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Sharing Patience: You Can Have Some of Mine

Watching a recent Jeopardy! Game with my partner when I properly answered the highest and second highest valued clue in a category about theatre or musicals or something of the like. Oh this is my category! I said as they called the middle clue—The main character con man from The Music Man—and all I could say was an immediate explicative.

This produced laughter as I leaned forward and paused the laptop. No, I know this. I love The Music Man!!! They have a whole song about trombones!!! Why am I blanking?!

I flopped back, dejected. I don’t have it. I’m about to be so mad in 10 seconds, though. I leaned forward to unpause and listened as Ken Jennings finished reading the clue. Too bad I don’t have the patience for this.

My partner leaned forward and paused it once more. Well hey wait, why don’t you borrow some of mine?

I was, of course, immediately winded by the feeling of being completely and wholly in love. In response to “I don’t have patience” and without missing a beat, he responded, “why don’t you borrow some of mine?”

And in my logic and fact-based brain that had been rapid fire singing through every song on The Music Man’s soundtrack, I had to remind myself that this wasn’t as tangible as someone splitting a piece of pizza with you. He couldn’t actually hand me his patience. And still in that moment I felt so sincerely seen and recognized for who I was.

And I love that it could feel that simple… love that it felt so real and obvious. Give me a little of your time and I’ll give you a lifetime of patience. Let me borrow your confidence when I need it. Here, I have a little extra kindness to share today.

Perhaps this is another nice relationship thing I’m uncovering. That we both get each other’s best qualities to share.

Don’t get me wrong. I was still super mad when—after giving it approximately 4 more seconds (look the patience thing takes time to develop), singing several songs, and insisting that we need to go see it on stage—I was still blanking on PROFESSOR HAROLD HILL!!!! And don’t get it twisted, I still swept the rest of the category.

But there’s a second thing I realized long after the show ended and the winner was announced. I had someone who was willing to give me a chance. Even as I said I didn’t have it. Even as I was willing to give up. And yes, it may seem a stretch to compare a round of a trivia show to an approach to life, but I can’t help but think about how having that kind of patience, support, and pure belief—even if I don’t always get it right in the end—has to be the most healing thing.

We should all be so lucky to feel this kind of support. To borrow patience from those we love. To know that we have time to come up with the correct answer.


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