Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Patience Patient

          I have a patience problem.  I’ve had it my whole life, as pointed out by my first grade teacher when she wrote on my report card, “Joanie has a hard time being patient with her peers.”
          I changed the spelling to Joni as soon as I realized it would save time.  Sigh. 
          Just today I called my doctor’s office and heard the recording say, “If you’re impatient, press One.”  Are you kidding me?  A doctor’s office is finally learning to streamline the callers and get us right through before we shoot somebody?  Wow!  I pressed one immediately.
          Turns out the recording said, “If you’re a patient.”  Oh, good grief. Think how much better life would be if you could select the personality traits causing you problems.  If you’re impatient, press One to get right through.  If you’re insecure, press Two for compliments. If you’re angry, press Three for some calming spa music.  If you’re a tightwad, Press Four to hear about local bargains.
          I did some research and it turns out there’s a name for what I have.  It’s called Hurry Up Syndrome.  I thought, “Wait—that’s a thing?”  Yes, apparently some of us feel pressed to rush through life at breakneck pace, which explains my driving, my inability to watch a parade, and my sprinkling Miracle Gro directly on my plants.
         There’s plenty of expert online advice for folks who have this.  Slow down.  Nap.  Take deep breaths.  Ha!  You can tell the experts don’t have this disorder because all their suggestions only exacerbate the situation, making us feel we have to run even faster to make up for the “helper” who tried to slow us down.
And anyway, why can’t we stay revved up and productive?  So what if we’re predisposed to push ourselves?  If you can make stress work in your favor, then why tinker with a good thing?  Maybe the articles should be offering advice to others about how they can get a move on.
Or we just need to marry people with a sense of humor.  When I told St. Bob about an infuriating phone recording that said, “You must wait ten seconds,” he said, “You just heard them wrong.  It probably said, ‘You’re a ten and you’re sexy.’”  Okay, for that I will stop and listen.

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