Why Wait?

Waiting is hard. There’s anxiety and trepidation, hope and excitement. There’s not much to do when you’re waiting except to wait, on tenterhooks, breathlessly, endlessly, in anticipation, for some sort of resolution. We all seem to do a lot of waiting, in line, for an answer, for a celebration, for a meeting, a chance, an opportunity to fall into our laps. But no one seems to want to do the waiting. We all want it to work out right now. A text returned, an answer given, an errand run, a chore taken care of, no one wants to wait an extra 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour, a day, a year for their answer. So we make it happen now. We have computers do our long-division so we don’t have to, 1-day shipping to anywhere in the world, cell-phones, texting, and email so we don’t have to wait for time to see our friends face-to-face. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to speed up the process, nothing wrong with wanting things to move faster, for life to move forward.

But isn’t there a certain charm to waiting? The anticipation? Not knowing what will come next and as each moment builds into the next the answer becomes more and more important. The longer you wait for something, the more important it becomes to you. Or perhaps we are only willing to wait for the really important things in our lives. Though we all wish things could get done this instant there is something to be said for enjoying the process. Learning, wondering, thinking, imagining, questioning, back-tracking. These are often the moments where we do our best thinking. In a world that is constantly moving, where the clock is 24/7 and business never stops, appreciate the moments that allow you to wait. In the moments of boredom between happenstances, as the seconds tick slowly by, though you may be waiting, your mind does not have to. Stop and breathe, stop and think, stop and wait. Wait so that you do not have to move, wait so that you can pause, wait so that you can breathe, wait so that when you move once more it is not a matter of habit or necessity. Let your mind and body be shackled by the purgatory of the interim. Let the world move past and spin around you. Wait till you feel comfortable in your new home, wait until your test results get back, wait for the seasons to pass and change. Wait, even though it’s painful, even though it’s boring, wait. Learn to love the moments when life slows down, to love the moments where you have to wait. And when the moment has passed and your waiting is over, you can gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and charge once more into the fray.

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