Patience: one of the virtues we learned about every year during our elementary school Character Always assemblies. It is a virtue I wish I had paid more attention to in those days. I’ve been told a few times lately that I am a very patient person, but if you were to talk to my parents and sister they would probably beg to differ. During my younger years I was not very good at being patient, especially when my sister was involved. Perhaps if I had known how much patience I would need as an adult, I would’ve paid more attention to the examples given during the Character Always assemblies and started practicing using it a lot sooner! Patience is needed in so many aspects of our lives, especially these days! For years my mother told me that if I would just ignore all the things my sister did that bothered me, she eventually would stop doing them. I was not very successful at this strategy. Ignoring her took patience, which I had very little of at the time.

Other places we must exercise patience is in our workplaces. Finding ways to cooperate with co-workers isn’t always easy. Four-legged, black and white, hairy co-workers are no different. I began to learn the importance of patience more thoroughly when I started milking cows full time. Working with more than 100 animals made it extremely important for me to remain patient; otherwise, our workplace environment would be extremely stressful. A calm environment in the barn benefits everyone involved. Working so closely with animals for so many years has allowed me to develop skills which help in all aspects of my life.

Becoming a mother has challenged my patience even more so than my time spent working with cows. I’ve had to learn to take many more deep breaths during the day and learn how to remain calm even when disciplining is needed. Tiny humans are very good at testing our limits, especially as they near their terrible twos. Every day my son and I learn something new about each other and our limits of patience. We have grown together over the last two years, learning how to cope with each other’s differences and frustrations.

And because one toddler running around the house isn’t enough, I also babysit a friend’s one year old. It has taken time for all three of us to adjust to new routines. Lots of deep breathing and keeping a calm persona is needed, even though two upset toddlers can make a woman’s blood boil. Luckily my experience from working in the barn as well as my experience as an Educational Assistant has taught me different coping strategies and the importance of keeping a calm demeanor when dealing with behaviours.

The heaviest weight and struggles we all face are connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. The constant rule changing, lockdowns and fear has led to many frustrations and impatience. In order to continue to cope and get through this ever-changing world we must be patient and pray that someday we will be able to hug our loved ones again, enjoy community events and sports and other social gatherings. Most important, we must wait for a time where we can feel like we can live free and safely again.