So I’m part of this 31 day challenge, I’ll write on a new topic every day . I hope to focus them around the theme of my blog (life after college), and hope that through these unique words/topics I’ll add some more glitter to the world, inspiration to myself and others, and have some fun. You can learn more about it here.
I think there are many strains of patience. There’s that patience when you’re waiting for class to end on Friday (and this is coming from someone who really loved school). There’s the patience of anticipating something really exciting (like hey getting married). And then there is the patience that is developed over time so that in tense situations you don’t flip your lid.
I’ve learned a lot of that through working with Miss J. Her daughter mentioned the other day that I’ve been helping out for a year now! That is totally wild to me, how the time has flown. And well for those of you who have no connection to Alzheimer’s it demands a lot of patience and compassion. Some days will be really good, and some days I just have to pray every moment not to let the frustration win. You see people with this disease have varying behaviors, it’s more than just losing your memory, and that’s hard and sad enough, but it’s also insistence that what they remember is true. They will get angry if you gently remind them someone is dead. They will refuse to do things because they get a strange idea in their head. She will complain that I’m hurting her because I’m trying to get her to move. She will obsess over the neighborhood children and their welfare just because she happened to hear them yell with happiness.
Worse, often my reassurances do nothing for her. Yet beyond that it’s really nice to have work and money, I think what I would say was such a gift from this job is cultivating patience. Patiently learning what makes Miss J tick. Learning to not snap or react in the ways she is acting that day. Acknowledging what is good and blessed about Miss J instead of focusing on her behaviors. Patience is an action, but as the old saying goes it’s a virtue and it must be cultivated. I know too for a lot of us our day to day living is a lesson in patience. We’re trying to get jobs, to gain prospects, to work through grad school, all the big crazy dreams we have for ourselves can’t quite happen now. So cultivate that patience, it will serve you well, if nothing else it will make you kinder and you’re heart a little softer, the world could do with a lot more of that.