Seeing the Big Picture


Tick, tick, tick… I need to be more patient so I try to look at the big picture, but it’s not easy.  It’s probably harder now than in any other time in history to exercise patience. In a world where messages and information can be sent across the world in an instant with a few clicks of a computer mouse, our patience is being put to the test while we wait for a response.

The manuscript for the latest book in the Detective Jill Brennan series is currently being edited. I know my sweetheart of an editor is doing her best. She’s studying for a PHD in creative writing, she mentors writers and of course, I’m not her only client. She’s got kids and it’s school holidays. She works hard and is entitled to a break from her busy schedule. The manuscript will be ready when it’s ready I tell myself. But I’m impatient. Impatient to get my book into the hands of readers. Impatient to hold the print copy. Impatient to start the next book in the series. Impatient because I’m impatient!

I try to distract myself. I’ve just finished tidying my office, arranging my resource materials in neat piles. I’ve been thinking about what I’ll cook for dinner. I’m flying to the Gold Coast tomorrow, my bag is packed and my boarding pass is in my handbag.

When was it that we all became so impatient and our our lives so busy? Is the way in which we engage and react to technology the reason?

Impatience brings rise to all sorts of emotions. I tend to internalise my feelings so although appearing calm on the outside, internally my blood pressure rises, my palms sweat, my breathing becomes jagged. I try to manage my impatience by thinking pleasant thoughts or by observing others.

If you’ve never observed other people in a queue, take a look around you the next time you’re in heavy traffic or queueing for a movie ticket or waiting in line for the next bus. What happens is the body language changes, shifting of the feet, hands on hips, sometimes a terse remark is overheard, heaving breathing or constant checking of the time on a phone or a wrist watch.

Queue Of People Waiting At Bus Stop

Queue Of People Waiting At Bus Stop

What makes us so impatient? Loss of control for one, poor time management skills another. What makes you impatient?

In James Clavell’s novel, Shogun he writes about impatience

‘Karma is the beginning of knowledge. Next is patience. Patience is very important. The strong are the patient ones. Patience means holding back your inclination to the seven emotions: hate, adoration, joy, anxiety, anger, grief, fear. If you don’t give away to the seven, you’re patient, then you’ll soon understand all manner of things and be in harmony with eternity.’

In harmony with eternity. I like the sound of that!

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7 Responses to Seeing the Big Picture

  1. Unfurling says:

    I’m in harmony with eternity – I just wish it’d hurry up!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. gina amos says:

    What? The harmony or the eternity. I hope you mean the former!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sue Coletta says:

    Love that explanation of impatient! Waiting really is the hardest part. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Erik says:

    This may sound like a downer, but I do think it holds truth. I believe impatience is a result of a sense of entitlement: “I should not have to wait.” And this is conditioned in us, unless we work to actually make ourselves wait (rather than simply tolerating it when necessary). Having visited a number of third-world countries, those who have nothing have no such sense of entitlement or impatience, only joy and gratitude whenever something “extra” (like food or water or clothing) should appear.

    I actually devoted a whole chapter in The Best Advice So Far to this advice: “Patience is still a virtue.” And how can we hope to gain patience unless we provide opportunities to wait or forebear? It seems counterintuitive in our culture to actually create opportunities to have to wait; but I find there is great value in it (e.g., not calling ahead to make a reservation at that restaurant, but rather waiting for a table, etc.).

    Liked by 3 people

  5. gina amos says:

    Thanks, Erik for your comment.
    I re-visited ‘The Best Advice So Far’ and was reminded that I need to practice stillness. I’m up at the Gold Coast at the moment, away from my usual routine. I promise to go slow and practice my patience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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