“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tsu.

Patience may be defined as the ability to accept delays without becoming annoyed, and remaining calm. It may help us to persevere with something when we experience difficulties, to continue without complaining.

I have noticed that patient people tend to be calmer and more relaxed. They may arrive somewhere a few minutes later than someone who raced to be on time, however they tend to arrive in a calmer state of mind. Perhaps these people may be present more quickly once they do arrive, whereas the person who arrived on time after rushing might take a while to calm down?

When we are patient, we tend to be able to problem solve in a calmer and more methodical manner. We may take our time to think of different solutions to problems or challenges we face. As they say, ‘patience is a virtue’.

Some of the following ideas might help to teach patience. Choose one to try together.

  • Play a board or card game with the family.
  • Sit in the lounge and read together.
  • After dinner, see how long you can sit still in silence without communicating with anyone. The person who lasts the longest is the winner.
  • Have a discussion with the family in silence by writing down what you want to say. You can only use one piece of paper and one pencil.
  • Everyone draws a crazy scribble on a blank piece of paper. Pass it to someone else and have them carefully colour in each part of the scribble.
  • Get an egg and see how long it takes you to balance it on the table standing on its end.
  • Build a house of cards. How high can you build it?
  • Sit around together and quietly start to breathe deeply together. Close your eyes and notice your breathing. As you begin to relax, see if you can breathe more deeply. See how long you can continue to breathe deeply with your eyes closed. What did you notice?
  • Get a texta and scribble onto a blank piece of paper then colour each enclosed space with a coloured pencil.
  • Talk about all the things where patience is an absolute must. Are there any situations where you find yourself becoming impatient?

I love to build things using recycled materials. I’ve made a gate from a recycled roof structure, screen fences from old hardwood fence palings, a stand-up table with a hardwood top and Monty and I made a kennel for our dog, Rufus, using left-over plywood from our house renovation. Quite often, I’ll have a design in mind then I’ll sketch out the plans before starting construction. I will head off to the hardware store and purchase the timber for the frame. When home, I’ll cut up the timber and put it all together. The next step is to find the recycled timber. More often than not, I won’t have any recycled hardwood yet. So, when cycling to work, I’ll start to ride, taking different routes. It may take a little longer for the commute, but I’ll start to look out for unwanted hardwood. This will often take a few weeks trying to source the best materials to complete the project. I won’t compromise and use an old fence that was made of treated pine. I keep searching for the right timber to complete the project. So far, my patience has paid off and each job has the particular worn and loved look I’ve been after.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Leo Tolstoy.

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