Almost five years ago my family moved into our current home. We’re the second owners of this 42-year-old house. Upon our arrival the entire inside was calling for fresh paint and various updates. As any homeowner knows, making improvements can be a long road of gradual progress. My husband worked as a painter when he was younger, and thus has taken on the majority of the painting, for which I am very grateful. This week, however, while our daughters are on spring break, I made a plan to finish painting the master bedroom with their help. We have been doing the tedious scraping, sanding, taping off of areas, priming and finally painting. Here it is the end of the week though, and we haven’t yet reached the goal I had in mind. We’ve definitely made headway but there is still more to do and it’s going to take a little longer than I had hoped. I know this process requires patience and keeping an eye on the prize, which in this case is to have an aesthetically pleasing space for rest and rejuvenation. I imagine it will feel really good once it is complete.
Anytime we take on a project or a challenge it is key to remember the objective, the "why." This is especially true when things go slowly and it looks like the situation might never improve. It is in these moments of doubt that we can take the opportunity to cultivate the virtue of patience. When we keep in mind the purpose behind what we’re doing, and take things one step at a time, we can trust there will be forward movement toward the desired result… eventually.
As a nation, if there was ever a time to practice patience with a purpose, it is now. Many people feel discouraged that we need to continue social distancing and sheltering-in-place for at least another month, and quite possibly longer. It may seem like this Covid-19 pandemic will never turn a corner, that we will never resume the freedoms we once had to gather, hug, travel and go about life without masks or worry. Yet we know eventually humanity will find its way through this. If we focus on the intended results right now — to preserve as many lives as possible, to not overwhelm our healthcare systems, to give scientists time to develop an effective immunization, etc. — we can better manage the distance we must go. We can pace ourselves with the most important consideration in mind: the precious lives of one another.
The improvement we all are waiting for may take much longer than any of us have anticipated. Yet as we practice patience with a purpose, doing the next right thing one moment at a time, we will move through this to better days ahead.
May you be inspired!