Never Done: Choose patience over aggravation on a deadline night
This has be a short post today, which is fitting to its topic, because it's a topic I shouldn't spend too much time thinking about. There's an ongoing legal drama in my partner's life. It takes a lot of time. Sometimes it takes time late into the night, although that always seems (to me) to be avoidable. Usually when it goes late into the night, I get focused on the ways that it could have been done weeks earlier, planned and executed more ... I'll say it ... sanely. Also, something usually goes wrong with our communication on these stressed-out late nights, and for one reason or another I am left wondering if he'll be home at midnight, or 3 AM, or not at all. And usually when I'm left wondering if he'll be home at midnight, or 3 AM, or not at all, I spend my time being pissed off.
But it was different this time. When he didn't contact me when we had agreed to talk, and I couldn't get through to him either, I decided to do some Mussar reflection on the mide of the week: Patience: Do not aggravate a situation with wasted grief. So instead of spinning into a narrative of, "This is what always happens. Let me count the ways in which it sucks," I decided to pretend this was the first time it had ever happened. What would I assume? How would I react? I assumed that the phone was turned off, or left inadvertently at home. I assumed he was more stressed out than I was. I assumed he'd be fine, get home safe, do what he had to do, and that I should do the same. The question we are asked to answer in these Mussar reflections is: How is it for the other? And that helped too.
So I watched the Virgin Suicides (never done) while doing a bunch of Sunday evening tasks; I got to bed by 11; and I slept alone in the soft bed with the flannel comforter (never done.) He came in at 4 AM, and I woke up, but I didn't wake up, if you know what I mean. And when I fell back to sleep, I dreamed about going through a series of a dozen security turnstiles to get into a Prince concert. If patience leads to Prince, then I'm sticking to the program.