I wrote this post in July of 2009 for a personal blog that I no longer maintain:
It seems we are always waiting for something, huh? Right now, I am waiting for my hubby to find a full-time job. Right now, I am waiting to finish my clinical hours so I can decide if and when to go into private practice as a counselor. Right now, I am waiting to have outpatient surgery and get this stuff the doc has been looking at for a year cut out. Right now, I am waiting for all kinds of things. And it always seems we are waiting….I can remember waiting for my baby to come while I was pregnant. I can remember waiting till my babies were out of diapers. I can remember waiting till my kids were in school. I can remember waiting to go back to college. I remember lots of waiting.Waiting is so hard! But it is so common. I bet anyone reading this right now is waiting for something. And it may just be waiting for the water to boil. Dr. Seuss talked about “The Waiting Place” in Oh, The Places You’ll Go, his last publishing. He says people are there just waiting….”Waiting for a train to go. Or a bus to come, or a plane to go or 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 No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting! Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.“
What is wrong with waiting? Nothing, really. It seems like there is an awful lot of waiting till we get to the next ___________________. As kids, we can’t wait to be a teenager, then we turn 13. Then we can’t wait to be 16 so we can drive, then we can’t wait until we graduate high school. Then we can’t wait until we go to college. Then we can’t wait till we have a job. Then we can’t wait till we have a vacation.
HOLD ON A MINUTE! Literally! Set a timer for 60 seconds and just BE. Be in the moment. Look around and notice where you are, what you smell, how you feel, what today is, what’s going on in your life. Do it right now, then come back and finish reading this!
This is a lot harder than you might think. It’s ONLY 60 seconds, right? Did your mind wander? Did you get frustrated? Did you start thinking of a meeting you have to get to later today or a project you are working on or what is for dinner? It is really hard to stay in the moment. But it is a skill you can hone. Wouldn’t you like to go back to that 15 year old you and tell him or her to take a breath and enjoy something about being 15? (Don’t digress here, of course most of us don’t want to be that teenager again. Teenage years are super hard, remember? But….instead of trying to fast forward into the future to driving, wouldn’t it be great if 15-year-old you could enjoy something in that moment? Like, I don’t know, not having to pay a mortgage?) Since we can’t go back in time, the next best thing is to be in the here and now for our future selves. Do that 60 seconds again later today or tomorrow. Remember this is a skill we are honing. It takes patience and practice. Do it once a day. Build up to more often throughout the day. Maybe even set the timer for 2 minutes after several times of doing this, then 3.
Come on….what are you waiting for?