Good things come to those who wait.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
Patience is passion tamed.
Patience is a virtue. Until it isn't.
When waiting for good things to come becomes a crutch, something you lean on as a comfortable excuse to avoid getting up, getting out, and seeking something better - that's a problem. Waiting patiently is sometimes necessary, and yes, can be good; just waiting around will cripple you.
Any virtue can become a vice when taken to the extreme. All of our best qualities are only good things "until and unless" they become too much of a good thing. Kindness is a virtue, unless it makes you let everyone walk right over you. Loyalty is priceless, until you allow it to chain you to someone unworthy of your steadfast investment in them. Intelligence is wonderful unless it smothers emotion, and emotion is wonderful until it overwhelms all reason.
You get the idea.
This week, patience is what I'm struggling to overcome. Because I do tend to be patient, practical, reasonable, rational. And I'm beginning to fear that can lead to stagnation, stifling, lost chances, crippled creativity. I don't think I've been, erm, dangerously patient ... yet. But just like deciding to watch your diet before you have a heart attack, I need to start watching my patience and make sure it's not giving me insidious license to hunker down in a rut.
So this is a note to myself, and to anyone else who might need a similar virtue/vice check, particularly my fellow artists: don't give up your virtues, but don't let them become vices.
Becomes there comes a time when you absolutely must run out of patience, take your tamed passion and let it run wild once more. Take all those ancient axioms about the ultimate triumph of slow and steady, toss them out the window, and try some brassy tenacity instead. Because even if you love the comforting truth of well-worn cliches, there are plenty of proactive platitudes you can cling to as you move past patience: carpe diem; time waits for no (wo)man; or, in the words of the great teacher, Hillel:
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?
PS I revised and updated this 8 hours after posting it. Clearly, perfectionism is another is-until-it-isn't virtue...