A chap called Piers Plowman once claimed that “Patience is a virtue”.
He said this a really long time ago, some time in the 14th Century.
As was the case with most humans back then, they weren’t that attractive. Given this, I chose to forgo using a headline image for this article of Ye “Olde Man” and instead I’ve supplemented all of our lives with a picture of the beautiful and wholesome Gary Barlow.
He is more famous in today’s world for crooning about patience anyway.

Why am I asking whether patience really is a virtue? Well I’ll tell you…..
I used to think it wasn’t a virtue and that great things can be achieved with speed.

Recently, I’ve noticed in myself and females that I come into regular contact with; that we as a breed are getting more and more impatient.
Especially when it comes to big decisions.

I spotted signs of the impatience monster in myself recently.

My Husband and I have reached month 7 of anticipated “home improvement” works to our new home. It was supposed to take 6-8 weeks.
When some wall and skirting board ‘fixes’ recently took a step backwards before going forwards, I genuinely thought I may lose the plot!
5 months past the original deadline, I was really fed up of living in a world of mild chaos. Chaos where items of my clothing are strewn who knows where. Long treasured possessions are still in boxes, 10 months after I packed them up. Not only this but we had been lacking a TV situation so had been unable to watch Game of Thrones! Aneurysm alert!
I felt so irked that even if Piers Plowman or Gary Barlow had come to my home to preach or sing at me about that there patience, I may well have bopped them on the nose.
To anyone that knows me and how I used to love GB, you’d understand what a rage I must have been in to talk this way about dear Barlow.
Patience was no virtue in my mind: I’d waited at least 4 months over the original deadlines for home being improved and now wanted the whole house finished….. or I would sell the house to get rid of the house – Take that, patience!

It’s not just me that’s suffered from this ridiculous impatient, knee-jerk reaction to life events. I’ve seen it happen amongst friends.

Credit cards were made for the impatient people we are today. If you can’t wait to save up the old fashioned way for a new dining table, 40 inch flat screen TV or that new car you REALLY need, then just shove it on a bit of plastic.

I’ve witnessed many ladies react to the baby number 2 task. As in other’s around them, or their previous NCT start making their second spawn and it causes those not on the same page, to feel as though they are getting left behind.

I’ve also noted that people in their 30’s, can’t just enjoy the casual merriment of early dating and relationships. It’s as if they have to make a quick decision: Marry, baby or ditch.

So you see, the reason I want to encourage all of us to actually start realising that patience is indeed a virtue, is because impatience can actually cause undue stress and a whole lot of ball-ache.

1. Stress: We all know that stress is the modern day Gout. Every bgger is suffering from it but it’s more life threatening than Gout. It’s as serious as cancer….. as it is the precursor.

2. Tidy up after ill-thought out and rash decisions.
“I didn’t know you and your whole family voted UKIP….. I’m filing for divorce”.

3. Pressure on your relationships.
If you are stressed and suffering the consequences of knee-jerk decisions, then the chances are it will rub off on anyone that you live with or spend a lot of time with. It’s not cool nor fair to put your own stresses on to undeserving others.

So where on God’s earth does this heightened level of impatience come from?
I believe it’s in our new world of dead-lining.
In today’s world, not only do we all expect to get things quickly but we’ve become obsessed with giving things a deadline. We want stuff done now. Well last week in fact.

In the line of work I have been doing for well over a decade, we are totally obsessed with deadlines.
“Can I have 48 hours to get that £1 Million brief back to you”?
Or for anyone who’s studied in further or higher education, life revolves around deadlines.

As a result: every job I have needed to get done on our house, has had a little deadline. Problem being when the ‘little’ deadline comes and goes and I haven’t achieved, I feel stressed;
Partly because I am a perfectionist and partly because I adore making lists and ticking things off. If the job hasn’t been ticked it’s virtually hanging and I can’t rest or focus until it’s gone.

We also compare ourselves to others, way too much in this day in age.
“My friend has moved to the country in a fancy house, is on Baby number 2 – so I should be too”.

I don’t need to tell you why this competitive or friendly observation is detrimental to your mind. You knew this was a bad way to think, the minute you finished reading the sentence! It’s negative and pointless to look at other’s. Their personal and extenuating circumstances are nothing like your own.

So the question I asked myself, to try and stop impatience from sending me into a loony bin was:
Why am I in such a rush anyway?
Does it really matter if my house takes 12 months to emerge from the beige moth it was, into the butterfly vision I had for it? What’s another 4 months in the grand scheme of my life anyway?

Does it matter if you have your first baby or your second baby is at 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 or 40?
I know someone from the NHS will probably scream “helpful” fertility stats at me but I say that doing everything in your own time and without stress, is the best way to do anything.

This quote, I like: “Good things come to those who wait”. Yet, I’d like to add an updated twist.
“Good things come to those who waited patiently and wait to reap the benefits of their hard work”.

If you deserve things because you have worked hard for those things, you will get there in the end. Patience is apparently the ability to keep a good attitude while you are waiting for these things to come good.

If you feel you need to work on your patience, then like me, you may find these tips useful:

* Chose to be patient. How you feel and act is your decision alone; Chose life, chose rational thought.

* If patience and rational thought feel a few steps away, get your running trainers on and go and pound the streets. Preferably somewhere with a nice view. Fresh air, cheesy music and raising your heartbeat, NEVER fails to detox the mind.

* Practice, practice, practice. If you are an impatient person and can’t even stand waiting 30 minutes for your evening meal, then use those 30 minutes to practice the art of patience. Distract yourself: drink water and read a good book or blog. Call your Mum or a friend you’ve been putting off calling.

*Eat for anti-stress. Impatience is stress. Eat well to lower stress-induced cortisol levels in your body.
In times of stress, it’s all to easy to feel you need “comfort food”. Yet the nice, unhealthy comfort food does nothing to help you stay calm.
Instead learn to comfort yourself foods like; asparagus, avocado, cashew nuts, chamomile tea, oatmeal and chocolate.
My new healthy snack recommendation (stolen from a cool colleague of mine) is mushed avocado on wholegrain toast. It sits perfectly with a calming chamomile tea and a couple of squares of green and blacks. Guilt free, stress busting heaven.

* Learn to meditate. Slow mind and body down for God’s sake.

So let’s all implement some of the above?
Let’s channel our inner tortoises….. there really is no need to rush. And tortoises should know, they live to be 100 years or so.
Let’s empower and untangle ourselves from this messy and stress- inducing deadline obsession.
Let’s re-learn to be laid-back. Stick your fingers in your ears, blow a big raspberry, then sing this power ballad with me:

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera

If you have any thoughts on why we’ve all become so nuts, please do share them here.
I’ll be waiting ever so patiently, for your pearls of wisdom.