“What does patience feel like? It’s a subtle unfolding with time as your ally. You feel relaxed and trust that it will all work out, even if in this very moment, there’s no clear path to the end. It feels like the subtle uneasiness of allowing all you’re uncomfortable with to be exactly as it is.”  ~Jackson Kiddard


I have written many times on my blog that I have no patience.  It has been the cause of many a problem for me including great anxiety and worry.  Let’s face it if you do not know how to effectively practice patience, you will have heartache, sorrow and way too much stress.

So knowing all this, you would think I would be able to wrestle this thing called patience.  Tame it perhaps, wrap my brain around it.  But alas no I still struggle with patience more than anything else.  I call it my greatest lesson because every chance it gets, patience runs smack into me and demands I deal with it.

It especially rears its ugly head when I am late…then it likes to throw construction zones and traffic jams my way so I can get really worked up.  If I have a deadline looming, then the computer won’t work or the internet stops cooperating.  Do I walk away….oh no.  Do I calmly address the problem…nope!  I shout, swear and in times past have even been known to throw things (not so much anymore).  I have languished in bouts of depression feeling sorry for myself.  I have let chances go by to rectify a problem because I was too afraid to make a decision.

But was it just fear…actually no it is more about losing control or feeling as though you will lose control that has kept patience from me.  Not being able to go with the flow, accepting what is happening and loosening my grip on controlling my life that is where I found my greatest challenge.  And of course you know the tighter we grip that fantasy of control, the more it eludes us.  And telling me to relax actually makes it worse.  I know I am supposed to relax, but usually at that moment it is impossible.

And this whole idea that patience is a virtue is not something I understand either.  Patience has no morals as far as I am concerned.  Oh yes it may have some ethics but to me it is more about the courage one has to have to practice patience.  Yes patience requires great courage and a lot of strength to abide.

While patience is the most difficult lesson I am learning, it does have the sweetest reward.  But you have to work hard to reap those rewards.  They do not come easily.  Patience only shows itself slowly unfolding at the most frustratingly difficult times.  These times are true tests of patience.  Working through the slow pace of patience I have been more successful in taming it.  So what did I do….

I don’t think I would have stood a chance at ever really understanding patience had it not been for my garden.  To garden takes great patience and courage.  One does not plop down plants into soil and expect all will be hunky dory.  No, no that is far from what happens as you endeavor to plan and plant edibles and ornamentals.

There is great sadness, frustration and reward all at the same time in gardening.  You will have flowers that are flooded in spring or do not make it through an unexpected late freeze.  Hail and wind can wipe out a whole garden in no time along with deer, rabbits, voles and a whole host of other critters who find my garden is like a 4 star restaurant.  Then there are the fungi that visit and kill plants or diminish their yield.  Right now we are dealing with unexpected heat and drought that has taxed my patience waiting for substantial rain, and just two winters ago we were in 6 months of the snowiest winter on record that seemed to never end.

So how can a garden teach patience?  It was the realization that I had little control over the weather and critters that finally knocked some sense into me.  What I could do, I did.  I planted my own seeds and learned more about the plants I was putting in my garden.  I planned more and had a back up in case it all went awry.  And most times I simply let nature take her course and did not languish too long in my sadness when it didn’t work out.  I accepted my lot and looked for the rewards, the little gifts.  This year, many flowers lasted longer because of a cooler spring and some even due to the heat and drought, like my daylilies.  Yes there were plants and flowers that never showed up at all (like the hydrangeas), but my the daffodils and hyacinths bloomed for months.

And how could I not learn from the critters…those who would sit on their eggs all day in the heat and pounding rain for weeks on end; who nurtured their young all day and even after they fledged.  Then to see the slow, sweet reward of young ones flying on their own was pure magic.  The patience and perseverance of the critters in my garden I think has helped me realize I too can learn to wait a bit longer through less than ideal circumstances.  Yes it may seem like it is taking too long to taste the first ripe tomato.  But even if it is the only tomato, it is worth the wait to bite into that sweet warm fruit that I grew..

