This summer, I've had a marvelous opportunity to work for a professor at my university creating teaching and learning resources for both beginning Latin and Greek. (I know, this may not sound like a marvelous opportunity, conjugating verbs and declining noun forms, but I assure you, it was a blessing in more ways than one.)
From this job, I've been able to work from home, spending time with the girlies, eating whenever I want, and saving trips up to school. Some of the work has been tedious, but overall, the experience has been helpful in reinforcing my understanding of vocabulary and forms as well as my dedication and self-restraint while working at home.
Last week, at nearly the conclusion of the project, my professor was informed that "due to a misunderstanding," (not on his part) I would be required to complete additional paperwork prior to receiving my pay (from a grant from the university). This, in and of itself, is not [that] frustrating. I usually think of paperwork as a necessary evil--an aid in organization, efficiency, and structure. This, however, was not a form; it was a series of seven additional documents (some of which were upwards of five pages...totaling almost 25), all of which were to be completed as soon as possible--preferably the day before I received notification.
As with so many necessary evils, this inconvenience (read: delay of payment due to a perfectly preventable lack of organization) could have been a [tremendously?] frustrating experience. It had the potential to ruin my afternoon, throw off my schedule, and disrupt my summer fun.
When speaking with my professor regarding the additional required documentation, as he apologized for yet another unexpected glitch in the procedures and paperwork surrounding this project, I instead responded with something surprising to him: "This is an excellent lesson in paperwork and patience."
After hearing myself say it aloud, and hearing his voice calm in response, "That is an excellent way to view this situation," he said.
I have been working on patience, tolerance, understanding, and mindfulness for hours/ days/ months/ years. The payoff arrived in the realization that a positive conclusion and the search for a lesson, instead of a complaint, came naturally.
This is not to say that this is how I always react to frustrating news/ requirements/ people/ situations, but I am excited to learn that I am making progress towards my goal of going with the flow and taking my life as it comes. Since leaving my career (teaching high school English), I've found myself with patience to spare. When teaching, I maxed myself out with stress, anxiety, and disappointment after disappointment. I definitely had joy and happiness, but often I'd allow the stress to overshadow the positive aspects of my day. Now that I've made the decision to leave teaching public high school, I've been able to develop my everyday patience and most importantly, significantly decrease undue stress.
This is not the first time I've had an unexpected amount of [unnecessary] paperwork to complete, nor will it be the last, but I've determined paperwork and patience can, indeed, go hand-in-hand, if one decides to view paperwork as a lesson, instead of simply an inconvenience.
What are some aspects of everyday life you've been able to see in a positive way? What are some you hope to see more positively in the future?