Waiting Patiently For Patience
If you were born any time after 1970, you probably remember the energy crisis of 1979.
The revolution in Iran had curtailed oil production. In retrospect the decline in oil production was quite small, but no one seemed to know that then. The crisis was not due to a true oil shortage, but the Fear of an oil shortage. As often the case in history, fear creates overreaction, and overreaction creates panic.
Gasoline prices went up. Deliveries to the local gas stations were rationed. People panicked, and the whole situation got a lot worse.
We waited in long, long lines at the station. Often we wasted gas waiting for gas. A trip to the pump often meant hours away from home. Kids in the back seat fell asleep. Or worse, they had to go to the bathroom and you risked losing your place in line.
There were some displays of anger and frustration. But for the most part, people were patient. (except for the cutting in line part – you did NOT do that.) There was a kind of camaraderie at the pumps – a feeling we were all in this together.
I remember the ’79 Gas Crisis as I was thinking about Patience this week.
I have spent a lot of time in the past several weeks thinking about Patience.
Because we now have a dog.
Theo has just turned five months old. He’s the cutest dog in the whole world. I state this as a simple objective fact. Why just the other day when we were returning from Puppy Kindergarten, I said to my husband, “Theo is much cuter than than that other dog, Luca.” And my husband said, “Yes, he is.” So there.
But as adorable as he is, Theo is not yet what anyone would call a good boy. He pulls at the leash, gnaws on the rug, turns over his water bowl, whines at dinnertime, and eats the cats’ food (and occasionally their poop).
But we’re working on it.
That’s where Patience comes in.
Per our trainer, I need to better ignore the bad behavior and reward the good. But it is so hard to ignore a little boy who is tearing up the mail.
And thinking of the energy crisis and the gas lines, I couldn’t help but wish that Patience was a little more like gasoline:
1. During a Patience emergency, it would be so nice if someone would say, “Hey, I have a little extra. I’ll siphon some off for you.”
2. When you have half a tank of gas, your car will still run at 100%. If your Patience is half-depleted, you lose more than 50% your ability to count to ten.
3. During the energy crisis, if you happened by a gas station with a short line (or by some miracle, no line at all) – you stopped whether you needed gas or not. You took advantage of the opportunity to add just a little more to your tank. Likewise, you should be able to avail yourself of the opportunity to store up a reserve of Patience. A Patience Top-Off.
4. A Patience gauge would be nice. A little indicator that comes on when you are almost empty.There is no warning light for Patience. We need a red flashing sign:
“For your safety and the safety of your loved ones,
please step away from the dog.
Just take a nap.
Both of you.”