How do you build patience?
I could use some tips. I don’t know if it’s the fast pace of life in New York or the travails of raising a child, but I have seen in myself a shorter fuse than I’d like the last few weeks — and the last few days in particular. I’ll cut myself a little slack given that I’ve been without my other half for a week now (please come home, Mr. Magpie!), but there’s nary an excuse for a temper. Yesterday morning, after installing mini in her high chair with a full plate of some of her favorite breakfast foods (peach slices, scrambled eggs, and cinnamon raisin toast with butter), I dashed back to the kitchen to clean up and pack her lunch, as her nanny often picnics outside with her. I knew things were headed south when the room fell eerily quiet and I could actually make out the news from the TV, and — sure enough — I returned to find scrambled egg and soggy peaches strewn all over the living room, stuck to the walls and polished wood of our table and buffet, mashed into the carpet. She looked up innocently. I gritted my teeth. This has been a long and unwieldy battle of the wills for months now. My usual reaction is to impassively remove her food from her and declare that “breakfast is over” once she starts flinging her food. But today, the deed was already done. And I can’t explain why this situation got under my skin, but it did. I was fuming as I got down on my knees for what felt like the fourteen thousandth day in a row and got to work picking up soggy food and scraping it out of the carpet fibers.
Of course, it wasn’t truly mini’s fault. It was my fault. I shouldn’t have left her unattended, knowing about her food flinging propensities. I should have intervened at the first second of silence. I should be more consistent about disciplining her for throwing her food in the first place, and this might not have happened. It reminded me of something else: for months, I was able to bring mini into the bathroom with me while I was getting ready in the morning, and she would play happily, peacefully with her bath toys or my makeup brushes. Now, she is opening the toilet and splashing in the water, unspooling the toilet paper, opening the cabinets to get into everything she shouldn’t. The scene usually ends in tears of frustration on her end and a feeling of exasperation at eight-twelve a.m. on mine. It’s just recently dawned on me that I could do a better job of not letting her get into situations where she will cause trouble. I am setting her up for failure and then grimacing at the inevitable.
But even if I am able to avoid some pitfalls, there will still be instances of flung food, of diapers removed behind my back (ahem ahem, #lastnight), of cabinets unloaded of their wares, of crayon on the wall. And out of doors, too — there will be rude passengers on trains, daft tourists, presumptuous strangers. How can I build a reserve of patience for the inevitable frictions we encounter in life? I want to be the kind of person who is able to see beyond the petty frustration of a situation and empathize. Who cuts slack for other people. Who assumes the best of them. Who sees the humor in a flung egg alongside the wide-eyed, innocent look of toddlerhood. Who appreciates that these things do not matter, and that one day I will look back smilingly on the messy but colorful days of child-rearing. Who takes things in stride.
So here I am, frustrated with myself, taking a deep breath, saying a quick prayer, and asking for your tips on building forbearance!
Post Script: New Beauty Discoveries.
+After a string of long days and sleepless nights, my skin is looking a little dull. Though I continue to insist that this serum is kind of like turning on a lightbulb in your skin — and it majorly helps in the morning — I thought I’d double down by adding LaNeige’s well-reviewed Water Sleeping Mask into my routine. It promises to “recharge your dehydrated skin while you sleep” so you wake up with soft, glowing skin.
+I typically wear Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer during the day as it can be applied with my fingers and often without a mirror (ha), but I have been curious about Charlotte Tilbury’s cult following Flawless Filter for months now, especially after the gorgeous Grace Atwood recommended it. It’s en route to me now and I cannot wait.
+In the winter, when I’m more likely to wear foundation (and more likely to break out for some reason), I find that a primer is essential for preventing a caked-on look. I just bought Guerlain’s L’Or Radiance primer after a makeup artist raved about it. (He insisted it lasts a long time, which has held true of Guerlain’s bronzer, which I swear by. A single palette will last me a year or two — and I use it almost daily. I used to use Nars bronzer, but I found the formula crumbly and would often go through a palette every few months! Guerlain’s is well-packed and a little goes a long way.)
+I mentioned this earlier this week, but I picked up Dior’s BrowStyler after reading a lot of strong reviews and becoming a little disenchanted with Glossier’s BoyBrow. I think that “organized” brows completely transform a face.
+I had to order a tube of Charlotte Tilbury’s matte revolution lipstick in the Pillow Talk color. People go crazy over it! Apparently the perfect shade of neutral pink and a great formula.
+I like Smashbox’s felt-tip eyeliner but wanted a pencil eyeliner as well, as I think they’re a bit more versatile — you can smudge the pencil for a smokier eye; you can apply it thinly during the day. The felt-tip means you’re super exact and creates a specific kind of look — or at least, I can only achieve a specific kind of look with it (HA!) I did some research and came upon Marc Jacobs’ Highliner, which people rave about. The colors are interesting (I got dark gray) and it’s apparently very well-formulated.
+I’ve been so impressed with Chanel’s mascara base that I decided to try their eye shadow base as well. Most mornings I can’t be bothered by applying eye shadow, but I will apply a quick swipe of eye shadow base (usually Laura Mercier’s Eye Basics). We’ll see how Chanel compares!
+There are two French drugstore products that I’ve been reading a lot about lately, and I recently took the plunge on both. The first is Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir Spray. I want to use it to set my makeup when I’m heading out — I’ve been using a spray by Kopari that is OK but nothing special. People love the Caudalie stuff! The second is Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre, which people go nuts over. I mentioned this product in an Instastory recently and instantly received evangelistic DMs about its wonders. It can be used as a face cream, a primer, or a makeup remover (!!!) I’ve also heard people use it after shaving their legs and even on children, as it’s very gentle. Seems like a genius addition to the makeup bag for a trip!