I live on a highly traveled road that cuts through two main roads leading in and out of town. It's an unusual street because it has a retirement community, a trailer home section, a church, a gas station, a school, office buildings, an airport and private homes all on it. The funny part is that the whole street is only a mile long. The not so funny part is that is has been under construction since last fall!
It started with underground work so lots of holes begin dug. The work stopped for the winter and then this May it started up again. We are almost to the paving part so it is really torn up now in preparation. To say the least it has been a practice in patience. Every day I leave our driveway I have to look left then right to see which end of the street I will be able to leave from. Sometimes I can't get back in the way I left so I end up driving all the way around to the other end which adds about 5-10 minutes to my driving time. I have heard myself actually grunt with annoyance. It's pretty funny.
This situation is just one of many that has tried my patience throughout life. These kinds of things come up all the time. Mostly it involves other people don't ya think? My kids try my patience, people in traffic try my patience and having to wait for something that is not so pleasant to change, can really try my patience. I look at this construction on the road as a metaphor for my life really. It's a short road with lots of diversity and bumps and I have to navigate it carefully everyday. Do I want to be annoyed, impatient or angry all the time or can I find some peace in all the chaos and change? My biggest pot hole recently was hearing about my husband Jim's cancer diagnosis. I fell hard into that hole with the news and I think it cracked my suspension. But three months later, he is cancer free and recovering slowly but surely. Each day throughout his treatment we looked left and right or straight ahead and proceeded in the direction we were able to, we navigated all the smooth and rough pavement by being present to each moment and not worrying about the next bump until it came. We both decided very early on that we would not let ourselves think too much about what COULD happen (negatively) and just drove out the driveway each day to see what was at the end; no expectations of what would be there. Jim was amazing through it all. He was the driver and I was the navigator. He never complained but kept me informed of his condition or feelings and I acted in each moment depending on his requests and needs. He did what he needed to in rest and with his medications and I did what I needed to with taking care of our son, myself and the house. Did we get impatient sometimes? You bet. Impatient with not feeling better sooner, impatient with the prednisone mood swings, impatient with the side effects like constant coughing that annoyed both of us and just wanting it all to be over. This is where the practice came in. I had to remember that this too would pass just like the construction on the road. We would get through the six treatments and begin to recover. For Jim it will be quite a practice as he is sooo ready to feel better. He is in the third week after his last treatment and usually he would be getting anxious about going back for another but he instead gets to keep on healing. Then he gets a cold! More practice. Colds last about ten days right? Breathe.