“C’mon Bella!!!”

Well, it was something like that.

I did say those words and may have sneaked in a few more spicy ones as I went to wash my hands of the red, sticky liquid medicine that was now all over me.

Bella – whom you might remember eclipsed the great Captain Jack for escapes last week – had minor eye surgery. She was adorned with the famous “cone of shame,” and required regularly scheduled doses of Gabapentin to help with the pain from the surgery.

For those of you who have had to give similar treatments to your pets, you can visualize the plastic syringe-like vessel that you squeeze the medicine through “seamlessly” into the mouth. With Captain Jack, I’d just wrestle with him to get his mouth closed, insert the syringe in the side of the mouth and through his teeth and let her rip. He hated it, but it was pretty simple.

Bella only has two teeth left. Unlike with Jack, there was no real concern for being bitten. However, Bella had a different ninja move. She wouldn’t allow me to close her mouth, rather she would extend her jaws as wide-open as possible, in attempt to say, “you ain’t closing my mouth, Buster!”

As my patience waned, I thought I’d show her and literally plunge the fluid into her gaping mouth and that would do it.

SQUIRT

As the medicine went flying into her mouth, Bella somehow managed to turn her throat into the equivalent of the famous NBA shot blocker, Dikembe Mutumbo. It’s as if she was wagging her finger at me saying, “no, no, no!”

Like a blocked shot, the medicine repelled back spraying my hands and legs. I don’t know, maybe she got three drops in her mouth. She fled the scene quickly, not waiting for me to reload. You could say my chili was pretty hot. My impatience had turned to anger.

This scene has played out in some form or fashion every 12 hours over the past few days. My impatience has not only gotten worse, it starts ramping up about 15 minutes before I know it’s time! Heck, I was getting angry before even giving it to her.

I confess that impatience is one of those growth areas for me. It has been that way all my life. Impatience has been a negative factor in all aspects of my living – you name it – business, relationships, coaching, athletics, and as you can see, dog ownership.

As I’ve traversed the Back 9 of my life, I’ve become more aware of it. I’ve set some metrics around preventing and dealing from impatience. I want to avoid unwanted anger and even occasionally poor behavior around my family. Some of those tactics include slowing down my activity, deep breathing, closing my eyes for focus, walking away from a situation, and even just talking out loud to myself, in an effort to change my mindset.

I’ve improved, but as with all of us, a situation will pop up that puts us to the test. For me, it was Bella.

Two key points to this missive…

First, personal and professional growth isn’t linear. The curve up to improvement will be littered with failures. The key is to not allow those dips to be too deep or last too long. You must keep the trajectory upward over time by allowing yourself the grace – and patience – to make mistakes.

Second, my guess is impatience may not be limited to me. Many of you might also point to it as an area to improve upon. While age and perspective have helped, patience does require self-awareness and discipline. If you’re like me, you feel it building. That’s the moment to implement your own ninja-like Bella rejection, and throw it back where it came from.

Impatience is created by us. It’s not an obstacle outside of our control. It’s a matter of battling our own perfectionism and hubris. By slowing down our minds and focusing on the task at hand – and sometimes that means simply letting go of an outcome – then we will be in a much better position to enjoy our journey on the Back 9.

Keep chasing unleashed.

Quote of the Week:

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”

~ Joyce Meyer, 20th century American author

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