When I send off one of my babies--my manuscripts--I check my email or snail mail every day. I recheck the website. I bite my nails. I eat lots of chocolate--well, I eat chocolate anyway, but that doesn't matter. I worry and stew, and then launch a tirade about the lack of respect coming from whoever or whatever is reviewing my manuscript. And, when I still haven't heard by the end of their noted review period, I pretty much cross them off my list. Patient? No way.
Enter my granddaughter. She hates testing with a passion. She'll dwell on the total dislike of it for weeks before the state testing sessions roll around. "It's not fair!" she'll argue, and "When I'm President, I'm telling everyone no more testing for us kids." Yet, on the day it's time, she walks in, sits down, and gets busy. There is no frustration. There is no anger. There is no suffering. She just accepts it, does her best, and then walks out with a smile. When I asked her, "What happened? You were so patient in there. You weren't upset or overly anxious." She simply replied, "Nana, it doesn't matter. I decided to accept it for now--until I can change it!"
Wow! This kid is only 11. Accept it until I can change it. What a revolutionary idea. I may not ever be able to change the publishing industry or how an agent reviews manuscripts, but I can change my behavior and adopt a better attitude--patience. I believe that impatience comes from not really being sure about myself or in my case, my manuscript. The nail-biting is a symptom of that, and so is the need to have others feel the same way I do about my efforts. Well, they may or may not. "Accept it for now--until I can change it." To me, her words mean if I decide to play the agent/publisher game, then I accept their rules. There is nothing to be impatient about. Or as Saint Francis de Sales said, "Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself."
Very wise, granddaughter! Very wise.