And as I find I have moved on now from the tantrums, I have also learned to recognize when I am getting into a “patience situation”.  When I need to still remind myself to step back and breathe.  To let life happen.  To experience the flow and the moment, find the lesson, the reward.  It is there if I will just be patient for a little while longer.

And boy will I need patience and courage as I move toward my new path of retirement.  Wish me luck!


“As soon as you stop wanting something you get it. I’ve found that to be absolutely axiomatic.” ~Andy Warhol


Next up on the blog:  As August slowly slides in, I will be highlighting  the harvest in the garden.  Look for that post Thursday.  The first Monday in August will be time for another Gardens Eye Journal.  What will August hold in terms of blooms, veggies, critters and weather?  Drop by to see.

I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



28 Replies to “Patience”

  1. Hi Donna! I feel the same about this thing that people call patience. Wrap your brain around it… How much I enjoyed these words! 🙂
    I found the way to cheat patience though: I find other things to do and care for while I should be patient and wait for the first thing to come. After a while you find yourself watching results rather than waiting for prospects. I reversed patience and I got peace. Finally.

  2. I thought you had written about patience. It is a hard thing to have in the garden and when late for sure. I get that stress too. But with the garden it is the anticipation and knowing we can rush things but they will come and when they do they are wonderful. Then we realize the trip is half the joy because of the anticipation. At least for me.

    1. Tina I think I have written about patience in some way, shape or form but I needed to purge my impatience once and for all (I hope). It is in anticipated the reward that makes our wait all the more sweet…thank you for this lovely image of anticipation!

  3. Donna, great post! Patience has been on my mind a lot lately. I get impatient in my personal life, but the garden has truly taught me to wait things out. You just can’t rush Mother Nature sometimes. The rewards are great though! Best of luck as you move towards retirement. That’s a well-deserved reward, for sure!

    1. Angela thank you…so glad you enjoyed my musings. I will be retiring a year from Aug 1st and I am trying to work myself through this big change coming….it will be a sweet reward.

  4. I am not terribly patient either but this impatient nature applies to everything outside the garden, like computers, traffic, and customer service lines, but not to gardening. I think patience needs to be paired with acceptance to really work.

    1. I agree Carolyn….if we do not accept that things may change, or we have to wait or that we have no control over a situation we are in for a rough time. Once I accept the situation, I generally am at peace and do not mind the wait….I release my impatience then. Thx for that reminder.

  5. I am not a patient person, but never had the ill effects of it as you have expressed. I think it is like Carolyn said, it has to be paired with acceptance, but also with goals. If one has a goal, it will come through perseverance and passion, irregardless of the willingness to patiently wait. If one is proactive, they make it happen. It comes when it comes, so fretting really is of no value. Sitting and waiting does have merit, but like Alberto, I like to have something going on all the time or I make it happen. No patience….

    1. I think for me my impatience was a reaction to situations…so I learned not to react so much and realize it will all work out as it is meant to be. I also cannot sit and wait and also move on to other things trying to keep my mind off the thing I am waiting for….

  6. We have a neighbor who doesn’t have a clock in their bedroom, neither wear a watch, they move with the cycle of the sun. It is interesting to watch their habits as we have retired. We are driven by the clock less and less…and the calendar? I am lucky I know it is July…for another day at least. 🙂 I hope you take your time, appreciate all around you and not be harried. Enjoy.
    Posting this comment is an exercise in patience…fifth time to try and load this comment!!

    1. Thx for your patience Janet as this blog post has caused many of us to try our patience…the web host server kept going down today so I appreciate all who have had to patiently read and comment…wouldn’t you know I would post about patience and this happens…too funny. I stopped wearing a watch a few years ago. It is so much more calming and I tend to watch the clock less and less. I am looking forward to taking my time more…as next August rolls around it will be very different to not have to set an alarm and be on a schedule…

      1. You will in time find that a different schedule develops. A mostly gentler, less pressured one, with hiccups and glitches as life happens. I’m not a morning person and I revel in going to bed at 1 or 2 in the morning (when I escape the clutches of G+ and blogs or my book) and ‘waking up of natural causes’ as my Swiss husband puts it. When I wake he has been up and busy for half a day.

