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"Maybe I can simultaneously like it AND lump it for a change."

Payshunce might be the sole necessary skill of modern life. The faster everything goes, the more everything seems to need to spool up before actually accomplishing anything. The Schooner wants to warm up before we zoot off. The laptop decides when I just want to quickly check something to not simply wake up but to desperately need a full restart, complete with demands for a half-dozen Pastwords I cannot remember in that moment of duress. Traffic moves more slowly than advertised, especially when a few drivers choose to go all Formula One on everybody and thereby slow down the overall flow. Queues naturally slow as they lengthen. It's apparently their nature. Your order won't come up until well after that fleeting wave of hunger has left the building.

One learns Payshunce by having it beaten into them, often at one's own hand.
I set an expectation in stone while the mercurial world indifferently flows around it. I want another to move at a certain speed and they seem determined to disappoint me. The Muse does her part by exhibiting a tenaciously asymptotic relationship with 'ready.' She's forever forgetting her sunglasses only to later discover that she had them with her all along. Her standard 'just a minute' can stretch into the middle of next week, and frequently does. I choose to take a deeper breath and simmer in response. Sometimes I catch myself slipping into my boiling over point, but repeated practice seems to have rendered me into genuine sanguinity. I'll listen to the radio instead of steaming, since steaming does nobody any good.

I'm fairly certain that Payshunce cannot be taught. It simply must be acquired by means other than diligent study. Nobody else could possibly hold a clue about how you feel inside, though many seem to have their Good Advice at the constant ready. They'll go on to tell you just how they conquered their beast in the mistaken conviction that your beast might probably be similar in nature when in fact it most probably is not. I hold rules about punctuality, for instance, which I acquired back before I realized that I was acquiring anything and from people who likewise never suspected that they were instilling convictions in me. I came to know long ago that anger does little to resolve any ImPayshunce issue and that I was pretty much on my own whenever I feel myself start fidgeting. Fidget spinners don't work for me.

For me, a studied indifference most often does the trick of allowing me to simply accept the way things are. Payshunce might amount to little more than the application of radical acceptance. So far in my life, the way things are have pretty reliably demonstrated just the way things are. If we're going to be late, we're going to be late, and while that statement might seem terribly tautological, it's also rather profound. The gradient between the way thing were supposed to be and they way they actually turn out amounts to Payshunce's primary playing field. The line judges can be genuine bastards out there and competition only amplifies their nagging presence. I seem to be growing into the realization that I do not need to win most of the little contests I catch myself engaging in. I might reasonably wonder who defined these encounters as competitions, anyway. Could they not be perhaps more fruitfully characterized as cooperations?

Sometimes a halfway decent Anything But That! comes to my rescue. When I'm running late and stuck in slowing traffic, I might take it upon myself to leave plenty of extra space between me and that car ahead, so that anyone needing a little more space might flit right in there … ahem … ahead of me. I surrender to the inevitable, which might sound a little more dramatic than it turns out to be in practice. Surrendering to any inevitable might amount to nothing more than a run of the mill going with the flow, especially when the current seems especially insistent. The rules change mid-game. Boo-hoo. You're NuthinSpecial. Maybe I can simultaneously like it AND lump it for a change.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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