Samuel Johnson once said:
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. – The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, 1759
I never thought I was a very patient person. I never meandered. I hated waiting in a queue. I hated window shopping. Abhorring lateness, I was always ultra early for almost every event – work conferences, medical appointments, plane takeoffs – even getting together with friends. If something prevented my early arrival – such as traffic, an accident etc I would break out into a cold sweat. Phone calls, requests for information etc were answered quickly and when in reverse it would be totally frustrating not to get the same promptness from others.
When my daughter was little I was continually nagging (sadly this is the right word) at her to hurry up for school or dance class and she knew there was a 15 minute limit to shopping in a mall.
I also hated clutter.
I suppose I could explain this due to a need for control – but that could just as easily be done by consistently being late, although that might have other unfortunate repercussions or being messy.
Type A personality? I don’t think so based on this definition from Wikipedia (do-not-apply in red):
The theory describes Type A individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics“, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.
In his 1996 book dealing with extreme Type A behavior, Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and Treatment, Friedman suggests that dangerous Type A behavior is expressed through three major symptoms: (1) free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; (2) time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation usually described as being “short-fused”; and (3) a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality. The first of these symptoms is believed to be covert and therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt. 
The theory describes Type B individuals as a contrast to those of Type A. Type B personality, by definition, are noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve. When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts, and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing. Unlike the Type A personality’s rhythm of multi-tasked careers, Type B individuals are sometimes attracted to careers of creativity: writer, counselor, therapist, actor or actress. However, network and computer systems managers, professors, and judges are more likely to be Type B individuals as well. Their personal character may enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, and think of the “outer and inner world”.
Definitely closer to the typical Type B although I admit to a number of Type A attributes (anxiety, stress, impatience , sensitivity).
I have noticed, however a major softening in some of these characteristics since I have retired. Now I haven’t slowed down; ironically I feel more busy now than while I was working. I use to read voraciously – a book in a sitting in addition to reading daily newspapers, trade journals and the like. Now although I do still read newspapers/magazines daily, some on the internet, some still hardcopy, I have only read a handful of books in the last few years.
There is an easy explanation for this. I can now devote my energies to those interests that I could not entertain while in a very time-consuming career in addition to raising my daughter. Those passions? No surprise to my readers: travel and photography.
As far as travel is concerned I still exhibit many of those traits from before. I still need to book early and get to the airport with plenty of time before takeoff. I have signed up for TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry which puts me on an express security line checking in and boarding, and also allows me to bypass customs when coming back from an international trip. My dear friends recognize this compulsion and let me do all the planning and arrangements – it is actually a win-win for all parties.
But a magical transformation has taken place in terms of my photographic efforts. One cannot capture those once in a lifetime “moneyshot” moments if one is in a hurry. Whether my subjects are stationary: architecture, landscapes, plant and flowers, sunscapes, moonscapes – or active: birds, butterflies, mammals, lizards, bees (!) etc I have learned patience. Any learning this lesson well I have been rewarded.
I have shared many photos with you but what you haven’t seen are the discards. For every shot that I love there are countless those who didn’t make the cut. This could have caused frustration in my former guise, but the new me is just challenged to continue to get that one magical moment. Let me share a few of those now.
I suppose the best thing to do is not worry about why – just do – and I am!
3 thoughts on “IS IT PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, OBSESSION…OR JUST STUBBORNESS?”
Gorgeous photos. I love them all.
Cindy, your pictures moved me. I am in awe of your nature photos especially. Rock on! I’ll be on the east coast soon enough.
Thanks so much Charlie – and hope to see you soon!