As I sit looking at my music, I am again struck with how much patience it takes to be good at something. In music, I don’t get to learn something just once and move on, I need to relearn it every day. There are exercises and etudes that, though I can play them well, still need to be experienced and gone through to make me a better player. A musician’s warm up can be quite tedious, as it repeats daily the basic building blocks needed to get stronger and better. The better I get, the more extensive the warm up is, which brings me back to the tedious part. It doesn’t seem to matter what the discipline is, it just matters what level you want to take it to.
Patience is required in many other venues as well. As a mother I need tons, and often find myself lacking. I barely made it through the years of waiting for milestones; the first steps, each first tooth, first word, first day of kindergarten. Then come the years of “but, why?” questions, then waiting for them to come home from dates, not to mention waiting for them to do something you asked them to. Over the years, my reserve of patience has grown. Practice improves my capacity to wait and endure.
I’m learning to be patient with myself, too. I try not to beat myself up for making mistakes or jumping to conclusions or even for being impatient with my children when I should have the patience of Job. If I stick with it, I will succeed – hopefully before they grow up completely.
It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting. ~ Elizabeth Taylor