Dr. Seuss writes about waiting in one of his books. The waiting place is filled with people just waiting… He writes:
“Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to goor the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.”
Dr. Seuss had a way with words, his encouraging prose leaves children feeling hopeful, optimistic and like the world is a big, beautiful place where all of our dreams will come true. Although, I am an optimist in general, I know that life is not always smiley faces and rainbows. The honest reality is that a lot of times life does not turn out as planned, and that encounter a waiting place. Waiting for a job offer, a phone call from that guy we just met, or even darker news that looms around the corner and threatens our foundation that we once thought was solid.
I’m embarrassed to admit, with all of my preaching about living in the present, and being mindful, that I don’t always follow my own advice, and one of my biggest pet peeves is hypocrisy, so I vowed to work on this and to devote some attention to my weakness.
The other day I was walking to my car, and waiting for the green light so I could cross the street. Typically, I am not one to wait for the light, I look both ways and when clear, I just walk. Typically it is not a matter of being late for an appointment, there really is no good reason for me to race to my car. Why can’t I wait?
With no good answer, I forced myself to wait. I let my focus shift to how great the sun felt beating down on my face, and how beautiful the day was. I made eye contact with several passersby, and exchanged friendly hello’s to several.
If I had not waited, I would not have enjoyed those few minutes, and would not have had the opportunity to connect, if only just for a second, with the other humans that occupy this space. Many of us forget about the others that we share this world with. Just a hello from a stranger, or even a smile can relieve stress, and make us take on a different point of view, it can make us hopeful, and gives us a deeper connection to our community.
Since that day, I vowed to practice what I preach and to really try to tune in to life. My waiting will not be waiting, it will be an accumulation of other events that take up the space, in my waiting. Instead of labeling it as waiting, I urge all of you to try to put another spin on it. What else are you doing? If you are waiting for the light to change, take a minute and be grateful that you are alive, and count other blessings. Somebody else always has it worse than you. We can find gratitude in nearly everything we encounter in our life.
I am currently in a waiting place in my personal life. I admit that it is difficult to be in a holding pattern in life, being patient during this time can be very challenging. But I know for myself it is important to focus on not only what I do have, but what I want for myself. Sometimes extra waiting time helps us realize just how important something really is, it may provide extra drive and determination, that may some time catch us by surprise.