There comes a point in the production of every publication I work on when I just want it gone. I’m done. It’s over. Let it go. Get it off my desk. I’m moving on.
I’m not a perfectionist. There’s no such thing as perfect anyway. You could look at those pages every day for the next year and find a “problem.” I can live with an extra space, a missed comma, even — gasp — a typo.
Patience is not one my virtues. Never has been and probably never will be. The worst thing you can do to me is waste my time. It boils my blood.
I should note that this does not extend to most of the public. I’m not that b%^$ at the grocery store huffing when the cashier is taking too long, or complaining about slow fast-food service, or tailgating (OK, sometimes I do, but not NEARLY as much as I used to). In fact, I’m extraordinarily nice to most people because I have a huge well of empathy within me.
It’s incongruous, I know. Impatience and empathy aren’t qualities you usually find together. But, there I am right in the middle of that odd intersection.
I’ve been ashamed of my impatience for most of my adult life because I thought it was childish and immature, like I’m a spoiled, entitled brat who gets all bent out of shape when I don’t get my way.
I’ve tried hard — usually in vain — to hide my impatience. People who know me well and/or are attuned to nonverbal communication aren’t fooled. They quickly pick up on the not-so-subtle clues of my irritation (clenched teeth, narrowed eyes, clipped answers, etc.).
But, the older I get, the more I realize that it’s not about narcissism, or selfishness, or feeling that my time is any more valuable than anyone else’s time, it’s simply that I am hardwired to get s$%# done.
I like checking stuff off my list, and woe to the person or thing that stands in my way. I will find a way around, over, or through you.
Recently, it occurred to me that my impatience is what makes me productive. It makes me an achiever. A person who, like I said above, gets s%^$ done. I make things happen, with or without the help of others.
This is not a bad thing, and so I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to wear that “impatient” label like a freakin’ badge. I’m just going to own it.
My name is Heather and I’m impatient. (I’m also productive, effective, fast, and prolific, so…)
About Just Write “What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”