Peak Patience

Posted: February 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I haven’t really used this term before, but for the purposes of tonight’s rumination, I’m thinking of “peak patience” the way we think of “peak oil“. It doesn’t represent the absolute end of the resource, but it does mean that after this point all new allotments will be smaller and harder to find. In classic terms, maybe its when you’ve “had it up to here” with something, but apply that to the summation of all activities and responsibilities for the day.

I think that for the most part I am a much calmer individual than I used to be.  I’m not certain if other people perceive me as calm or fiery; suppose it depends on who’s around me at a given time. At work I used to thrive on stress, I’d be the guy who could accomplish any goal or endure any busy spell, but then I’d have trouble winding-down afterwards. Nowadays I rein in the fiery speeches for times when they are absolutely necessary, and look to accomplish as much or more through negotiation and mediation. In my personal life, though, I’m pretty sure that I’m more even-keeled and patient than is required for most situations.

That’s why it’s surprising to me when I can feel the stress levels rising, and I know that eventually there is going to be a straw that breaks the camel’s back. As my stress rises, my vocal filtration diminishes and my mind goes into triage mode.  In order to de-stress, I retire some of my ability to compartmentalize, and instead just aim to check things off my list in the most efficient manner possible.  This is probably not a welcome change for those around me, as I’m sure that it’s tiring enough being around me on a normal day, much less a day when any time spent together represents either an effort or an escape on my part.

And that, folks, is where I find myself tonight. Tons of things done or to-do today, and my mind reached peak patiences some time hours ago.

I’ve always had spells where I just felt like being anti-social.  Maybe that comes from being an only child until I was 5, or being more of a nerd/bookworm and able to deal just fine on my own for large swaths of time. Regardless, I feel like this isn’t the same old anti-social behavior, though maybe it’s the same cause expressed in a different symptom.

It’s been my experience since starting back at university that my stress levels start to rise around exams, as one would expect, and that these times have not always been the easiest to navigate in conjunction with my other commitments. The list of stressors I had today were by no means awful, and were I reading this on someone else’s blog, I’d probably be thinking “that dude really ought to suck it up”.

  • Carry-over oral pain from yesterday’s dental procedures
  • Calculus Midterm in Tempe
  • Economics exam in Downtown Phoenix
  • Literally zero time between exams meaning I had to wrap one up early in order to get to the second one
  • Cross-town commute instead of usual train ride erased any study time en-route
  • Working-from-home to keep dog from being locked up for 11 hours while we’re at work today
  • Crazy levels of micro-management, and all the over-communication that comes with that
  • Having to deal with line above via IM, email and phone calls because of working from home
  • Trying this VeggieFeb thing and not making the best choices because Meal Prep Time vs Study Time vs Mentally Unwind before I Blow a Socket Time
  • Said dietary change not jiving with my body in the best way possible
  • STILL having work I have to get done tonight because someone wants to talk about (ie: butcher) it in a meeting tomorrow.

As I said, the list isn’t awful, but it’s still a lot to deal with/process in a few hours. This combo resulted in me reallocating resources, and at a certain point my mind decided that interpersonal relationships is an area we can depreciate until things calm down.

This is not cool of me, I know that. I know that society expects you to maintain your relationships and find a way to communicate, but if I’m being honest, when I have a lot to accomplish, my first reaction is not to look for allies, it’s to remove person-to-person obligations so that nobody else can pass judgement on my time/resource allocation.  When I’m making value-based decisions, the last thing I want to do is justify them, because oddly the idea of having that conversation is more stressful and disruptive than the action would be.

And that’s when the door opens up to arguments that aren’t really about what you’re arguing about…

This post doesn’t really have a conclusion, just a termination point. Sorry for the rant, but maybe someday this post will offer solace to someone experiencing something similar and make them feel like less of a villain.

Photograph of Her Secret Is Patience in downto...

Her Secret Is Patience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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One Comment on “Peak Patience”

  1. 1 RyanGPhx said at 10:39 pm on February 4th, 2014:

    Peak Patience