we cannot take time to reflect.

We are rehabbing our historic home which was built in the 1840’s. There are many goals! Everything had to be gutted and replaced. Floors shored up, walls pulled in, roof replaced, electric out, plumbing in…it is like a new house in an old shell! I have learned a whole new meaning to patience. We are still in the midst of construction and living in the house which is not fully finished.

We have so many urgent needs. We have multiple projects going at one time. Raining? no problem, we will work inside on the crown molding. Sunshine? no problem, we will work on the front entry door way with preparations for painting. Whatever the weather, we are ready with a job. The challenge to this is that many projects are in the in-between stage. It can take a long time to finish one as we get interrupted with another.

My father was Irish. He knew how to stop at the end of the day and sit with a glass of your favorite drink, and reflect on that day’s work. To embrace and celebrate what was accomplished that day. Maybe the job got done, maybe he just made progress; either way, he took time to recognize the work.

I have tried to implement that practice. My husband had never had the opportunity to experience that ‘celebration’. He works hard and goes from project to project with little celebration of the reflection. I have taught him the pleasure, and we enjoy our glass of wine, and scotch as we review what was done that day. It helps to bring back into your mind that you didn’t just while away the time-mind you sometimes we should while away some time: vital to self care!-but when we are working on a project, it is good to remind yourself of the progress–give yourself some credit.

Over time, that builds how you feel about yourself. You recognized what you did-and it was good. Last night we finished the roofing on the workshop out back. Joe has done the whole construction of this workshop himself with a few exceptions. He had a good friend help him with the roof. Before the roof was started we used a tarp over the structure to protect from the weather. I cannot tell you how many late night runs we ran outside when unexpected rain started to get the tarp up and over the workshop-getting dripping wet in the process!

When the last shingle was put on we all sat down to a good dinner-discussed, and laughed, about the process, and then pulled out the celebratory scotch. It was a good night, and a good feeling.

Take time to celebrate the events in your life! Cheers!