Imagine you are in a car with others on a long drive, have somewhere to be, and out of nowhere traffic on the highway comes to a stop. What is your first reaction? It may be to curse under your breath (or out loud). It may be to voice your frustration or you may be upset knowing you will be late to your destination.

I had this happen earlier this week. My first reaction definitely was frustration. But then I sat back and thought about what I can control and what I can’t control. It didn’t make sitting in traffic for around an hour stopped or barely moving fun by any means. At the same time it gave way to good conversation, made it easier to change the music and provided some time to think. There is good and bad with all things and I tried to find the good and let go of the frustration.

Patience is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” Being able to do so is a learned talent. We all want what we want now. Learning that isn’t how the world works when you are young is a hard lesson. Aging, and hopefully maturing, doesn’t make it any easier. It also is impacted by the situation, whether you didn’t sleep well last night and a host of other factors.

That is why patience always is a work in progress. I try to exercise patience in situations where it’s needed. Sometimes I do better than others. No matter my reaction, I do look back to try and figure out how I could have reacted better and with a plan (and hope) to do better the next time.