Patience and peacefulness are not my strong suit. I know patience ’tis a virtue, but I have my little modified saying of the old phrase: “persistence is a virtue.” Both are true, but they can often seem contradictory. Do you wait to see what fruits or flowers in due time, or do you bully your way through (as I am wont to do) and make things happen now.
Example? When my mom and I met up in a NY airport for our flight to Tel Aviv (she had a Biblical Hebrew training course, and I took leave to tag along and spend time with her and old friends), she refused to pester the fellow to the outside of us in order to get up and use the restroom. She would just wait uncomfortably so as not to have to bother anyone during their precious in-flight half-rest. I do not hold this conviction. I would very happily disturb someone just as I would happily have them disturb me. I see no reason to wait or be coy. They’ll understand right?
And the above is an exceedingly mild example of what I’m talking about. I have infuriated school coordinators and frustrated Master Sergeants of the Marines through my principle of “persistence is a virtue.”
Certainly there is a time for that. I still hold that it is valuable. But so is patience. And I am having to learn it now from more than one angle.
First and foremost? I am 8 months pregnant. With a due date less that four weeks away and a fierce variety of related worries (about the baby, about myself, about my husband, about motherhood, about health, etc.) clamoring for my attention, I am somewhat anxious to ‘get the show on the road.’ (But not ’til my mom gets here, please Lord! She has already booked the flight and cannot change the dates). Chances are, I’ll go the full number of days and perhaps beyond, as first-time moms often do.
So I have to wait…and for the first time in my adult life, time is slowing down rather than speeding up. The first part of pregnancy flew by. This part? Not so much.
Secondly? Aside from the good handful of queries I have yet to hear back on, I have three full manuscripts out with three agents as a result of a contest I entered back in November/December. One of these agents is even at the tip-top of my list. It has been nearly two months that these agents have had my manuscript which, as I understand the time-frames, is very…medium. Some agents take two or three times that long. Sometimes they get back to you the very week you send it to them. I want so badly to hear back from them, but I also want to be respectful and patient.
This mostly results in me checking my e-mail way, way too many times a day. It also results in me squinting whenever I see a new e-mail in my in-box, so that I cant see what’s written there and so that I can mentally prepare. It’s silly, but there you have it.
So I have to wait, and try to be productive in the meantime. This is no easy task. The truth is, even if I were to give the old ‘nudge’ to the agents (or engage in every last old wives tactic to induce labor) it wouldn’t change the nature of the thing. The agents will feel the way they feel about the manuscript whether it’s today, or a month from now. My baby will be whoever my baby already is, whether we first see each other five days before the due date, or five days after.
I’m not saying I’ll sit idly by no matter what. But, sometimes, patience really is a virtue. It’s one I obviously need to learn.