When you’re waiting on six other people to layer up, find mittens, helmets, boots and boards, rent gear, organize lift tickets, and get all those items into the truck, together, before the lift lines become atrocious, most of all you learn patience.
Each of us, at some time or another, had to dig deep to find the fleeting virtue–but it came. It showed up in laughter, in rare moments of quiet, in puzzle-piecing, in blue skies and sunshine, in boxed wine, in the paradoxical relationships that make up family: “no matter just how annoying you are, I’d still rather be here with you than without.”
My sweet sweet niece and nephew, twelve and seven respectively, are slowly and steadily evolving into my brother, which frightens me. Yet, with that hint of obnoxious comes the irresistible charm; so just like their father, I find myself overlooking the bad just to soak up all that I adore;)
Besides, if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have been highly entertained by their animated faces, their epic one-liners, some serious dance moves, and my absolute favorite: the truths that come to surface on road trips and family vacay.
1. Sometimes my poop comes out green.
2. I like to pee on the wall (when probed: What kind of wall? It turns out any wall will do–to which he was scolded).
3. A closet is not the best place to hide a boy if you also forget to hide his shoes and you also forget that you’re brother is seven and he will tattle on you.
I think it is obvious who said what;)
When Elisa’s patience waned, I tried to quickly get it back. A good example: at the sight of the poor pans and the small-unstocked kitchen, I could tell she was upset she hadn’t come more prepared. I went for the reality show analogy: “pretend you’re on a cooking show and you have to make do with what you have; it’s like glorified glamping, except we’re not out in the cold–now go!”
And would’ya know? Twenty minutes later I had a fine meal and a happy woman. (Sometimes it’s just all about switching the perspective.)
I’ve only done one formal meditation all week, the rest have simply been “going with the flow,” which, admittedly, I’m not as good at as I used to be. There is a lot that can be learned by stripping down the routine.
When it is all over, surely I’ll miss the chaos, Spongebob for breakfast, my brother counting: “one, two, Two-And-A-Half, TWO-AND-THREE-QUARTERS!” I will miss beer at 11 AM and strange snacks in my backpack. I will miss the warm hugs, the momentary back rubs, and the comfort that we can all walk around in our underwear (well, mostly).
I leave you with this: When you find yourself being annoyed by family, co-workers, or any group of people you spend a lot of time with, try seeking out their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Also, re-framing perspective can turn a frustrating situation into a fun one: the cooking show trick is a great example. Not only will the people/situation look/feel better in your eyes, you will have more time to enjoy your surroundings when you’re not fighting what you perceive as your current reality. Perception reins.