“Patience is a virtue.” I don’t remember when I first learned this phrase but it is one that resurfaces continuously, especially during moments where I am indeed lacking patience. The hard part is distinguishing when the time is up for patience. When it’s time to start forcing an issue a little more. When it’s time to stop standing by and patiently waiting anymore.
This is pretty much my natural inclination all the time. To not be patient. To get issues solved immediately. To get problems resolved as soon as possible. But Mom’s MS continues to force me to be a little more patient. Emphasis on the little. Ultimately I can make suggestions to Mom all day, we all can, but it is her body and her health. But there is a line. A line we teeter on the edge of constantly. When we have been patient. When we have waited for Mom to make a certain decision, come to a certain realization and it has not happened. A line that separates not saying anything and saying something. From ignoring an issue to bringing it up. Crossing this line immediately makes you the bad guy. It makes you more aggressive no matter how calm you are. It leads to difficult conversations. Difficult moments. Moments that bring out a mixture of emotions. Emotions in Mom and emotions in us. Moments where you don’t know what to say. Moments where you are fighting to stay calm. Fighting to remain rational. Trying not to give in but at the same time going round and round in a conversation. A conversation that ultimately still has no resolution. Other than explaining to Mom how you feel, it goes nowhere. It does not lead to a resolution. It takes us right back to where we started. It’s as if we never crossed the line to begin with. No positive result from all the effort put in.
Another expectation broken: If you put forth the effort, you will achieve a positive response. Lesson learned: That’s not always the case.
I do not feel that “patience is a virtue” but I also do not know what to feel. I feel a mixture of emotions. Anger being the biggest one. Anger at this situation. Frustration that Mom won’t listen to what we are saying. Confusion as to where we go from here.
*In case you can’t tell we are approaching a tough issue with Mom. One which I struggle to reveal on here because I do not want this to become a place where I just vent frustrations directed personally at Mom. But I will say this sums up how I feel about it. I hope you can gather what I am trying to say from my mess of feelings today.
How do you approach tough conversations with family members? Do you believe in just accepting they are never going to do what you want them to do? Do you believe in continuing to push an issue? Do you believe sometimes patience isn’t a virtue?