Honestly, I could take a few lessons from my dog. Sure, some are obvious, like:
- When you first get up, always S-T-R-E-T-C-H.
- If someone enters your house unannounced, BARK!
- Snooze often and anywhere.
- Lick the hand that feeds you.
- If someone throws you a bone, FETCH it!
But others are subtler like, “Wait patiently.” She does. I do not. Nor have I ever been patient, particularly with myself. I am driven forward with an inner angst that has remained un-squelched for 62 years. What good has it done? Not much. Being impatient has cost me time, money and stress, whether in speeding tickets or simply making dumb, impulsive decisions.
You’d think at my age I would know better. You’d think I’d have figured out that of my 62 years, probably 60 of them have been spent WAITING: in the doctor’s office, the post office, the line at the restaurant or the bank. Everything is a wait as if reality is just out of reach, put on hold by some operator who has yet to connect you. Waiting…for the check to clear, the light to change, the pot to boil or the shoe to drop. Probably the ONLY thing I have NOT been impatient for was the birth of my first child. Why? Because I knew exactly how long that wait would be!!!
But Skylar does not need to know such things. She waits patiently for me to get my coffee in the morning before we walk. Then, she waits for me to unload the dishwasher before I feed her. She sits patiently on the couch whenever I leave the house and jumps with excitement and a wag of her tail at my arrival. All her waiting is an act of simple grace and ease. Not mine. I do not snooze when it suits me or distract myself chasing butterflies (though I probably should do more of both). At day’s end when hunger grips me, I do not merely nibble at a bone to appease the pangs but lunge instead for the icebox.
Patience is not a virtue. It is a necessity as crucial as breathing. Without it, we succumb, sometimes by our own hand. We humans must work at it, but Skylar? Just look at her: a thousand words worth waiting for.