Many people wait for many things. Sometimes waiting is good, sometimes it is not. Depends what follows the wait, right?! I bet that each of us has spent countless hours in wait time over the course of our lives…well, if you are in the middle-aged group, anyway. One thing I am sure that we can all agree on is that waiting is definitely a test of patience, and I think it’s fair to say that some of us have more patient bones in our bodies than others. In true-to-form Gemini style, I will readily admit that I have a great deal of perseverance in some areas and next to none in others. My husband can attest to both, but the latter especially. In fact, he finds it completely ironic that I have enormous amounts of composure in situations that others would likely find almost painful, but that with simple things, I have been known to resort to choice sayings far too easily. I can think of reasons why I behave the way I do…my personality, a product of my environment, my career, etc., as I am sure we all can. Regardless, it is what it is and usually, by our age, we all have a pretty good idea of where we sit on the tolerance spectrum.
Waiting in line, waiting to turn of age, waiting to find your one true love, waiting for school to finish, waiting in traffic, waiting for the results of a job interview, waiting for a family member at the airport, waiting in the infamous grocery store line-up, waiting for the birth of your child, waiting for the next season to show its first signs, waiting for the sun to go down on the colourful horizon, waiting for the elusive lotto win, waiting for a special delivery, waiting to celebrate a milestone occasion….waiting, waiting, waiting…for this list of examples to be done!
Most of us can relate to the aforementioned litany of instances, at which the mere mention of, might even elicit some immediate feelings (good or bad), but younger generations seem not to have the same rap sheet of never-ending ‘wait’ experiences behind their names. Afterall, in this day and age of ever-changing technology and social media, many things happen instantaneously, and if not, people have been known to ‘move on’. Even in relationships. Waiting, and relationships I dare say, are slowly becoming a bit of a lost art form. Why wait if you can swipe or Google the next best thing?! I know I’ve certainly been known to do my fair share of both in the past few years, though I had previously sworn that I would never have a need for texting, etc. since I could simply ‘pick up the phone’. ‘Yah, right?!’ At the time, I believed it…now, I would be lost without my phone! Yes…me. The diehard, ‘I won’t do that’. Lost! without my phone. In fact, I just joked today with one of my good friends that I was surprised that I had even remembered her home phone number because I haven’t had to ‘dial’ it in ages. ‘Dial it?!’ Gee that does age me, doesn’t it? Anyway, I think I have made my point…
But, here is the thing…I think that there is actually value in waiting. ‘Wait (pun intended)…did I just say that outloud? (My dad would be super proud of my self-admittance here.) Nevertheless, I must have said it because it is still written here in black and white. Truthfully, though, waiting builds character and it is an inevitable part of our lives’ ages and stages. The more accepting of it we are, the more accepting of us time seems to be. Ever noticed that before? The more you fight it, the worse it is. Waiting is just a measure of time, but it keeps us in the here and now. You can’t wait for time that has past, and while you are waiting for a future result, the waiting itself is in the present. Get it? The present. A gift. Albeit, time has become one of the all-mighty commodities, along with money, which most of us complain that we don’t have enough of either actually, but that’s just it. All we really have is this very moment, and if it is spent waiting, then waiting it is….
When I find myself running low in my level of patience, I try to think of this one poignant example that jolts me back to reality:
Close to sixteen years ago, my family lost a very dear uncle and brother. Suddenly. He attended a local NHL game, as he had done countless times before, but he never made it back home. We were in shock. He was only 69, and he was one of the kindest, most gentle souls that you would ever meet and if you had the privilege of doing so, you knew you were in a special presence. ‘How could this have happened?!’ To this day, we still don’t know. What I do know is that my uncle would have traded anything, and I mean anything!, just to have five more minutes here on Earth…even if the five minutes would be spent waiting in a grocery story line-up (in his case, likely chatting up the person behind him). And so, when I find myself ‘losing my cool’, I do my best to remember that some people, like my uncle or like a sick child in the cancer wing looking longingly out the window, would give the shirt off of their backs just to be here. In the waiting part of life that keeps us present. One of the few countless gifts, which also keeps us timeless.
And so, with that in mind…I will happily await your response to this post. Happily.