Waiting . . . why do we call it waiting when we are always doing something else while we are doing what we call waiting? We wait at the bus stop. At the doctor’s office. In the conference room for a meeting to begin. At the lacrosse field for practice to be over. At home for dinner preparations to be completed. At a restaurant for a predictably-late friend to show.
We wait for our friends, our spouses, our partners, our parents, our family. We wait for children to tie their shoes or to pick up their toys. We wait for our spouses to finish getting ready so we can get going. We wait for our friends to all arrive so we can go into the theatre and find seats.
We wait while anticipating what we consider to be predictable outcomes. The truck to get lubed. The light to turn green. The ferry to arrive. Our grades to be posted at the end of the quarter. We wait for serious things like test results. We wait for unstable relationships to resolve by themselves. While in this labyrinth, we wait while we stay and we wait for the other person to go away.
We wait for technology to deliver. We wait for texts, emails, and attachments. While we wait, we bury our thoughts in our phones and our computers and our iPads. All in the name of waiting.
Sometimes we are patient; sometimes we are impatient. Sometimes we are intense; sometimes we are dreamy.
We wait in traffic and in line, while seated and while standing. While we wait, we laugh and we cry and and we grump and we think that we are thinking about nothing. While we wait, we make grocery lists and we think about how we should clean the bathroom before our guests arrive for dinner that night. We go for a quick run or we shoot a few hoops. We tidy our desks or we empty the dishwasher. We walk the dog while waiting for the car pool to arrive. We feed the cat while we are waiting for the last few minutes of the spin cycle to be done so we can transfer clean clothes into the dryer.
All of this productivity while we are waiting. There is a whole lot of energy that goes into waiting. Waiting is doing. And being. And thinking. And feeling. And living.
Do you ever feel as if you are waiting for your life to start? For it to begin in the way that you once saw it unfolding in your imagination? Did you see yourself living on Maui or did you think that you would have published at least two New York Times Bestsellers by now? Did you think that you would have lost all of that extra weight or that you would have been in good enough shape to climb Annapurna? Did you see yourself having returned to school and then walking across that stage for your diploma? Did you see yourself being an awesome studio musician or a brilliant politician or an inspirational speaker or . . . ?
I am aware that life is a swirl of matter and motion and that I am in my life’s vortex. I very much appreciate the amazing blessings that abound and that allow for me to be living my dream. My dreams. If waiting is living, then there is no time left to be thinking about waiting. It is officially time to set aside the sometimes overpowering notion of waiting and just start being alive. Am I waiting? If so, for what? Time is ticking and there truly is no time like the present to kick up my heels and yell Hallelujah. No more waiting.
There are several songs that come to mind . . . lyrics that talk about how life is not a rehearsal. It is an impromptu performance and you are the star. Yes, you. As introverted or private a person you may be, you are the principal actor in this play called Life. There are no second takes, no director calling, “Cut!” or “Action!” or “Roll ‘em!” or “Fade to black.” It is all a brand new Right Now. Why wait? Let the camera roll.
The next time I find myself waiting for anything, I hope that I am reminded of these thoughts and that I will re-direct my Waiting Thoughts into Creating Good Stuff . . . and continue to always believe that something wonderful is about to happen . . . while I am Waiting.
4 thoughts on “What are you waiting for?”
One of the few occasions I have waited in for my youngest sister to arrive — on time– anywhere. She is genetically time (and consideration) challenged. This past fall I shared with her that I will no longer wait for her as I have equally important things to do with my time. 🙂 This is a great post!
I used to have a friend very similar to your youngest sister! If a dinner party was scheduled for 6:00 pm, we would tell her that it was at 5:00 pm. That way she would arrive at 7:00 (!) and only be one hour late. She knew that all of her friends and family did this, so she would further disregard the thought of being on time. I could never quite figure out how difficult it was for her to be reasonably on time! And I agree with you . . . It is a consideration issue. Thanks for sharing. I always appreciate your replies! 🙂
You have the ability to make me see things in a very different light than I might otherwise have seen them. Thanks.
That’s my youngest sister! Her then fiance, now husband, was well aware of her propensities. He seriously considered having the time of the wedding printed one hour later on the invitations, knowing full well she would be (my word, rudely) late. I love her dearly but sadly, he has succumbed to her MO. As one of their teen-aged sons is fond of saying, “Whatever.” He’s not fond of his parents reputation in this vein. 🙂