anxious

365 Challenge: Day 75 – Patient

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Patient: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

Patience is not something innately arriving at my doorstep, exquisitely wrapped within a lovely basket, a brilliant bow and all the rest of the pomp-and-circumstance trimmings. It’s more like the tragic, nagging reminder in the back of my head, warning me to be good and to let things happen naturally — or I’ll grow warts and hairy moles. And when those are the measures at stake, who the hell wants warts and moles? Or wants more warts and moles… cause you know we all have one at some point in our life… don’t even try to hide from this one, my friends!

We’re told at a young age to allow whatever situation you’re waiting to occur… to happen naturally. Naturally. Does anything happen naturally anymore? So many things in our lives are artificially triggered or engineered, it’s hard to know what’s occurring on its own or happening due to a gentle [read: massive] push from some other force. And the energy behind those “other” forces often leave you unable to determine what should have happened on its own in the first place.

I am very much driven by accomplishments and checking things off the “To Do” list. I always have a bit of anxiety just beneath the surface of my skin when there is something I need to do, but haven’t yet gotten to it. I remembered this morning that I also have the same little aggravating pulse, throbbing beneath my skin when it comes to my control over the art of patience. It’s painful, annoying and itchy. And I want it to balance itself out, so I don’t have to think about it. But it’s always been a battle of wills that I struggle to win on a regular basis.

I want something. It’s within inches of my grasp. But I have to wait. Why? Perhaps it’s not my turn. Could be that it’s not yet ready. Maybe it’s not meant for me. Eh… too many things fall into that category… yet I let them control my actions. When I push myself to think about why it’s so frustrating, I believe it boils down to the mere fact that I have way too much to do. And unfortunately, I also believe we’re all on that same boat treading water in a very deep and wide ocean. There is never enough time to do the things we want to do, and failing to accept that reality can have major consequences.

My lack of patience isn’t over something specific today. No grandiose situation perforated my life (other than the usual ones we all face). It’s simply a moment in time reflection that we are all way too busy, yet sometimes finding ourselves with nothing we want to do, and trying to patiently wait for whatever it is that’s supposed to come next. When I reflect on this behavior over the years, I recognize that it’s been a fairly consistent one: lack of patience for most anything going on in my life.

It’s not an outward manifestation, but an internal one. Consuming. Niggling. Yes, sometimes it causes a bit of eye-twitching, teeth-grinding or is lack of sleep-inducing, but I’m fortunate enough to take the brunt of it myself, saving others from feeling my undeserved wrath. I’m sure you’re familiar… we all are at some point: very few of us are just comfortable 24/7 with whatever happens when it happens.

Patience is a virtue. Patience is rewarded. Patience is honorable. We hear these little sayings all the time. And yes, I’m sure to a large extent, they are quite true. But it is also an art that needs to be practiced — if we ever want to achieve it as a natural and normal state of our reactions to situations. Some people find patience in religion, exercise or spirituality. Others find it elsewhere. I’m not looking to understand how to become a more patient person, as I kinda know what I need to do. I think I may just be too old to change it. You know what they say about old dogs…

And it got me thinking… what if we had a chance to scrap it all over and start fresh? A re-start or new beginning to our life. Forget about the implications and the things you’d lose by engaging in such a marvelous re-boot to your days. I’m not getting philosophical in my daily post, but what if you could keep an on-going journal of all the things you wish you’d learned how to do the proper way when you first entered this world. And then you could share it with yourself and watch from a distance to see how it all turned out — a second time around. Would you do it? Would you have the patience to watch yourself make the same mistakes? Or new ones? Or witness the improvements?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 32 – Defensive

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Defensive: (1) very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism, or (2) used or intended to defend or protect

The best explanation I could give for how I have been known to be defensive is a work-related situation. One of my mentors, who knew me quite well, once pulled me out of a meeting, to highlight an example of how I was being defensive. This is where it gets funny… when you hear the word defensive, you likely think argumentative, disruptive and generally annoying. For me, it was quite the opposite. Apparently, and I don’t like admitting this, if a decision was made in a meeting that I didn’t like or support, my body language gave me away. I might have thrown out my opinion, and sometimes I didn’t weigh in if I knew I hadn’t a snowball’s chance in… never mind… point being… I apparently shut down. My expression went sour. My arms folded themselves across my chest. I sat back in the chair at the conference table. And I didn’t speak for the rest of the meeting. It was a silent defense system, more commonly known as pouting!

For the record, I respect Annalise Keating!

You’re thinking… that’s silly. Nothing you’ve said in the last 31 posts seems like you could have done that. Oh, but I did. And I fully admit it. I am a very defensive person, but I work on it regularly to try and let it dissipate. When my mentor (and boss) pulled me out the meeting, (s)he explained what (s)he saw, told me I’d never move up if I couldn’t learn to interact more professionally, and that it was immature.

I wonder which one I am in this little video…

My immediate reaction: “You’re wrong!” No, I didn’t say that… I accepted the feedback, returned to the room… (s)he told everyone there was a confidential production emergency and that’s why (s)he called me out to ask me to get someone to fix it, as (s)he was a very caring boss… From that moment on, I’ve been super conscious of my external behavior and how I’m being seen.

For that matter, I can also admit I was a defensive child, too. I never liked to be told I was wrong. Being wrong and me in the same sentence didn’t make much sense. I’d run off and hide if that ever happened. As I get older, I find myself seeing lots of situations where my facts or opinion are wrong or insufficient. I deal with it in a healthy way these days. I grab a drink and then go hide. Then everyone just thinks I’m thirsty. 😛

But it’s still lingering there on the surface. I don’t like being this way, but I know that I am. I attribute it to my father. He’s very defensive too. So I know I inherited the behavior, through either DNA or learned actions. Never in a horrible or mean way… just enough that it made me a bit more human. I’ve often been called robotic, so I suppose, this is a sign that I, too, have faults. Yuck. I hate saying that aloud.

But being defensive means you have passion. And passion can be healthy. It’s all a matter of perspective and control. If you’re defensive, you care about something strongly. Perhaps you want to protect it. It’s not always a bad thing.

Though I’m not a big sports guy, there’s always the offense and the defense within a game. Defense is there for a reason: to protect something and help ensure it is either given the path it needs or able to contain something long enough for the win.

I wonder what that guy was trying to defend?

Being defensive as a person should be a sign that you have something worth protecting. Then it’s just a matter of how to handle it professionally, with a courteous and considerate approach. At this point in my life and career, it’s really a very minimal issue… in fact, I’m more concerned about people seeing it, so I almost never let it show or happen. And that’s progress!

Any other defensive folks out there? How do you help keep it in check?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.