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Practicing patience Carlos R. Davalos | Sat, Jan 29 2011 12:00 PM

Only four weeks into the new year and already there are a few people I need to thank for helping me keep a New Year's resolution I didn't even realize I had made-developing patience.

Thank you, to the disembodied head that seemed to be floating over the steering wheel of a Chevy Impala.

Your uninterrupted use of the left turn blinker as we made our way down a busy street at dusk not only gave me the opportunity to practice deep breathing exercises while avoiding hyperventilation, it also tested my reflexes when, after five long blocks, you finally decided to make a left turn at the exact time that I did. Your sudden move into my lane forced me to stomp on my brakes, allowing me the pleasure of experiencing relief, rage and disbelief all comingle warmly in my stomach, chest and temples.

Also, please express my gratitude to your cousin Blinky who frequently seems to be on the highway at the same time I am.

Blinky's deft use of the right blinker keeps everyone behind him wondering which off ramp he'll eventually use.

Without the two of you, my life would be predictable and boring.

Mahalo to the adventurous shopper in front of me at the check out line at the grocery store.

When the cashier starts scanning your groceries and you suddenly remember you forgot something and you rush from the line, I appreciate that your disappearance adds an element of suspense to my otherwise mundane attempt at buying a baguette and cheese.

With what will she return? What could possibly be so important that she can't finish her transaction and make a return trip to the aisles of groceries and goodies?

Admittedly I'm slightly underwhelmed when you come back with a 12-pack of diet strawberry soda.

But those three minutes I'm left to wait while you retrieve your beverage of choice are some of the most intriguing moments I'll ever spend waiting for someone whose time is obviously more valuable than mine.

I appreciate the lesson in humility and, of course, patience.

And finally, gracias to dog owners who take their canine companions with them everywhere, including grocery stores, home furnishing centers, fast food restaurants and convenience stores.

The opportunities for personal growth and developing patience are never so great as when a stranger allows their dog to sniff your personal bits and pieces, or better yet when they piddle, as your standing in line waiting to leave.

Thank you all.

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