Posted by: sistermom1 | February 7, 2011

Patience

Because of the snow last week, we spent 2 and 1/2 days at my mother’s house because our electricity was off. (I won’t waste time here complaining about our electric company — maybe I will save it for another time!)  The snow was deep, and many trees came down on top of power lines. For the first time in many years, I lived in my mother’s house, and it really was a wonderful experience. My family enjoyed it too — both kids are still talking about how much they love my mother’s cooking. 

There were many positives about this forced banishment.  Being able to hear stories about my mother’s childhood experiences was a real treat — not only for me, but for our children.  It is truly a blessing for them to have a relationship with both of their grandmothers.  Being able to enjoy Mom’s cooking was a major plus of our forced exile from our home.  Our time with her just confirmed how great a cook she is.  We even completed a 350 piece puzzle, and it kept everyone’s attention. 

Because we were not at our home, I did my morning stretching and exercise routine at my mother’s house.  This was a challenge, but I was able to do it.  I deal with intense spasticity, so stretching is very important and takes a lot of time.  As she observed me, my mother asked if I needed any help to keep me going.  After explaining my usual schedule and activities, she commented about the patience that I have developed — the patience that has been required of me to get myself moving in the morning.  She described how in the past she worried about the pace that I used to maintain, and how impatient I used to be with things that I felt took too long.  (I have written before about the pace that I used to keep and how hard-driving I was before my diagnosis of MS required me to slow down.)

Her comment really struck a chord for me.  Dealing with this illness has required an increase in my patience, not just with other people, but with myself.  Giving people (including myself!) the time and space to do the things that need to be done is something I was never quite good at in the past.  My patience level was low, and I did not even realize it.  In my work, as well as at home, my patience with delays of any kind was very thin.  Everything should occur in my timeframe, or it was a failure.

My attitude about time has certainly changed.  I have read about the Greeks having two definitions of time — kronos and kairos.  Kronos is time on a clock — the time that is man-made that enables all of us to be places and do things when they are supposed to get done.  Kronos is universal time — no clock needed, because this time is not measured in seconds, minutes or hours, but in lifetimes.  This is the time that lasts forever — the time that has been since the beginning of time.  The time that makes one year equal to a blink of an eye – and vice versa.  This is the time that I have become more sensitive to — more aware of — and more accepting of.  (I know not to end a sentence with a preposition, but I will be patient with myself and leave it as is!)

Increased patience is major for me.  My family loves it, truth be told.  Although it has come through what has been a majorly negative diagnosis, I continue to be surprised by the layers of positive things that have been revealed to me on this detour.  Not much else that I can say right now, other than I do have plenty of time to work through these challenges (Kairos, not kronos).  I am determined, but not impatient, as I move forward in this journey.   Wish me luck!

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Responses

  1. you are mining the gold from what we think of as an illness.
    but you are showing that in a way, it is also a kind of “wellness” for you.
    I recently read Robert Schwartz’ book “your soul’s plan” http://www.amazon.com/Your-Souls-Plan-Discovering-Meaning/dp/1583942726
    and while it wasn’t great as literature,it was very, very interesting in terms of Kairos – lifetimes – maybe some things are not “meant to be” but “planned to be”
    BTW, how ’bout sharing a recipe from your mom!? 🙂
    -Ed

    • Thanks so much Ed,
      I really appreciate your checking out the blog as regularly as you do. I will definitely check out the book you mentioned, and I will think about including one of Mom’s recipes!


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