Thursday, March 03, 2005

The difference between patience and waiting

I'm currently counting down the minutes until I leave my current job. My last day is next Tuesday. As a result, I'm twitchy, fidgety and can't really concentrate on anything. Not good.

The reason for this is that I'm really not very good at waiting for stuff to happen. I'm the guy who pays extra for next day delivery when it normally gets there next day anyway (I find Amazon really good this way). Waiting or things to happen just isn't for me.

Mrs Mawoo an I were talking about this last night, and she was genuinely surprised about it. "But you're the most patient person I know" she said. "You take your time over everything" she said. She even cited learning programming as an example of my patience.

And I think this is the biggest difference. Whenever I'm talking to someone, or I'm trying to explain something, or I'm thinking through something, I'm doing something. Although I'm taking a fairly passive role in whatever I'm doing (explaining stuff to someone is still a passive role - you're just speaking. It's the person on the receiving end that has to do the work, understanding what you're on about), I'm still doing something. I'm mentally fidgeting. I'm listening to what people are saying. If I'm trying to swing someone round to my way of thinking I'm building arguments in my head. While I'm standing nodding patiently while someone tells me for the 9th time they're right and I'm wrong, I'm actually listing the reasons why I'm right and they're wrong etc.

That's what makes me patient (so Mrs Mawoo says). Being able to sit back and let things happen around me. Or rather, collating and re-evaluating information as things happen whilst not appearing to do anything.

Patience is nothing to do with waiting. There are a whole bunch if people who lack patience (and tend to be grumpy too) who can happily wait forever for things to happen.

I'm not one of them. I am (apparently) very patient. I hate waiting for things to happen.

35 working hours to go.

Apologies for rambling.

EDIT: I just remembered where Mrs Mawoo got this whole patience thing started. One thing I don't have an issue is waiting my turn. If the line's long, then fair enough. If you were here before me, then it's your turn. Even then, though, I'm not idly standing by. I'm thinking. Watching and working out how I can make things happen faster. Thinking about what's holding the person up in front of me and how I can avoid it for the person behind me. Dull, I know, but hey, it saves me from getting bored. And it keeps me from waiting.

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