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The importance of being patient

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My wife has a lot of medical issues. We spent our first two anniversaries in the hospital due to her heart issues.

Last night she was attacked by back pain. By this morning it had spread around to her front side, and under her right breast. She was also having shortness of breath. This all happened when she first got out of bed. Given her medical history, we thought it prudent to go to the ER.

It was drizzling this morning, just enough to make driving difficult but not impossible.

We got to the ER and fortunately there weren’t a lot of people in line ahead of us. She was admitted and put in an exam room.

Then the waiting started.

If I’d been smart, I’d have brought a book with me. But that is one of those things that slips your mind as you head out the door trying to get your loved one medical attention. I spent 15 minutes on my phone, catching up on email and social media.

Then it was just sitting and waiting. My wife slept a lot of the time. At one point I went out to get breakfast, since we rushed out of the house right after she got up.

Sitting with yourself, with no distractions drives a lot of people buggy. They can’t do it. They get fidgety, when boredom kicks in. They grab their phones, mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds, or YouTube videos, just to have something to stimulate their brains. Most people can’t just sit there and be. The monkey brain keeps throwing random thoughts at you, jumping from one to the next, non-stop. And the more you start to focus on one thing, the more it keeps changing the subject. Your heart starts racing because of the over stimulation of trying to keep up.

I’ve had lots of experience with that. Long commutes with no radio in the car. Long walks, long before iPods became a thing. Lots of time sitting in boring, useless corporate meetings. You can sit there and listen to your monkey brain chatter away like a squirrel on speed, or you can just remain still and let all that go.

I used to try a third option – working on plans in my head. Either working on a web development project or something for a client I’d try to work out the design or steps of the project. I’d get some work done and didn’t have to worry about the monkey chatter. These days though, all too often trying to plan out a project leads to listening to all the monkey chatter. That’s one of the reasons why I try not to sit there scrolling on my phone. I find that behavior adds to my mental chaos and stress.

I recommend just patiently sitting and being. The time still passes the same way, but your interaction with it, and any resultant stress, goes way down. Lull the monkeys into passivity, and you’ll be happier.

If you liked this look into the way my mind works, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?

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