Yesterday, I coined the word “dreadless” — as a possible opposite of “dreadful.” That was fun.
Today, as I was considering possible topics for this post, the word “patience” came to mind. And then, its opposite. And I thought:
Why, oh why, is the opposite of “patience” “impatience”? Why isn’t it “unpatience”? Or “nonpatience”? What the heck does “IM” mean, anyway? Are there OTHER words that use “IM” to create the opposite? The only one I can think of, right now, is “possible” and “impossible.”
I suppose I could do some research, right now, on the use of “Im” to create the opposite of a word. But I’m not interested in checking corroborating details or data, this morning. 1
Imstead …. ooops! I mean, instead, I want to just riff on what we’ve got in this post, already.
Here we go!
Patience is something I think about a lot. When I was in my 20’s, I took a comprehensive test2 of my aptitudes and skills, to discover why I wasn’t satisfied with my career 3. And they told me, “You have three exceedingly high, natural indications of possible impatience” (or words to that effect).
Recognizing that I am “naturally impatient” has helped me, as I have continued to work on developing the other side of that — my capacity for patience.
Yesterday, I was expecting a visit from my friend, Carol, and I was timing my creation of yesterday’s post to coincide with her expected time of arrival. A few minutes before that, when I was just about to press “publish” …. I realized — to my horror — that I had closed the wrong window and had lost the last hour of my work. I get very freaked out when something like that happens. What bothered me the most about that?
- I was happy with the post.
- I hate having to rewrite something I’m already done with.
- It kills me when I realize I’ve done something “stupid” (as in, “Ann! You should have known better than to close that window until after you published the post!”)
- I realized I had two choices: (1) to ask Carol to wait, until I rewrote the friggin’ post or (2) wait until after her visit to complete it (and I knew I would be upset and distracted while she was here).
- I assumed that I would NOT be able to reconstruct the post back to its former glory.
- I COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS HAD HAPPENED!
I felt an incredible rush of …. panic, disappointment, adrenaline, upset-ness, whatever-you-want-to-call it.
What did I do? I talked to myself:
Ann, it’s not the end of the world. You’ve lost stuff you’ve written before, many times in many ways. As much as you hate when this happens, you will rewrite it. And it will be good enough. Maybe, it will be even better! That’s not beyond the realm of possibility …. that has definitely happened before.
When Carol showed up, I was already in the midst of rebuilding what had been lost. I asked if she could have the patience to wait for me until I published my post. She graciously and enthusiastically said, “Of course!’
Nevertheless, I was very nervous while re-building that post. Despite Carol’s reassurance, my knowing her for years, and my logical self knowing that this would be fine, I stumbled and froze several times while fixing that post, which had been pretty intricate (with several “bells and whistles”: links, footnotes, videos, photos, etc.)
Why was I so nervous? Possibly because I was imagining all sorts of negative reactions, including impatience. Not only from Carol, but from …. you, dear readers.
That is, I was imagining Carol’s impatience with me, as she waited. And I was imagining your impatience with me, when I published a post I feared would (1) have errors and (2) would NOT be as good as it could have, should have, would have been, if I had been more careful.
But, it all worked out. I finished the post, Carol was loving and understanding (as always), and the post was good enough. Yes, there were a couple of missing links and typos here and there, but I was able to fix those, well enough, later in the day.
And if anybody noticed those imperfections, they didn’t think those were important 4 enough to mention.
Okay! I can see by the clock on the wall
… that it’s time for me to end this post.
Probably, I could find another image, quickly enough, that fits the topics of this post.
But you know what? I haven’t got the patience.
Thanks to all those who deal with patience, possibilities, perfectionism, probabilities — and their opposites — and especially to you, for visiting today.
Actually, a lot of my posts, lately, have had an “attitude” about data and proof. Sometimes, it seems, I just can’t be bothered with details. This reminds me of a story: When I was in college, I decided to take a Calculus Course. I suspected that I didn’t have a natural talent for Calculus (unlike other forms of math), so I took the course “Pass/Fall.” And, indeed, I neither enjoyed that course nor did particularly well in it, but when the time came for the final exam, I knew that I’d done well enough to pass, with some wiggle room. When I got to a section of the test where I was supposed to solve something I just didn’t understand, I wrote, “Here are the formulas. I’ve done all I can do. Please solve these yourself.” And, that was good enough.
At Johnson O’Connor in Boston.
Technical and marketing writing.
Possibly the opposite of this is … “portent”?