Practicing patience

Life As I Know It
By Nicole Daughhetee

My columns, of late, have felt lackluster and as though I am struggling for something profound to say — some wisdom to impart — but I’m drawing a blank. There hasn’t been a lot going on that has compelled me to climb atop my soapbox embracing my first amendment right to free speech even if my opinions are not popular.

The irony in this, however, is that I am going through some of the most amazing and radical changes in my personal life at this time. I am overwhelmed with everything that has and continues to happen; yet if or when I try to write about these things, my brain pictures this enormous wooden block standing in my way. Too heavy to push. Too high to climb over. The surface of the wood is so smooth there isn’t anywhere to rest a foot. No crevice in which to dig the tips of my fingers in an attempt to pull myself over.

I would imagine there are times each of us has felt like this when it comes to our professions or personal relationships: the feeling of being stuck and not really certain how to proceed. So what do we do?

Patience is definitely a virtue I struggle to practice. Nicole and patience are like oil and water. However, there are times in my life when I know I must be patient and wait; I must be still and listen. This is, perhaps, one of the most difficult things for me to do.

It reminds me of learning to swim when I was a kid. The part where we are instructed to tread water and are asked to do so for an indefinite amount of time. We have to keep moving, or else we will sink. The movement and eventual fatigue gives our brains something on which to focus while we are waiting for rescue — the blow of a whistle signaling the drill has ended and we can move on to something else.

Life is filled with times like these — when we slow to a crawl and our only alternative is to wait, patiently, until we get the signal to embark on another new adventure.

If you’re at all like me, the waiting, the “in-the-meantime” can be agonizingly slow, but I believe there is a definite purpose for these times.

The last few months have allowed me the glorious opportunity to rekindle my relationship with God — one that continues to amaze and leave me awe-struck at every turn.

After watching endless episodes of Hoarders, I have made a valiant effort to go through almost every room of my house with a fine-tooth comb, purging impulse purchase items and a lot of “stuff” that takes up space and collects dust.
Inspired by my daughters once again, I signed up for the Greenville Half-Marathon and decided to actually commit to training so that I might achieve a PR with my finishing time this year.

I’ve poured myself into writing — journaling, the paper, my Soul to Skin tattoo stories project — improving my craft and finding a much-needed outlet to vent my thoughts, feelings and ideas.

We live in a culture that tells us we have to be doing something all the time. If we are adept at multi-tasking and can juggle multiple tasks at the same time, we are applauded for this. The truth is, however, that we all need down time or time when life isn’t as rushed, busy or chaotic.

These times are important — especially if you are like me and feel uncomfortable during these times – because they teach us to be still, to wait, to seek, to listen. These are times for growth, personally and spiritually.