Maxima Enim, Patientia Virtus

There is an oft-recycled quote you’ve no doubt heard. Many have wrongly attributed it to Jesus. Some say Robert Frost first wrote it. Others say Buddha, or maybe it was Oprah? Seems like an Oprah thing to say. But it actually stems from an old Latin phrase, “Maxima denim, patient virtue” or “Patience is the greatest virtue”. Today there is much debate about whether or not patience, is in fact, a virtue. Does it mean good things come to those who wait? I don’t think so. But I do think those of us who can wait for something without getting angry or upset, whether it is a long line at Target or the opportunity for a new job, hold within us a valuable quality. One that not many people have. It is a quality I have admired in many people over the course of my life, and one that I have been trying to get right in my own life. But it is hard.

I’ve had to remind myself over and over again the last few months to be patient.

Be patient. I whisper this to myself as I step off the scale once again to the same number as the week before.

Be patient. My mind says, as I watch another ovulation test go from neutral to negative.

Be patient. I scream at my husband while he sleeps next to me, after another holiday passes and I didn’t get a baby llama as a gift.

Be patient.

We all know the feeling that bubbles up inside of us when we are waiting on something or someone and we reach a point when we just absolutely think we cannot wait for one more second. And then we wait. Because what else can we do?

Sometimes we make rash decisions, clouded by the fear that we will be late, or we will miss an opportunity, or that the llamas will grow up too fast and we will miss the small window of time where they can be trained to spit at people in UNC hats.

Sometimes we make rash decisions when we are upset with ourselves. We have waited too long to go somewhere or make a decision and then we find ourselves in a time crunch and suddenly life seems out of control. We don’t like to feel out of control. We don’t like the chaos that comes with feeling out of control and we don’t like the fact that we have no one to blame but ourselves. So instead we say things like, “I wouldn’t be late if the car in front of me was driving faster!” or “I would have this done already if I weren’t waiting on someone else to bring me the supplies”. Those are excuses. Plain and simple. We know that, but we rely on them on days like that.

And we all have days like that.

Whew. So, what do we do when life throws these days at us? I have no idea, y’all! Why would you think I would have an answer?! I am not therapist! I usually roll down my windows, scream the words to my favorite Tanya Tucker song, and say something like “Come at me, Bro!” to the lady in the drive-thru window to make myself feel better. But maybe that isn’t the best way?

So let’s do this. Let’s all take a look at our lives. Get to know what makes us tick. Learn what pushes us over the edge. Learn better time management. Learn how to get organized, or more sleep, or less sleep depending on how much you sleep. That way we can start to learn how to be more patient with our kids, our spouses, and ourselves.

That way, when Mother’s Day rolls around and you don’t have a llama tied to your bedpost you won’t scream at your husband “This is why I want a DIVORCE!” You will know to just take a deep breathe and say, “I am sure that there is a plan in this universe for my baby llama and me. I will be patient and I will wait.” And you will feel much, much better.


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