Saturday, August 14, 2010
You've been waiting to read this.
"The waiting is the hardest part; every day you see one more card. You take it on faith, you take it to the heart; the waiting is the hardest part." -Tom Petty
“I grew up with six brothers. That's how I learned to dance - waiting for the bathroom.” -Bob Hope
"You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always love you, Peter Pan. That's where I'll be waiting." -Tinkerbell
"How much of human life is lost in waiting?" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
These are all great quotes - poignant as well, but the question I asked myself today was the same one Emerson posed: "How much of human life is lost in waiting?"
Think about it. We get up in the morning, and wait for the coffee to brew. Like Bob Hope, we may wait for our turn in the bathroom. We wait for the bus. The stoplights. A parking space. Lunch. A return phone call. The car pool line. The doctor's office. Dinner. The commercial to be over. The kids' bedtime. That's not even touching the lines we wait in - the grocery store, the bank, traffic, the post office...
Then there's the bigger-picture waiting. Waiting for that right job to come along. Waiting for a raise. Waiting to buy a house. To find that perfect mate. To get pregnant. To make a move. To find out some news. To break some news.
Waiting is part of life's package, and Lord knows it can be exasperating. I know at times I feel like I waste my whole day... just waiting. For whatever.
What I've discovered, however, is that WHILE I'm waiting, I can be doing something else productive to pass the time so the waiting doesn't seem quite so interminable. I think this is why some people view me as some wound-up-busy-bee-multitasking-freak that can't sit down during the day. While I wait for coffee, I check my emails. A line at the grocery store? I plan the rest of my day. In traffic? That's a great time to get some blogging inspiration. And while dinner is in the oven I make the kids' lunches for the next day.
As far as the long-term waiting, well, I'm getting better at that. Instead of waiting for that "perfect job" to come along, I now know that every person I meet and every project I undertake somehow gets me closer to that goal. Not sure if a move is in my future, I'm making a list of home improvements and am starting them now. They need to be done anyway, and if I do decide to move, that's one less thing I have to do. I'm not sure where my kids will go to school in the next few years, and I hate not knowing that. All I can do is research the alternatives to have in my back pocket if that time comes.
Waiting takes patience. Patience is good. But we're only human, so finding some way to make waiting more tolerable actually makes it more productive. And at the end of the day, that will make your life easier, less stressful, and more gratifying.
Try it and let me know how it goes. I'll be waiting.