P is for Patience

A good friend of mine recently got a tattoo down his calf which reads "forgiven." I love listening to the stories of people's tattoos. They fascinate me. Most people I've found have great, meaningful stories behind their tattoos. And they're usually more than happy to share them. When I asked my friend about his tattoo he said it was there to serve as a constant reminder, most importantly that he is forgiven and secondly to forgive others. Which I think is pretty beautiful.

It has me thinking, if I were to brandish one word across my flesh - where I would see it daily and be reminded of it always - what would it be?

I've decided it would be patience. To remind myself to be patient with others, to be patient about the future, but above all else to be patient with myself.

If parenting taught me one thing, it is that I am not nearly as patient as I thought I was. But I am learning, slowly but surely, what patience really means. And I am learning, in turn, that I cannot be patient in any significant way unless I learn to be patient with myself.

Patient with the fact that I am not, and never will be, exactly the kind of parent (or wife or friend) I had hoped to be. Patient with the fact that I am still growing and learning. Patient with the fact that my writing is not where I want it to be. Patient with the fact that my dreams must come slowly. Patient with the fact that I have so little control. Patient with the fact that this is a journey with no end in sight.

I know I will need lots more patience in the days and months and years ahead. And although I am not about to go out and get some ink, I hope that I might tattoo the word to my heart and remember it in spite of myself. I hope that I will remind myself daily to be patient in all things.

I hope it will someday be a virtue I can call my own.