While sorting a closet, I found two undeveloped rolls of film. Remember rolls of film? We don’t deal with them often anymore. Our phones have become the photographer, developer, editor, and scrapbook, all in one. The two rolls I found had to be fairly old. My mom and I found them when cleaning several years ago. We were tempted to toss them, but I was curious. Now, I’d held onto them another year or two because I didn’t get them developed right away.
I was still curious.
When I take photos on my phone or with my more traditional digital camera, I can send them to a variety of print services and have them the same day if I want for pennies per print. Getting a roll of film would take a bit more patience. It used to take two to four days, and many places offered same day service. I suppose those in-store developing machines no longer take up space. I was told my prints will be available in seven days. I suppose the good news was they wouldn’t charge if the film is blank.
I laughed at myself as I left the store. My initial thought had been “seven days, really?” as if I hadn’t already waited years and didn’t anticipate any treasures on those two rolls. My initial response was more of a habit than anything, and it’s not a good one. I think I’m fairly patient—until I’m not. We often define our patience in terms of how we interact with others, but it’s also how we internally respond. In fact, that might be the true test, not so much how patient we are with ourselves but with what our default settings are with patience of any kind—responses in conversations, thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
Developing two rolls of likely-insignificant film reminded me to always be developing patience.