Day 392: Possibilities, Patience, and “IM”

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, insteadI 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

Image

… 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.


  1. 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.

  2. At Johnson O’Connor in Boston.

  3. Technical and marketing writing.

  4. Possibly the opposite of this is … “portent”?

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments

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19 thoughts on “Day 392: Possibilities, Patience, and “IM”

  1. I will never understand patience; I went my whole life being an impatient person….then one day I woke up and found that I was totally chilled out and I have a ton of patience right now…….all that is left is one thing in my life that I don’t have any patience for, but one thing isn’t bad compared to the way I used to be

    • Wow. I wonder if I’ll wake up one morning with a ton of patience. Thanks for patiently reading and for writing and sharing this comment.

  2. My best lesson in controlling impatience came when I was taking my IT certifications. A teacher said “read the question. Don’t assume anything from the first line. If you need to, sit on your hands til you’ve read the whole thing to keep yourself from doing anything.”

    Once I transferred that to a metaphorical sit on my hands, I’ve been able (clumsily) to get through life.

    And I save every window 5 times before I close it. Just in case I do what you did.

    Again.

    • This was a really helpful comment, El Guapo. I like what your teacher said and how you applied it. And I’ll keep trying to figure out how to balance carefulness with saving things with not worrying about the consequences.

  3. Ann thank you for taking the time to re-write your post and having the patience to do so. This has happened to me as well and through that painful learning, isn’t that the way we learn most…I discovered that Wordrpess autosaves every 2 minutes. Here is a link to an article about it. I hope you won’t think me intrusive to give it to you http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/03/21/wordpress-recovering-a-lost-blog-post-or-page/ I also have discovered a post I thought i lost in my Trash in WordPress.
    I hope that may help in future if it should ever happen again. Have a good day!

    • Sue, thank YOU for this comment. I agree that painful learning is often the way we learn. Last week, I used a new acronym with somebody — LBD — Learning by Disaster. I will read that article you kindly shared here, as a way to avoid future disasters. I appreciate your providing another way to learn.

      • So glad to be of help Ann. I have found the blogging community so supportive and am happy to have this small opportunity to pay it forward.

  4. Impossible has its slightly nicer cousin on the im side of the family, improbable. Then there’s their cousin with the lying tendencies, implausible. Thank you, Ann, for sending my imperfect memory on this perfectly suitable search through the im family tree. This task was so imposing, I most pose the possibility that I, too, am impatient.

    • Impeccable, Mark. I am very impressed with your comment, which helped, immeasurably, in improving this post. I better stop immediately, before I implode.

  5. Ah, that’s the coolest clock ever!

    • I agree, Megan! It was a gift from a good friend.

      That really is the clock I look at, every day, as I’m writing these posts. It also occurred to me, after I published this post, that the clock shows a very patient cat.

      Thanks so much for visiting and commenting today.

  6. I LOVE your solution for the problem that you could not solve by writing out the formula and asking the examiners to solve it themselves. Brilliant! I must try that one sometime.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth, for visiting, commenting, and seeing the brilliance in my impatience with that test. I always appreciate your perspective, and especially today!

  7. Pingback: Day 394: Fear of losing track of things | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  8. I am a big word analyzer. I also am frustrated when I lose things I thought I had saved. I could relate to this whole thing and enjoyed this post immensely! You are a great writer that got it all worked out, not the original way you had it, but maybe better! smiles, robin

  9. Pingback: Day 397: Everybody loves you | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  10. Pingback: Day 1510: Patience | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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