Praying for patience

I vividly recall being fourteen-years old, and having this mental image of a clock on my back. I could hear it ticking loudly, a constant alarm in my head that time was running out, that I was always “on the clock.” Sometimes I would picture myself in a room full of clocks, the old-fashioned circular ones, where you can hear the sound of ticking as each second passes by. Hundreds, and hundreds of clocks.

More than ten years later, I still feel this clock on my back. It doesn’t seem to have to do much with getting older, as I had this exact feeling in my youth. And as I continue to age, the feeling does not grow any more intensely, but remains the same.

At times it feels less like a circular clock, and more like an hourglass, other times a ticking time bomb that’s ready to explode any second. While many people take time for granted, I feel the opposite — that I am too painfully aware of what little time we have in this life. I constantly feel like I am moments away from death, that at any moment with the simple blink of an eye, it could all dissolve away, just like that.

It feels like I’m buying my time, like it’s a matter of time before I can no longer afford to keep going. Time, time, time is always on my mind. When will it run out? How much of it do I have left? At what moment will this time bomb explode?

I’m not sure if this feeling is normal or not. To me, it feels like the exact description of anxiety. This is what anxiety is — the constant fear of time. Trying to “beat the clock” which is a fight you will never win, and yet you keep on fighting. It’s constant “panic mode,” like your entire life is the final round of a gameshow — an endless “lightning round” until that buzzer finally goes off and it’s over.

Maybe this is the natural product of being alive. We all have limited time, and nobody knows how short or long that is, we just hope for as long as possible. But I wonder if it’s natural to be so hyper-aware of this on a daily basis or not.

What I know is that patience is so important. If I’m lucky enough to make it these next ten plus years, I’ll look back and wonder why I was in such a rush. There’s a lot of things in life that I wish I waited for, but I jumped into because I thought there might not be another chance. Because every now and then you do find yourself given a chance that never comes around again, and that’s what keeps you on your toes. How are you supposed to know if this chance will come back to you or not? It’s so easy to comfortably look back and say “I should waited for that, I should’ve had more patience” — and so difficult to look back and say “that was my one chance, and I missed it.” It’s nearly impossible to determine the difference between “having patience” and “taking it for granted.”

But ultimately, I think I would rather miss out on something because I had the faith that the future would bring me something so much better. And if that better thing never comes along, at least I’ll know I acted in faith instead of fear. So I pray for patience.

16 thoughts on “Praying for patience

  1. I am trying to figure out what kind of clock you are dealing with…. there are a couple types that come to mind:

    Theory A. Could it be the biological clock that you are hearing? The other day, a friend told me that her biological clock is ticking away and she’s feeling impatient. She’s never dated and she’s 30. I wonder if your clock is like that?

    Theory B. If anything, the more I try to make something happen the more it doesn’t happen. Practicing patience is so important these days. Also, I had to step away from social media. It’s impossible for me to keep up to everyone else and I always felt inadequate. I felt like everyone else was out there doing stuff and enjoying their lives. Back then I was in school and felt confined. Ironically, the same homework I hated studying before became easier with discipline once I ditched social media. I even made [some] progress which I can see clearly now whereas I couldn’t see it before. Is your clock like that? If so, the comparison game could be tinkering with your clock/hourglass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for those thought-out theories!!!

      A) Biological — I feel to a certain degree, however I don’t think it’s relevant to aging, considering I had these exact feelings as a young teen when I was too young to marry/have kids anyway. Then again, I did just hit puberty around 13/14 years old, so maybe it does have something to do with my maternal clock…? Long ago young teens were marrying and becoming mothers because technically your body can do that. So yeah, it could very well be my maternal clock, maybe this feeling will finally subside after menopause… hahaha.

      B) Social media definitely messes with our heads and causes more anxiety! Comparison is so unhealthy, something humans have been doing long before the age of internet, but social media seems to make it like 1000x worse!!! I have felt so much relief since deleting my Facebook a few years ago. With instagram, I go back and forth, I try to only use it when I’m in a positive mindset and I try not to make a habit out of it, like checking every single morning.

      It’s a strange feeling to describe. I hope this doesn’t sound too dark but I’ve always felt very close to death as if it was always waiting for me right around the corner. Some people get depressed about birthdays and aging, but I find myself surprised and proud I made it this far with each passing year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Think about how much effort the “internet famous” expend on trying to convince strangers how fantastic their lives are. Those people are not enjoying life’s little moments, they are consumed with performing on their sad stages called Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Indeed, the human brain did not evolve to handle the attention-obliterating overload of social media nonsense, which is one reason

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my gosh, you said it!!! PREACH! I could go on a whole vent about how fake people are on social media, mainly the famous influencers. This is totally why anxiety has spiked in mankind, it’s completely unnatural to live this way. The happiest moments of my life had me thinking “this is impossible to capture on social media.” Living in the moment is key. 🔑

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  2. “I like what a father said to his son when he give him a watch that had been handed down through generations. He said “I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire, which will fit your individual needs no better than it did mine or my father’s before me, I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it for a moment now and then and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.”

    That’s Jeffrey DeMunn’s character paraphrasing William Faulkner in the first season of The Walking Dead, when it was written by Frank Darabont and was a good show. (After AMC fired him and brought in a new show runner, it was all downhill from there.)

    And to quote another favorite character

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Accidentally published that before I was done.

      Anyway, to paraphrase another favorite character from another show: “This is not a unique realization. Almost everyone has it at some point. The question is: What are you going to do with it?”

      And the point of both is that death and mortality is an immutable fact, so we shouldn’t expend mental or emotional energy worrying about it because that distracts us from life.

      Easier said than done, I know, but a crucial step to happiness nonetheless. Part of the problem is that our society shuns the old instead of learning from them, because we don’t like to think about our own mortality, and because an irrational part of us refuses to believe we will reach that point, and much quicker, subjectively, than we can imagine.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that one too! Makes me feel less alone.

        Yes, modern society tries to avoid the topic of death at all costs, as you see the rich using plastic surgery and even the poor using so-called age defiant cosmetics to pretend you can run from death. But it can find you at any age. People really do take time for granted. And then look at ancient Egypt, a society that dedicated their entire lives to planning their death and afterlife. If only we could find a balance…

        I agree that a healthy awareness of time is important, but not to the point where it distracts you from truly living.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. WOW! That absolutely sums it up! Being so highly aware of time ends up wasting time, trying to conquer it. To forget time is freedom to actually make use of it. That is an exceptional quote.

      And ooohhh, interesting factoid! I’ve actually only seen the first season and lost interest after that. Now I see why!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found the clip if you’d like to watch it. DeMunn’s acting makes it even better. It’s such a human thing, which is why we can all relate. Notice how our feline overlords have no such worries! I envy them sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, that is a powerful image for the way time seems to dominate our lives, especially the sense that we don’t have enough of it. I also remember feeling I didn’t have enough time even as a teenager. I actually wasted a lot of the time I did have bemoaning my “misspent youth,” wishing I had used my childhood time to learn another language, develop more skills, etc. Which, honestly, probably would have made my childhood less fun to look back on. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know that the feeling is relatable! And thank you!!! It makes me think of the very high expectations some of us set ourselves up for, trying to accomplish so much in a limited amount of time. But we should be happy that we survived and simply made it this far 😊💚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think we do all feel the same way, we always have this feeling of being late for what we are supposed to be doing and we are not doing it.
    Taking time and being patience is sometimes really needed, hope we can get there:)

    Liked by 1 person

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