I Want It NOW

My husband jokes with me that he fell in love with my patience. This is funny mainly because I have very little of it. My lack of patience often manifests itself in wicked temper tantrums, a series of frustrated muscle contractions (IE, kicking, stomping, fist clenching), and even groaning, growling or exasperated sighs. I'm not kidding. While it isn't an aspect of my personality that I often demonstrate in public... It isn't something that I’ve "grown out of" in private either.

What I'm coming to realize is that my lack of patience is probably a symptom of a bigger problem. I suffer from a need for immediate gratification. I want what I want, and I want it now. When I combine my lack of patience with my sense of entitlement, stand back. I'm a force to be reckoned with. Actually, it can be quite appalling.

While I take full responsibility for the physical manifestations of this character defect (should a 30 year old woman really be stomping around the house when her blow dryer dies?), I can't help but wonder how much the culture is contributing to my downfall. Looking around, I’m astonished by the conveniences that enable my embarrassing behavior.

I'm hungry - not only do I not have to cook, I don't have to get my lazy butt off the couch. Dinner can be here in 30 minutes or less. And if that is too long to wait, I don't even have to get out of the car to pick up my fast food from the drive-through window.
I'm bored - there are literally 500+ channels in our cable package and TiVo doesn't even require that I sit through commercials anymore. Heck, it's taping stuff when I’m asleep so that I don't even have to think about what I want to watch.
I'm lonely - my cell phone and the cell phones of almost everyone I know make us all immediately accessible. And email keeps me from having to wait (2 days!!!) on the post office.
I'm confused - seriously, Google will answer just about ANY question i have. And if I don't like the answer I find, I can select the next link down. Don’t worry, I can find the answer that I’m looking for - right or wrong.

Now, don't get me wrong, I’m totally thankful for all these advancements. I'm not headed out to the woods to live without technology and cut myself off from the world. None of what I’ve mentioned is bad. On the contrary, most of it is incredibly useful and occasionally necessary. What can be bad is my motivation when I use these things and the entitlement that grows in me each time I do. I feel like I’ve lost - or perhaps never even learned - the ability to work toward a goal or wait for the realization of a desire. I'm so used to quickly and easily fulfilling my needs as they become clear to me, that I’ve never taken the opportunity to develop real patience. I'm realizing it's everyday life that builds character. It’s the little things that prepare you for the big stuff. If I can't sit through 5 minutes of commercials to get back to American Idol, is it really a surprise that I’m afraid I won't survive a year or 2 in a town that doesn't make me immediately and completely "happy"?

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