As defined by Webster, waiting is to pause or remain stationary in readiness. Let us talk about seasons of waiting in our lives. I feel ready… why do I have to wait? Why can’t I make this happen now? I have true jealousy for the laid-back people, the unraveled ones who go with the flow and are unbothered by the lack of progress. My superpower is that I am a proactive, action-oriented gal. Let me check off the to-do list, find the solutions and solve the problems. I often think of waiting as a constant reminder of how little patience I have or maybe it is a funny joke from the big man upstairs trying to make me smell the roses. Either way, it is not my strength. Yup, do not worry – I am crawling up on the couch with my cappuccino to figure it all out.
Most of us have experienced some season of waiting, whether it be big or small.
· Waiting to see what Santa will leave us Christmas morning.
· Waiting to find a partner in life, to be parents, to have a baby.
· Waiting to get the dream job, the test results, the evaluation.
· Waiting to feel better, healthier, happier.
· Waiting to receive the validation from our spouse or a sign for closure.
· Waiting for the text to follow the three-dot agony. I see you! Send it, already.
Most of the time we are waiting because we do not control the other variable. The lack of control is a challenging concept to endure and is something I talk about often with clients. For me, my most recent season of waiting was being controlled by Mother Nature. Yes, building a house during COVID, three hurricanes and a freeze. The waiting season can leave us with anxiety, anger and even discouragement. I can already hear my mama's voice in my head saying, "patience is a virtue, baby." Boy, did that lady know what she was talking about. It is a true virtue!
How do we practice the pause, find meaning in the moment and not lose our hair during the process?
Let us back it up for a moment and talk about learned behaviors. Society has taught us that we do not need to wait for much. Nope, we have fast food when we are hungry, FaceTime when lonely, express lanes at the store, two-day deliveries online, alcohol after a bad day, that pill to numb pain. We learn that if we experience any form of discomfort than we MUST find a quick solution to our “problem.” There is beauty in getting our needs met instantly. Bring on the grocery delivery and fast passes at Disney!!! But what happens when that is all you know or all we have become accustomed to in our world. How do you tolerate the waiting room? What happens when the Amazon package delivers in three days, the COX employee arrives in the last hour of their eight-hour window or the doctor is not able to return our call until the end of the day?
Many people believe we remain in our waiting period until we receive the lesson that we were meant to receive all along. Our waiting room is our teacher in many ways. Maybe the answers in life are really “yes”, “no”, or “not now.” What is the hidden gift that waiting provides us? For me, waiting has reminded me to be more present, more grateful, more thoughtful, more intentional, more spontaneous. As we speed through the days, the weeks, the years, I think we will experience moments where we are begging for time to slow down. It is truly a love-hate relationship in my life.
Five reminders I tell myself:
1. What I want is often different than what I need.
2. Being forced to pause allows me to gain a greater perspective.
3. I am allowed the opportunity to revisit what I value as important.
4. I am recognizing a greater appreciation for the simple things.
5. I am allowed time to let go, forfeit control and retreat.
May we all stop and smell the roses, practice patience, and find meaning in the moments. “You are not just waiting. You are growing in your capacity to be prepared for what’s to come.” – MHN