It’s currently 4:34 AM and I am awake. The cat is confused, the world is asleep, and the coffee is brewing. As I write this post, I am digging my pink measuring tape out of my drawer and sketching a diagram. The diagram is my blueprint for how to install a window air conditioner in a horizontal sliding window. We have lived in this humble abode for just over five years, and this is the first summer we have decided to install a third air conditioning unit. (Thank you, global warming.)

After watching a plethora of YouTube videos, reading countless instructables, perusing endless Google search results and fine-tooth-combing the instruction manual; it turns out, this is no small feat. Which brings me to the highlight of this very first blog post: patience. While this exercise of window-air-conditioner-installation has called upon various traits, I think patience is a good one to highlight.

The earliest memory I have of my mother bestowing her wisdom about patience upon me was many, many moons ago. I had to be about seven or eight years of age. I was sitting bare-bottomed on the throne (with the toilet seat down), waiting not-so-patiently for my squealing little sister to get into the bathtub so that she would eventually get out of the bathtub, and it would eventually be my turn to use the bathtub. As I sighed and grumbled, moaned and groaned about how infuriatingly long this was taking, my mother gently (-ish) told me to be patient. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what “be patient” meant at this point.

So what else is there for a bored, bare-bottomed, bewildered babe to do but learn about patience? Being an avid reader, I turned to our beloved collection of books for answers. Buried 215 pages in to one of my favourites, I found A Tale of Patience.

Treasury of Virtues
Courage Love • Honesty

I don’t know where this book came from, who bought it, when or where it was purchased, or how old it is – it’s just always been a part of my life. It’s a cherished copy of a beautiful book, and I think it has a place on everyone’s bookshelf. Seriously.
You need it.
It’s on Amazon.
Make haste!

Sarah Toast, and, of course, Hans Christian Andersen, bestowed great wisdom through these words. And, at the prompting of my dear momma, on that random evening, so many years ago, I felt truly enlightened about what patience is and I’ve carried it with me all these years.

The story itself is beautiful and captivating. As I reached the last word, however, I was puzzled as to how this ugly duckling had any relation to patience, or me waiting for a scrub-a-dub in the tub. All I could really come up with was, “so, I’m an ugly duckling right now, and [insert something about patience], then I’ll go in the tub and become a beautiful swan?” Like, c’mon Mom, I’m not that dirty. Thankfully, this little book has a small educational blurb following each story to help out children like me who take everything literally.

Sometimes it is hard to be patient with others who are different than us.

Jennifer Boudart, Adapter of Treasury of Virtues

That’s true. While difference is a beautiful concept, it can also be annoying. Especially when you’re cold, your sister is still not even in the bathtub, and you’re trying to learn patience. Eventually, through careful thought over many frigid minutes, I connected the dots. I had to “be patient” while waiting for my sister to get in the tub. And, through being patient in that experience, I would learn to transfer patience to other aspects of my life, and beautiful things would happen.

Beautiful things like the cool breeze flowing from a perfectly installed window air conditioner in a horizontal sliding window during a heatwave. That’s right. After all the patience (and coffee) I’ve invested in this project, we have a diagram.

Beautiful, isn’t it.

Over the years, I’ve heard my momma speak those two words a myriad of times. Be patient. While I have yet to truly master the skill of being patient, I can tell you that the moment impatience threatens to spoil my mental state, I hear her voice in my mind, urging me on to that virtue of patience.

My momma is wise, and this is her wisdom.

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