I am not a patient woman. This makes many things about choosing to be a writer difficult for the likes of me. For one thing, the second I hit “submit” I want an answer. “Did you like it?” “Do you want it?” “Am I good enough?” Lately, personal validation has come largely in the form of email. I check my email obsessively lately. To the point where I’m pretty sure its a problem that I should seek care for. I’ve got a new full over at Swoon, and I’m dying to hear their thoughts. (Even if their thoughts are, “no thanks.”) Because then I’ll KNOW. And then I’ll be free to skip on to the next potential opportunity. But if their thoughts are “yes,” that’d be great, too. But then I’ll have to wait for terms. And signatures. And lawyers. And edits. And so many other things that are so exciting and wonderful. But that don’t happen instantly.
I have what feels like millions of other stories out in other places. I’ve been putting myself out there. So there’s always the potential for a nice ego boosting email to arrive. There’s a greater potential for a soul-shattering rejection to arrive. But I can’t think about that. I live in hope.

Because patience is so difficult to master, I have begun taking joy in the things that do happen quickly enough to suit me. Take a look at this: amaryllis

It’s an Amaryllis. I let it lay dormant in a paper bag out in my garden shed for three months or so through the fall. And then I re-potted it in time for it to bloom at Christmas. And it didn’t. I watched it every single stupid day and it just sat there, it’s green tips taunting me, but definitely not growing. Finally, about to give up on it altogether of almost two months of resolute NOT growing, I moved the pot. I thought it liked being in the window. But it seems that being more interior has made it happy. And since it began growing four days ago, it has grown at least a half inch a day. I kid you not. I can practically WATCH it reaching up. It’s fantastic. Perfect for us instant gratification types (if you don’t count all that waiting while it was dormant or once I’d re-potted it and it wouldn’t grow… don’t count that.) PS. That’s my fish plate. I just re-found it when I was digging through the closet where I store all the things that no one may ever touch because it might get broken.

I wish I was more like these guys. photo(2)

Look at the simple joy they get from being given a mint. All they want in life in this moment? One mint. (The little one would like to eat many, many more mints. He did that recently when I didn’t know about it, eating all 37 mints in the box and then projectile vomiting pink foam all over the back of my car about three hours later. There is a moral – too much of a good thing is not a good thing.)

I am trying to let myself learn from these small people who I’m lucky enough to spend so much time with. They live for the moment completely. Their excitement and disappointments are so immediate and raw. They are good humans. I want to be more like them.

So I keep waiting.