Monday, July 16, 2007


I admire people who have patience. I also admire people who have $28,000,000 in the bank. Unfortunately, I have neither

Patience—or,, more accurately, my total lack thereof—is one of the most consistent and recurring themes in my life. I have never been able to grasp the need for it: if I want/expect something to happen, there is in my mind absolutely no reason why I should have to wait for it. Waiting for something wastes time, and time is without question my largest single obsession.

Being a writer and having patience go together, like peanut butter and jelly. I hate peanut butter and jelly. I am at the moment awaiting the release of my next book, which my publisher assures me is rolling off the press as we speak. But it was supposed to be rolling off the press sometime in the middle of June, and it didn’t, and I’m still waiting for it, mumbling and muttering and being miserable. I know I will have it sometime, but I want it now, and I have wanted it now long before it’s originally-scheduled release date. I’ve wanted it now since the minute I sent it off to the publisher.

And, please, you know me better to say “but that’s not realistic”…we all know where I stand when it comes to accepting reality. I do make some concession to logic: I know it takes time for a book to go through the process, but that same logic also says that six months should be more than ample time to do what has to be done and get the book into the reader’s hands.

I often wonder how I can possibly justify my lack of patience with the very real pride I take in the stoicism I developed during and after my bout with cancer, and I realize that in the scheme of things patience is little more than a niggle. Patience is the desire to bridge the gap between now and a point of time in the future but, like worry—to which we all seem to devote far too much time—the fact is that the things we wait for or worry about inevitably do resolve themselves eventually and, like kidney stones, once they’re passed, the pain and anxiety are instantly over and usually forgotten as we turn our attention to the next set of niggles.

Now, if I could just take the awareness in that last sentence and apply it to my own life, things would go a lot easier. But considering that I am far better at giving advice than taking it, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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