Monday, December 08, 2008

Writing a Book on Patience While Grumpy -- Patience Report #8

I'm writing a book on patience. Now pick youself up off the floor and stop laughing. I'm serious. Not very patient, but serious.

Who better to write a book on acquiring patience than someone who lacks but desires patience? That's me.

Here are some possible titles: (Tell me which you like best -- or make new suggestions)

-- Give Me Strength: A Mother's Journey Toward Patience
-- In Pursuit of Patience
-- On the Path to Patience
-- Patience, please! (Pretty please)

I figure that the best time to write about patience is when I'm grumpy. Mostly because I've been grumpy a lot lately, and if I wait for a patient mood to strike before I begin writing, this book won't get written.

So here goes.

In my dreams for this book on patience, Deseret Book will publish it. (Despite having customer service problems -- as STM has discovered.) And they'll include me in their line-up of Time Out for Women speakers. And because one of my favorite publishers/speakers for Deseret Book is Mary Ellen Edmunds, I'm going to take a page out of her book and write on a serious topic but not take myself too seriously.

In my quest to acquire patience, I've been collecting quotes on patience. They have given me much to think about. I've been thinking that I might get more written on patience if I cite a quote and then write my reaction to it. So, that's what today's entry is. A quote and thoughts on patience.

Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the [rest] with the design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment, have, in that action, bound themselves to be good-humored, affable, discreet, forgiving, PATIENT, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives.
-- Joseph Addison

This quote struck me as humorous and true. First of all because it points out that we have chosen our mates for comfort and also for entertainment. I'd never thought about marriage as entertainment. Which made me think about what is entertaining about my own dear husband. His inability to find things immediately came to mind. It's such a pervasive quality that it has ceased to be annoying and has become comical. Also, the wool boot liners that he wears as slippers are entertaining. Ditto the "Mickey Mouse" winter boots he brought to our marriage. And I'll never forget the first time I saw him push his glasses further onto his nose without his hands, using only his cheeks by alternating winks and eye squints. We were engaged at the time. It should have alerted me to the tremendous entertainment value in the man I had agreed to marry.

The quote above gets a little more serious when it lists the qualities that we have agreed to exercise in relation to our spouse's frailities and perfections. I got a little hung up on the line, "frailities and perfections." I understand the need to be good humored, affable, discrete, forgiving and patient in relation to frailities. But perfections?

Actually, now that I think about it, my grumpy mood this morning had a lot to do with my husband's perfections. Namely his perfect digestive system and metabolism. I'm waiting to find out the results of allergy testing that will determine if I'm allergic to something I'm eating. In the meantime, I'm avoiding things with flour and chocolate. But Hubby made brownies last night. There were a couple left this morning for the girls -- a reminder that I can't eat them. And the rest of the family can. Oh, and when I do eat sweets, I blow up like a blimp. But the rest of my family doesn't.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm in for a long road of learning to be patient with my family's perfections. Sigh. I'm not there yet -- not when the Christmas season keeps throwing sweets our way.

If I were Pollyanna (hey, that could be a good book title, "If I Were Pollyanna") I'd look for something to be happy about. So here goes . . .

I'm glad that none of my family members have diabetes. Not only would I have to re-think what we eat, what I make, but I'd also have to learn to give shots and pokes to my loved ones. I'd rather not eat sweets than contemplate giving insulin injections to a member of my family.

I'm grateful Hubby doesn't have my metabolism. One is enough. (Besides, if I work this right, I might just be able to get him to take over the cooking of desserts. Maybe even a few more categories.)

I'm also glad that my children don't struggle with their weight. Sure Bug would like to weigh more, but none of them are overweight. If, for some reason, one person in every family had to be overweight, I'd want it to be me. I wouldn't want anyone else in my family to battle the bulge.

Pollyanna would probably do a better job of letting her husband comfort her. My man tried to cheer me this morning, but I pushed his efforts away. (Sorry, honey. I'll do better.)

I also have ideas on how Hubby and I can better entertain each other -- we can deliberately over-play some of our frailties (him: lecturing / me: devising new job charts) and exchange knowing looks when the kids bite the bait. That ought to be entertaining.

In the meantime, I can enjoy the non-food aspects of Christmas: wonderful music, inspiring stories of giving, writing Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, getting gifts together for friends and neighbors, singing carols, anonymous giving.

Merry Christmas!


Science Teacher Mommy said...

If you want to be like MEE, the last title has to be the one. I think it is funny.

I also will have a daydream sometime that I'm asked to speak at TOFW and then I remember the bad taste in my mouth after my experience in Dallas.

I actually had a great time with my friends--we stayed over night in a hotel when I was about 7 months pregnant with #2 and laughed half the night. The speakers at TOFW were really good, but a little bit canned. (Like EFY: my mission president cautioned against this sort of planned feeling the spirit thing. He even suggested that such might not be entirely genuine.) I was also mildly disturbed by how many books were sold after it was all over. I realize that DB is a publishing company and in the business to make money, but I wasn't entirely comfortable with the whole, "Get them feeling the spirit and then sell them something" approach. In Conference, we hear talks and the we are invited to act on a certain principle. Missionaries teach and then invite investigators to take each step to find out for themselves.

Living Scriptures and TOFW use these SAME principles to make money. Not that the products presented won't help you or your family even . . . I'm just saying that it left a bad taste in my mouth, that's all.

Still, having said that, I think you'd be a great motivational speaker for women or for youth. May all your publishing dreams come true. :)

Suko said...

Please be patient with my sundry comments.

So many reasons to be patient, in marriage and life!

Your blog experience is also a good way to become more patient--and learn about patience in numerous ways. (When, oh when, will I get heavy traffic?) I read that it can take two years of writing a blog to "make it" in any real sense, which makes sense. And writing a book often takes at least a year or two (sometimes, oftentimes, more) so you are on the right track.

Randy Pausch (author of The Last Lecture) said that if we are patient, people will often reveal their good side. :)

Thoughtful post, Christie!

Christie said...

Suko, I love that Randy Pausch quote. So true. Thanks for passing it along.

Flashlight Girl said...

Hang in there, honey. I like the the "If I were Pollyanna. . ." title. Maybe patience isn't the the topic that should be pursued. Maybe a Pollyanna Outlook would get one farther along than patience. Just a thought. AND I agree with marriage being for entertainment. Project Man has long kept me laughing- sometimes on purpose, sometimes not. I know things are pretty tense when I can't laugh at him. Lucky for us that isn't very often. :)

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