        When I worked I was ALWAYS sleep deprived.

        1. Diana my inner schedule changed and I have become more of a night owl wanting to sleep later…can’t wait next summer to not have to wake to an alarm.

  7. wow..I needed this now and you put into words so well my struggle and my coping mechanisms and I too have found patience with mother nature…great post Donna..

  8. My father is extremely patient. Thankfully, I inherited his patient personality. I don’t think it takes courage. It just takes acceptance. Acceptance of whatever situation comes up. And the garden is a great teacher, because I don’t know of any garden that’s perfect. Even those of us that don’t have a regular day job, we just can’t seem to find the time to get it all done! You’ll be surprised how full your day will be once you retire. Congratulations on that impending celebration!

    1. Ah but for me Holley it does take courage…courage to accept what is to be and not worry about what will be…and I can’t wait to be busy not having a regular job!! But I will have to be patient for this yr savoring every moment until I retire! Thanks Holley!

  9. I can certainly relate to the fact that gardening can teach us lots of things. When it comes to patience I was fortunate to be born with a big dose of it, so I have not really had a problem with that, but I was medically retired at the age of 30 and had to find other meaningful things in life than my work. I can truly say that gardening keeps me sane!

    1. Helene I hope to spend more time in my garden when I do retire…As I learn so many gardeners’ stories, it is wonderful to know that we can all find solace in our gardens.

  10. Donna: This is a very special post. First, because it’s so well-written, and second, because it resonates. I don’t know if I’m patient or not. When it comes to frustrating personal situations I am NOT patient. I have to remind myself continuously about the serenity prayer. In the garden, I admit, I struggle a bit to be patient. But I know when to let go. When I’m on “vacation,” I’m one of the most patient people I know. I’m very happy for you (and envious) regarding your impending retirement. Perhaps patience will be a little easier to practice when you have a more control over your own schedule. All the best, Donna!

    1. Beth thank you for your wonderful comment…you made my day…I have a yr to wait still for the retirement which is why I really need to practice patience…we are so alike in so many ways. I am trying to figure out what the next phase will be…I would like to be idle for a while but then I know I will be busy writing, gardening and working at something.

  11. oh Donna sorry but halfway through reading I couldn’t help but laugh as I can feel the impatience in your writing, wrestle, tame, control patience are things I can’t even imagine, it sounds like some wild monster when in reality it is just another feeling and we have and experience so many, I think your problem ~ excuse me for saying ~ is you think about it too much and make a monster of it, let go, relax,
    please do not spend the year running up to your retirement worrying about what you will do or how you will cope with retirement, if you do you will never be able to enjoy it when is finally arrives,
    I don’t think the expression Patience is a virtue means the feeling is a vitue but that the person who can exhibit patience is virtuos for waiting, of course there are two sides to every coin and some could call waiting laziness, just as impatience could be called getting things done,
    accept yourself, learn to love yourself, we are all different it would be boring if it was any other way, switch focus like Alberto or make tea and eat chocolate like me and leave home a bit earlier for that meeting incase you get caught in the traffic or the lights are against you,
    peace and love Frances xx

    1. Oh Frances you made me laugh…sometimes I think patience is a monster for me because as you say it is about letting go and relaxing…I am not thinking about retirement too much…it will unfold as it does and I find if I plan it to much it will never happen. So I have let go more…but by God I have a hard time waiting and have to catch myself every now and then to let it go again.

      I have learned to accept myself more Frances so that is good, but I think for me it is taming my impatience by learning how to be patient…and maybe I can be that virtuous person…I was glad to read you laughed at the post as I had to laugh writing about the absurdity of my actions sometimes…oh well some of us are born with patience and some of us are still learning it. I am off to eat more chocolate ice cream 🙂
      Peace and love to you too Frances xx

  12. I wish you lots of luck Donna! I find I have patience in some situations, but not others. And the garden is my therapist, telling me to just take things as they come!

    1. Thanks Cathy. You said it perfectly. I have found I can be a bit more patient sometimes but not usually on my long ride home from work…just want to get home…the garden is our therapist isn’t it?

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