Waiting

Some people dwell on the past. Some people obsess about the present. Me, I seem to be always looking ahead, waiting.

I’m the family planner, so I’ve got many, many things that are coming. Doctor appointments, haircuts, prescription refills, family gatherings–all of them waiting to happen, but on my mind now, to make sure they’re not missed or forgotten. (Because, seriously, a lot more things get forgotten these days than there used to be.)

Same for the office. Half the time, I’m waiting on other counsel to send me the paperwork I need to move ahead with a case, or dates for court hearings, or clients to remember to call me BEFORE they do something stupid instead of after. Waiting, waiting.

Then there’s the writing life. I work really hard to pull together a story, polish it up, find an appropriate market, send it out–and more waiting. Sometimes days. Sometimes months. Even after an acceptance, sometimes you wait too–I got a short story accepted last week, and I’ve been waiting for it to show up so I can share the address with my blog readers, but it’s not there yet. My Cup of Comfort story is coming…in December. A writer friend of mine just got a copy of one of his works newly in print–that had been accepted in 2005! Godot arrived faster than this!!

Which brings me to the subject of patience.

The Cabana Boy would tell you this is something I struggle with daily. Moment to moment, even. I am not a patient person. I have always been a very hands-on, get-the-job-done, don’t-waste-my-time kind of person. I multi-task almost all the time, and find it hard to sit and do nothing. Even raising my older children, we moved through life quickly, accomplishing tasks and goals.

What a difference now! These three special needs children we’re raising are not geared toward fast-moving achievement. Their blossoms are slow–oh so slow– to open, and often curl and twist with missteps. Frustration and more waiting! But also, perhaps a bit of education. They say we choose our lives before we are born, lay before our souls the lessons we need to learn. If that is true, then I must come to terms with patience, with waiting.

American writer Barbara Johnson said, “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” Here’s to a dance with auto mechanics. Let it be.

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6 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. My personality is like yours. (But yours may be even more developed that mine about not sitting still.) I think sometimes life gives us things to teach us lessons. For people like us, the lessons are to slow down. That’s against every fiber of our being, but it is good for us once in a while.

    I don’t know if it was real or not, but after the terrorist attacks on September 11, I saw an e-mail circulating that had a list of people and the things that saved them from being in those buildings when they should have been at the time they were attacked. The only one I remember one that said she was late, and therefore not there when the attacks occured because her daughter was dawdling so much that morning. I think of that every. single. time. I’m trying to get my kids (4 and 6) out the door in a hurry and grow impatient with their slower-paced lives. What’s a few minutes? To me, it’s a LOT. But maybe I need to relax and just let it be (as you said). And maybe that delay is keeping me out of harm’s way. Maybe not. But it’s only a few minutes.

  2. There is a great book called “waiting” by Debra Ginsberg that is a phenomenal true biography about a woman who spend her whole life “waiting” tables while trying to get a book published. Highly recommended!

    B

  3. I’ve heard of that book. And i would like to point out that you passed on that impatience with life to your kids. And the need to plan ahead and multitask and worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. So thanks. Hahahaha

  4. I’m exactly like you. My husband is too busy trying to keep up with his life so it’s up to me to schedule things and make sure people get to those scheduled things…including my husband. At work it’s much the same way as you. I wish I could write instead of blog but I feel lucky that I even get to blog these days!

  5. I’d been reading about that obnoxious smell in M. Come on out, if you get evicted again. It hadn’t occured to me that someone I know could be affected.

    And, hope you are having a better few days.

    What’s the origin of “Cabanna Boy?”

  6. Well, as a sister of yours, I can testify that the patience issue is certainly genetic.

    I cannot wait patiently, it is simply impossible. In my youth I had several meltdowns while awaiting major issues in my life to resolve. Nervous energy builds to explosion point quite easily for me. I must ALWAYS be doing something. Then when it’s 9:30 or 10:00 in the evening I collapse in a heap – exhausted from constantly being “ON” and unable to turn it off.

    Finally, after 41 years of life, I have conjured up a solution to the waiting room blues.

    Picture a doctors office filled with screaming children, and I sit, calmly waiting in the middle of waiting room hell. I have a 17 year old daughter to my left who’s rolling her eyes and sighing loudly – a 7 year old to my right who’s whining and swinging her legs so powerfully I can feel MY chair being knocked around. Yet I, in my state of calmness, sit and smile at them. Impossible you say?

    My solution is to think of very complex things while all of this is happening. Being a landscape designer, I plan the clients garden in my head while I’m waiting. I build a house. I write a book. The entire time I seem to be patiently waiting, but really, I’m keeping the mind busy.

    If a child DARES interrupt my thought process I say, “be patient – we’re waiting quietly.” Then shush them rudely. I never reveal my secret, but when I get home I have a complete project completed. It’s a miracle.

    Hope you are well – write me soon!

    Love,

    Shawna

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