Earlier in this blog I talked about the rock-polisher effect of cohousing, and how it had helped me become a better person, by making me more patient. Well, to be honest, saying it's made me more patient is somewhat of an exaggeration. In fact, I think a truer representation would be to say it's made me a bit more patient, or even a teensy bit more patient.
You see, patience doesn't come easily to me. First off, I've spent most of my life working in media, so deadlines are of critical importance to me. Second, I am what you could call a hot reactor - in fact, my father dubbed me "the atomic-powered mosquito" when I was a child.
I really do try to sit still and listen during our community meetings as we go through the consensus process, and I have been to communication workshops where once again, I am told the importance of listening.
But I don't know what happens - I hear something and before I know it, I am responding without the frontal lobes of my brain even realizing it. And watching me try to sit still and listen when someone says something I disagree with is interesting. Our next-door neighbour, Ian Gartshore, who has witnessed this during Green Party meetings, says it's like seeing the human equivalent of a cell-phone on vibrate.
At least now I don't catapult myself out of my chair, and I have been known to wait at least a few minutes before I express my point of view rather energetically, and it takes only a few attempts by other people in the meeting to get me to stop interrupting.
Maybe when I'm older (I'm now of pensionable age) I'll master this. In the meantime, this rock still needs some patient polishing.
(Here I am a meeting - the second from the right - being patient.)