I Have a Splinter in My Foot, or, Musings on Patience

I Have a Splinter in My Foot, or, Musings on Patience

This summer, my patience was tested by a number of circumstances. I can withstand children melting down, applying to job after job, and long waits before exciting things happen.

But apparently one of the limitations of my patience is the splinter in my foot.

So about a week ago, I got this splinter. I’m pretty sure it’s metal – we were taking apart and cleaning my outdoor sconces not long before I stepped on it (while sitting at the dining room table! COME ON!). When I initially tried to pull it out, it broke off.

It hurts.

I tried to get it out – with a sewing pin and tweezers and a baking soda paste. My husband tried to get it out, adding pointier tweezers to the mix. My mother-in-law, bless her, tried to get it out (she was in town, and why not ask for a little surgery?), soaking it for 20 min and then applying her gifts with all of the above. Then they tagteamed it. It went straight in, and every attempt to get it out was pushing it deeper into my heel. They decided that, in order to get it out, we’d need to excavate the area . No thank you.

Well it’s still in there. It’s closer to the surface of my skin – my heels are SUPER thick, so it’s taking a while. But I am weirdly obsessed with it. I’ve even had multiple dreams about it.

This reminded me that it’s easy for me to pat myself on the back for virtue that comes easily to me. Here I was thinking I had developed this incredible patience, when really, those instances of patience were not as hard for me personally to deal with. I was less uncomfortable having to be patient in those circumstances than I am in this one.

While this impatience does make sense psychologically – after years of chronic pain and illness, of course I would be more sensitive to physical pain, however stupid – it’s also a humbling reminder that I’ve not “mastered” patience. I mean, duh, but also, oh.

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