You would think that, after 55 years of practice, I have gotten the knack of patience. I have had to be patient with myself because of fibromyalgia. I’ve had to be patient raising children (all you mothers know that’s a never ending battle). I’ve had to be patient when I was teaching. I’ve even had to be patient with my mother. I think I flunked tonight’s lesson.
My husband has been trying to figure out how to replace the screen door on the sun room that’s attached to our garage. The house was built about 50 years ago and the garage/sun room (detached) perhaps 3 years later. The garage/sun room was not built by the original – it was built by my great-grandfather and his friends. The house was originally owned by my grandparents. Anyway, it means that things aren’t necessarily the size that they would be today – doors, windows, etc. Even the garage is a bit small – only a few inches on each side of the SUV going in and out!
The sun room door is attached on the interior, instead of the exterior. It is narrow. If you try to attach it from the exterior, as you normally would today, there will be a gap. My husband is trying to figure out how to replace that door.
What was trying my patience, however, was that he was attempting to explain it all in detail to me. He was attempting to explain his idea to remedy the situation as well. I could not picture what he was describing to save my life! Frankly, I don’t care how it gets done as long as it works. But he insisted on explaining it again and again, trying to get me to understand. I finally broke! I told him I didn’t want to hear anymore about it. I think I hurt his feelings.
I love my husband dearly. He is an angel who has made my life complete. But whenever he does a project around the house, I get to hear a blow-by-blow description of the problem, the solution and each step along the way. In minute detail. I try to listen. God help me, I do. But I know I start to glaze over at some point every time. And I do care! But the small details just don’t matter to me when it’s already done. Great job. Time to move on.
I have gotten better. Twenty years ago I had much less patience. Some of that may have been because I was always exhausted. Fatigue is a huge drain on patience. But I’ve also worked at it. I just don’t give a detailed analysis of the project.
Writing tonight is difficult. The Red Sox game is on next to me and is just enough distraction that I can’t seem to keep focused. Or maybe it’s that my legs have been aching all day today from the fibromyalgia. They did have an interesting human interest story about this baseball game on the evening news. A 92 year old woman, a life long Red Sox fan, was getting to go to her first game ever. She remembered when Babe Ruth played! They interviewed her and I was surprised at her well being. In spite of having had both legs amputated when she was 68 due to circulation problems, she was full of life and very articulate. She makes 92 look like the new 65! We should all be so lucky!
I was particularly impressed by her comments about the amputations and being wheelchair bound. She said that some people in that position seem to hide from life but she has never been inclined to do that. She said it was because of her condition that she has made some good friends and done things she might not have otherwise had the opportunity to do. What a positive attitude! I suspect that attitude has something to do with her getting to 92 with so much life left in her.
That’s how I try to live my life. It certainly isn’t easy. But I remember my first husband used to tell me he thought I was always making excuses for people and “letting them off easy.” That was because I tried to understand why people did what they did. He’d just say they were stupid. That was helpful. Why do people cut in line or imitate low flying planes when they drive down the highway? They think they need to, for whatever reason. It may be wrong, but it’s what they believe. It isn’t my place to judge – just to stay out of their way. My first husband wasn’t one who should cast stones at others … but that’s another story.
I think I’ll go call my mother. I haven’t heard from her since we dropped off the stuff she wanted on Saturday. That ought to give me something to write about in the morning!!