It's a cold and blustery day in Ontario. It rained last night and the roads are treacherous. It took a long time to get to work this morning. Usually, as I get more and more frustrated by the poor driving habits of many motorists and bad road conditions generally, I mutter bad words under my breath, sometimes in two languages. Today, I was mostly lost in thought as I waited in traffic, and as I missed yet another opportunity to make a left turn from a long queue of cars all waiting with the same purpose, I heard myself sigh and utter the words: "Meine Zeit."
I don't recall using those German words in an exclamation of resignation and frustration for decades, or perhaps even ever. It was my mother who would sigh those words when she got impatient about something. The words mean 'my time,' and might fall into the same category as 'my goodness,' as an exclamation. Time, in the context of having to wait for dozens of vehicles to make it through an intersection would, of course, be something to exclaim about!
My mother has been gone for over five years now. She and I were much alike, something that didn't always allow a harmonious relationship between us. Although each of us had virtually unlimited patience in the pursuit of life's larger goals, each of us had no patience to speak of in smaller matters. My mother's impatience used to drive me crazy as a child and young man, much as my own now surely tortures my son, Zachary. Poor kid.
I had great respect for my mother, though. She was very bright and in all ways except her impatience was a great role model for her children. I miss her and wish that my son had gotten to know her for longer than the ten or so years he was able to share with her.
Today, the first working day in a new calendar month, is the day on which I buy everyone in our office lunch, to celebrate another successful billing to our customers for the month just passed. I'm waiting now, more patiently than usual, for our lunch orders to arrive.
Did I just say "more patiently?" I must be getting old.