As luck would have it, when I went to open up my internet connection for fact-checking for my upcoming column, there was an update notice for Anti-virus software that had to be performed on our computer and in the pop-up notice window it said, “Installation can take a few minutes. Please feel free to do other things while you wait. Thank you for your patience.” Now, there are two things about this statement that I want to discuss…1.) how did this system know that “patience”, or lack thereof, was going to be my theme for this week’s column?…and 2.) it was awful presumptuous of these software people to expect me to be patient throughout this event. And then they have the nerve to go ahead and tell me to do something else while I waited. Maybe I didn’t want to do anything else. Maybe I wanted to do exactly what I planned to do before they interrupted my plans. Did I have a choice in the matter? I don’t think so, but thanks for asking…or telling, I guess.
I’m not a very patient man, if you hadn’t guessed, and I came by my impatience honestly. I got it through my genes. My Dad gave it to me…thanks Dad. I’ve been working on my patience for oh…let me see…over fifty years, I think, and I might just be making some headway. Yup, I can hardly wait for it to improve.
And people are so weird aren’t they? You know, the very same person who’s behind you at the intersection honking their horn the millisecond the light turns green is the same person who will stand in the queue for a Milky Way ice cream cone for forty-five minutes!! I guess it was a millisecond that he couldn’t get back and burn up in the line for ice cream or something.
But we live in an instantaneous world, don’t we? “How long do I have to cook this rice? (looking, reading…) NINETY SECONDS!? You cannot be serious! NINETY SECONDS!?”
Everything tries our patience so we attempt to make up for all those wasted seconds wandering aisles and waiting in lineups by taking a few seconds back here and there. One way we strive to achieve this is by going through drive-thrus. They even have a drive-thru Florist Shop in Regina. Really. Thank God, too, because we can capture a few moments back into our lives by not having to go through all those arduous tasks like parking, and walking, and choosing something off of a shelf and everything. Oh the convenience.
This past weekend my son and I were taking some of his renovation refuse out to the Regina “Sanitary Landfill”…wait a second…sidebar here… “Sanitary”? Nice try folks but using the word “Sanitary” in the title isn’t going to make the place any nicer or less smelly…it’s a dump…seriously…it’s a dump! Anyway, they’ve got you hostage, don’t they? There’s only one legal place that you can take your garbage so you’ve got no choice but to follow their rules. You get out to the dump, sorry…”Sanitary Landfill”… and there are like sixty vehicles trying to get in and they only have one booth open, for crying out loud, and you sit in the lineup, and you sit and you sit…but what are you gonna do? You have to be patient.
The good thing was that I was with my son Nolan and we took advantage of the time to get caught up on the goings-on in each others lives. Sometimes our wasted seconds aren’t wasted after all. Sometimes waiting can be a good thing. You know, give us a chance to take a few breaths. Relive some memories. Make a few more. Before we knew it we were at the front of the lineup and the time had passed too quickly.
Time doesn’t care if you’re waiting at a stop-light or an ice cream parlour. Time really doesn’t care whether you want to be patient or impatient. Only you can determine that.
“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.”-Thomas Kempis- (1380-1471).