I’ve written about how I enjoy walking places. I really do like the solitude of it. It gives me time to think or it gives me a time to catch up on podcasts. It’s also my favorite way to explore a city. I get a sense of where things are in person, not just on my phone.
However, that walking is sometimes rooted in stubbornness and impatience. I hate waiting for trains or for busses or in traffic. When if I’d really just wait a few more minutes, it’d save me a lot of time. I did that this past week in Chicago when I was making my way to the north side of the city. I couldn’t figure out where the train station was, so I just kept going about five blocks north to the one I did know. I wasn’t in any rush, but I was sick of carrying my luggage.
I think there’s a difference between walking because you enjoy it and walking as part of your “flight or fight.” I hate that feeling of not moving, so I’ll just set off on my own two feet. Sometimes it works well, like walking home from work, sometimes it just makes me even more stressed out and tired, like in downtown Chicago.
This came into play when Jack and I were waiting for our train. I hate waiting for trains, well I should say that I hate waiting more than five minutes for a train. It makes me ansy and I wonder if it will ever come. When we had waited for more than 15 minutes, I said to him, “This is the time I usually just start walking.” Of course I wasn’t going to do that because we had about eight miles to get to my friends place and it was almost 10 p.m. It came about five minutes later.
Patience is always a thing I have to do better at. I would say my patience for annoying or uncomfortable situations has decreased in recent years. Maybe it’s because our expectation is now that everything is fast and convenient, when it isn’t, we get mad. Or maybe it’s just part of getting older. I think it’s both.
I’ve seen some advertisements on the train for something to do with anti-smoking that says, “Cravings will pass after five minutes.” I don’t smoke, but I think that can be transferred to other things. I’m guessing a lot of uncomfortable or annoying situations will pass after five minutes. It’s kind of like the first season of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” when Kimmy talks about that anyone can survive anything for 10 more seconds. That’s really all life is, just more increments of time inching by. I need not liberate myself from every situation, sometimes I just need to take a breath and let it go by. There is a nice feeling of relief after you make it to the other side of a crappy situation.
Or maybe I should just get a bike.