My husband Mark, my stepson Brandon, and my son Willy are gamers. They love playing video games and they love talking about them. It’s been years since I really got into video games; the last time I invested any serious time in a video game was around when Alex was born. This is not a coincidence. Yet, despite the distance, I still remember the lingo. One term common to many of the games Mark plays is the idea of “leveling up,” which means you’ve gained enough experience points to increase the effectiveness of a skill or an attribute.
One attribute I have in short supply is patience. I tend to be fairly patient with the boys—I can calmly soothe and reassure my children, providing appropriate sensory input until the not-so-little tyke is ready to face whatever caused the distress. It’s every other form of patience that I struggle with.
Simply put, I don’t like waiting. I feel like I wait far too often. I wait for the reports on my book sales. I wait for clients. I wait in lines. I wait for appointments. I wait for my hard work to pay off. I wait for the world to appreciate all my kids have to offer. And I get very tired of waiting very quickly.
Lately, I’ve done so much waiting—sometimes waiting patiently, but often waiting impatiently—that I feel as if I have leveled up. It’s just a tad bit easier to be patient, at least on a small scale. It’s easier not to fall apart because I’ve been left to wait.
The irony is that I resent this increase in patience. After all, the only way to get better at being patient is to be made to wait despite oneself. At least, that’s how I feel about it. Nonetheless, I’ve done enough waiting that it’s getting a little easier.
This means it’s definitely time to stop waiting! I’ve leveled up. Now it’s time to work on something else, please and thank you.