Patience Is Hard

Asters at Colonial Williamsburg
It took me a long time and a lot of experimentation to learn how to take pictures of red flowers that didn’t look weird.

Last Friday’s Six Word Friday used the word “patience”, something I struggle with:

Patience is hard, but I’m trying.

I am not by nature a very patient person.  Our media makes everything look so easy – in 30 minutes, you can learn to cook a gourmet meal!  In 60 minutes a crime can be solved!  Casual sex has no consequences!

But in real life, few things are easy.  Cooking takes a long time and a lot of failures before a person – man or woman, single or married – can reliably turn out a good basic meal, with all the components finishing at the same time.  Crime can be solved quickly, but usually only if the perpetrator was caught in the act.  Otherwise, it takes time and effort to track the events, talk to witnesses, and follow the trail.  And as for casual sex. . . well, it seldom leads to a long-term, serious relationship.  Sex is wonderful, but it’s not an amusement toy.  Relationships take time and effort, and a one-night stand doesn’t do that.

It took me a long time to understand that patience was necessary if I wanted to learn a new skill.  Pretty much any skill takes time to master, from learning to use a computer all those years ago to learning how to use my camera.  Having a good, solid relationship with my husband and daughter happened over the years.  It didn’t and doesn’t happen instantly.  Training a puppy, growing a garden, even growing a blog all take patience.  Sometimes you can shortcut the process, but not usually.

So the next time you’re discouraged about learning something, being proficient, or just being productive personally or professionally, take a deep breath and remind yourself to be patient.  It all takes time and effort to be a person of accomplishment.

That red bee balm in the picture at the top?  It’s hard taking picture with a lot of red or yellow in it and have them look good.  The problem is called “sensor bloom”, where the colors overwhelm the camera sensor, becoming muddy and running together.  With patience, experimentation, and a lot of coaching (from my favorite boy toy and other photographers), I finally figured it out.  They don’t work everytime, but I have a much greater chance of success now than I ever did in the past.

Life Lessons

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

31 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Beautiful photo – great words to live by. Patience, something that needs to be practiced every minute of every day. Thanks for the great reminder of a very valuable life lesson!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. You guys do a lot of the same thing for me, which is why I enjoy reading others blogs. So often, hearing about something (like patience) from someone else just helps.

  2. This is such a great post about patience. There is so much truth and wisdom. I have rarely had the time to focus enough attention on anything long enough to really excel. I live in an instant world. However, I am trying to learn through blogging, both writing and photography. Thank you for the lesson on reds and yellows – that would explain some of the photos I have taken that just didn’t match what my eye saw.

    Your photo is very beautiful! Patience pays off :)

    • I sympathize completely – I also live in an instant world at work. There’s no time for learning curves or mistakes, which makes for a very stressful environment (besides not being realistic). Despite how upper management acts, I keep reminding my employees that everything has a learning curve and they will get faster at whatever they’re working on.

      I gave a response down below on how I’ve been taking reds and yellows. I still have failures, but not as many as I used to have.

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • Shoot in raw, stop down 1/2 or full stop, and don’t do bokah. I find that stepping back and staying away from a macro effect helps a lot. I can always crop it down, but a macro effect will not work.

  4. Patience, we used to focus a lot on this in our martial arts. I still struggle with it. But when I manage to “do” patience, it pays off in how I feel. Just “being” patient makes me feel better.

    • That’s a great example – I saw that with my niece as she went through the black belt program. I think the mental discipline she learned was as good as the physical discipline (as a side note, I also liked that she got used to getting hit. It’s good for young women to have to bounce back up and defend themselves).

      That’s a good point about “being patience” making you feel better. I need to incorporate that when I’m struggling to be patient. Patience is so not me.

      Thanks for clarifying my thoughts!

        • I totally agree with your disclosure. We’re so hard on ourselves and women are much worse about this than men are. One bit of wisdom I try to keep in mind is the admonition that I’d never tolerate a friend (or spouse) who talked to me the way I talk to myself. So lighten it up!

          I wasn’t very patient with my daughter, mostly because she kept pushing the limits. I really thought she’d go to law school and was surprised when she didn’t. It took my husband and I together – both of whom have strong personalities – to keep her in line.

          But my employees at work? Much more patience. Of course, they’re more respectful than she was at that time.

          All my grandchildren have four legs – that will be interesting to see how that works if I ever get any to practice on! Besides, grandchildren and grandparents usually get along well – there’s a common enemy of the generation in-between!


          • What a great lesson! You’re right, I would NOT allow others to say to me some of the things I let run through my head in complaint about what I’ve done or who I think I am. Thank you.

            I can easily relate to the “dealing with” children. Two daughters tried their best to wear me down. Did not happen. ;)

            And that poor sandwiched generation doesn’t get a break do they? ;)

            • The sandwich generation sure doesn’t, but I look forward eagerly to doing it back to my daughter if she ever has children!

              And you’re welcome for the reminder to be gentle with yourself. It’s easier said than done, but watching out for it is the first step to removing it from your internal voice.

  5. I’m not particularly patient person but that has changed over the years. I’ve learned what you have shared – it takes time and effort to learn how to do anything well.

    The vibrancy of the color in the Asters and Bee Balm are gorgeous – well done.

    • I need to pin it on my wall at work and remind myself of it too. It’s really been a hard acquisition for me to be patient. But I keep working on it.

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