We’ve all heard that saying, patience is a virtue. I’m forever asking my daughter to be patient for things. A lot of the time we have no choice but to wait anyway, so being good at waiting is probably for the best. But why does patience have to be a virtue? Why can’t hurry the frick up be a virtue?
I have been patient for over a year and a half now. Patiently trying to untangle the knotted strings of our lives, like a length of Christmas lights. Using every ounce of my patience to work with the agencies supporting us, to attend meetings and therapy sessions and court dates.
I was patient while trying to move us closer to my family, and away from the abuse. I was patient when the sentencing date was postponed, and postponed again. I was patient when my solicitor advised that I not look for work or take up study until at least mid next year. I have patiently waited out tantrums, taught manners and enforced bedtimes. Now, though, my patience is wearing thin.
In less than a fortnight I will stand in court again. This time I will not face the monster who tore our lives apart. I will face a judge, who has been handed a bundle of evidence the size of a small household pet, and I will listen as she praises my patience and signs the piece of paper that says we no longer require any support. We will no longer be under the care of the Local Authority, and for as much as I appreciate all they have done for us, I can’t wait.
This will be the beginning of the rest of our normal lives. Never again will I have to tell my daughter that she can’t go to so-and-so’s house that night because we have to see the social worker. Never again will I have to sit at a conference table full of professionals and assure them that I am coping. As much as they have helped us to put our lives back together, the lingering duties of the Local Authority are now the only thing keeping us from normal. We are ready for normal. We need normal.
So for the past few days, and probably for the next few as well, I have been impatient. I have been anxiously crossing days off the calender, mentally running through what important things I need to do before the court date. I’m not enjoying this feeling. Through play dates and half-term movie watching I have felt as though I am not present; I am so focused on court that I am not enjoying the now, just rushing it, hoping that I can make the days go by faster.
I know that once court is over, I will want things to slow down. Once I leave that building, I will suddenly notice that Halloween and Bonfire Night are over. That Christmas decorations will probably adorn the city centre, and that it’s time to rush towards the festivities with fistfuls of cash in an attempt to be ready on time. I will want an extra shopping day, to make sure I pick that perfect gift. I will want an extra hour before bedtime, to share hot chocolate with my daughter and watch a film. I will want an extra month before her next Birthday; just a little longer before she becomes more independent.
The only conclusion I can draw is that time is what it is. I cannot make the days that lead up to court go any faster, just as I cannot make the days after it last any longer. All I can do is control my feelings about the time that needs to pass. Right now I feel impatient, but I am trying hard to live in the moment.
What do you do when you feel impatient? Let us know!