Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guest Blogger Sheila Kilpatrick Talks About The “P” Word

Today, guest blogger Sheila Kilpatrick talks about the “P” word: patience. As Ungirdled (and often estrogen-deprived!) women, patience is something we often find in short supply. Sheila knows of what she speaks. She has paired patience with perseverance to triumph over cancer and become an award-winning children’s book author. In addition to being a terrific writer, Sheila is a wonderful friend, artist and animal lover who lives in Virginia Beach with her dogs CoJack and Houston. Her first children’s book, Anastasia’s Rain has just received a silver award from "The Mom's Choice Awards." For more information on this great book, see the information following this article. Thanks for guest blogging, Sheila! As a mom living with two teenagers, I found this post to be especially helpful!

The “P” word. What word am I defining? Calmly tolerating provocation or delay...bearing misfortune or pain without complaint. Did you get it? If not, I have one more hint from a nine year old. “I think it is waiting for stuff even when you don’t want to.” Yes, the word is patience. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best!

Have you ever stopped to think about the number of times on an average day you have the opportunity to practice patience? In a high-tech, internet-based, “I need it yesterday” world, patience no longer seems necessary, but in my humble opinion, it is more necessary than ever and really is a virtue.

Patience requires us to think beyond ourselves, as it usually involves others. In just one day, I found myself irritated in heavy traffic, in line at the grocery store, in line for a bike at the gym, sitting on hold for customer service and upset with the assumed incompetence of a business associate. By day’s end, my mood was lousy.

Rather than pouring myself a glass of wine and making the best out of the remainder of the day, I decided to analyze my mood. Why was I irritable? Could I be part of the problem? Of course, the things that irritated me irritate most people, but they were things either out of my control or involved others. My personal challenge for the next day was to exhibit patience in every scenario that called for it. What an amazing difference this one decision made in my day!

When traffic was heavy, I popped in a book on tape and actually sat in my driveway for an extra ten minutes listening to it once I got home. When a business associate was about to get on my last nerve, I took a deep breath, smiled and asked what I could do to help solve the problem.

Each time patience was required, I accepted the situation and either reworked my plan or got involved to move things along. It worked!! I was not irritable at the end of the day and it actually felt good knowing I had helped others who were stressed as well.

In a world of people divided by socio-economic, religious and political differences, there may be no better medicine for the soul than to put all this “stuff” aside, use a little patience and take the time to really see another person’s situation. Our own problems are automatically put into perspective and it becomes easier to lend a helping hand. One act of kindness can make a world of difference in another person’s life. It may not be what you did for them, but that you did it.

Have you seen the movie “The Blind Side”? I strongly urge everyone to take the time to experience this movie. It is a true story that shows the best and worst in all of us. In the end, however, with the support of her family, one woman’s big heart, patience and belief in another person changes all their lives. It is true testimony to the power of reaching out to others.

I recently published my first children’s picture book, “Anastasia Pickering, Anastasia’s Rain,” featuring Anastasia, Rufus the dog and Patience the fairy. This book is meant to be a teaching tool for values and life lessons. The lesson for Anastasia is .... patience of course! As I say in the book: “Patience is hard to learn, but important to use.” Teaching our children the importance of using patience is wise, but as we all know, using it ourselves and pointing out to them how much better things go when it is practiced is even wiser.

Experience will always be the best teacher! SO...please consider for 2010 using patience more in your daily routines, teach it to your children by example, use it with others even when it is very hard. Consider going one step further by stepping outside your comfort zone to lend a helping hand. I’m not sure how it will change the other person’s life, but I do know it will change yours.



Author, Sheila Kilpatrick wrote the Anastasia Pickering series for everyone who has faced a rainy day. She believes perplexing or difficult situations can present us with colorful answers if we listen to our inner (fairy) voices. Sheila, a breast cancer survivor has faced her own rain with the help of loyal friends and family. Her niece and nephew's magical points of view helped her see reflective healing colors in the quiet of the rain. She hopes Anastasia’s rain will open young minds to a different perspective as they face the showers and downpours of their own lives. Please visit: for more information or email Sheila at:


  1. Indeed... I've known Sheila for years now.. She kept her beloved Chesapeake (Mr. Peakers) at our barn in Pittsboro for years before she moved back to Va Beach.. and she is truly one of the most highly evolved, patient, kind, generous humans on this planet.. My husband I lovingly call her an Angel in Disguise here just walking around humbly smiling, laughing in the face of sadness, loss and pain...He story and her healing journey is inspiring and uplifting.... I hope for her continued health, abundance and pure sweet love

  2. Well said, Michelle! I agree 100%! Thanks for visiting!

  3. Hi, Tracy! And nice post, Sheila! Your book looks adorable.

    I wonder if patience goes hand-in-hand with empathy, and if those with a great deal of empathy are able to better practice patience? Because if you always think of the other person, and what they must be going through, it's easier to be patient, right?

  4. Thanks so,so much for the kind words! I think empathy does make it easier to be patient for we are no longer thinking of just our needs.
    Much appreciation!
    xo sheila

  5. I only met Sheila a couple years ago but I feel I've known her in my heart much longer.

    She displays the most comprehensive and truly interesting dialog that I've seen displayed in any children's book!

    Her lovely story is actually based on life lessons important for our children, beautifully written and adorably illustrated.

    She is also a down to earth, life loving, passionate, personable and understanding friend.

    I thank God for allowing me to have such a person in my life.

  6. Thank you kindly for these beautiful comments.I am humbled.
    love, sheila