Posted by: chlost | November 8, 2010


We live in a fast-paced world.  Everyone knows that.  I work in a fast-paced job. Even though I have slowed down a bit, I juggle a lot of things each day. My mind runs through multiple clients, phone calls, hearings, messages, emails, correspondence, conversations, tasks and research daily. 

But now I must learn patience.

My mother moves slowly. She walks with a cane. She has a hard time going up a curb. She can barely get out of a chair. Sometimes she gets stuck in the bathroom (if the stool is too low, or there are no handicap grab bars). She doesn’t hear very well. She talks loudly to me in quiet places (often to tell me she thinks that person “over there” is not very nice). After her stroke, she has had trouble finding and saying words, and will talk slowly to say what she wants.  Sometimes she looks disheveled ( she has a hard time reaching the back of her head to brush her hair).

I am not a naturally patient person. I want to walk faster. I have a lot of things to do and people to talk to and places to be. I have other people  counting on me to do my job.

Today I had to schedule a doctor appointment for my mother. It was a 2:50 pm appointment. I left at 1:15. I returned to my work at 4:15.  Time actually with the doctor was approximately 20 minutes.

I am going back to her apartment in just a little bit to help her with her laundry. It is hard for her to reach into the dryer and get the clothes out, and to fold them. There will be someone to help out with this within the next week or so, but she needs clean clothes now.

I am learning to be patient not by choice, but by necessity.

If I don’t get more patient, I will totally lose my mind.

And that is not the worst of it.

The worst is that I know that it will be just the same for me in about 20 years, should I live so long.




  1. I have NO PATIENCE whatsoever! I know a little of what you are dealing with. My mother is still slowly recovering from the infection she got in her knee after knee replacement surgery. She moves SLOOOOOOWWWWWWW……and even though I am a Nurse and totally understand why…I still feel like yelling out “Come on already!!! While I’m young!!! Get the lead out!!! Move it! Move it! Move it! 🙂 Pretty cruel huh?

    • Not cruel at all. Just normal. I get frustrated because I know she needs to keep active, or she will be in a wheelchair soon. But she refuses to do much of any moving around. Frustration and no patience is not a good combination.

  2. I dearly love my father-in-law but he is sooooo boring to listen to. He lives in the past and tells the same old stories over and over and over and over…

    Sometimes we have something to tell, like we just returned from our son’s wedding in Southern California. We just started into to tell him about the wedding, the trip and made the mistake of mentioning early in the conversation about our son’s dad coming up from San Diego. OOps…. that launched him into his stories (for the umteenth time) about his “war years” in San Diego. He just wants to talk about him, his past; he has no interest in hearing about anything new. It really tries my patience to sit there seemingly endlessly.

    • I can totally relate to this. My dad told stories constantly. The exact same story, in the exact same way, with the dramatic pauses in the same place. I thought I would go crazy. I thought I knew the stories by heart. But now that he’s gone, I have forgotten the stories. I wish I’d have taped them.

  3. Patience has never been one of my long suits, and I can only imagine how difficult this must be.

    You are very strong. I admire that.


    • Thank you-although I don’t feel admirable.

  4. I don’t have any patience either. The kids are trying to teach it to me, but I’m a slow learner.

    I do wish you the best in your interactions with your mom. If this doesn’t teach you patience, I don’t know what will 🙂

    • I’m sure getting lots of practice at being patient!

  5. Your patience may not feel endless, but the goodness of your heart is in plentiful supply, I’d say. I suppose what you’re doing with your mother is a kind of payback for the patience she had to find when you were young…that’s part of the deal, right?

    • You are absolutely right about payback. It is the way the world works-what goes around comes around.

  6. There are some things I’m very patient about, but having to move slowly isn’t one of them.

    • Believe me, I am no speed demon. But compared to me, this is slow.

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