Life Day By Day

The Art of Waiting

If we do not like waiting, is it because we have not mastered the “art of waiting”? Is there an “art of waiting” and where do you and I come in the queue, when it comes to waiting?

These days everyone is in a hurry. It seems no one likes to wait! Fast food outlets; fast coffee outlets or pre-orders for your coffee; pre-packaged food in the supermarkets and even meat is marinated and or pre-chopped, for our convenience.

When my O&O and I go shopping we only need to look at our own behaviour to realise, we have joined the queue of the “I don’t like waiting”.  We look for the check-out aisle that has the smallest wait time. Then when we go to fill up the car with petrol, we either go at a time when the petrol station is not busy, or we look for the shortest queue.

If we want to go out to dinner and don’t want to wait, we book a table. Today, there are some restaurants and cafés that don’t take bookings. What! We might have to wait! Maggie Beer’s Farm House Restaurant is one restaurant that does not take bookings for lunch (they are only opened during the day). What would my O&O and I do to overcome the wait? We would make sure we were there early enough to be one of the first to get a table, or at the very least, up front in the queue.

One of the best examples of “having to wait” is due to pregnancy. It is, without a premature birth, a nine-month waiting time. This time is spent in anticipation, excitement and preparation. Similarly, if building a new house – we wait! The anticipation, excitement and preparation keeps us busy without focusing on the “waiting period”.  In these circumstances, we like to wait as we need the time to get ready for the time when the project comes to an end.

One of the worst waiting times for me is when we have been selling a house. Our most recent experience in 2015 was difficult. Mostly, this was because we liked the house to be presented at its best and this meant being ready, always, during the waiting period. The waiting period is exacerbated if a property does not sell. It must be both costly and frustrating for people who need to move out of their home and move to a new city or town for work. The waiting time is tough. Yes, waiting is an art.

Then there are people who do not seem to have a care in the world when it comes to waiting. I believe there are not too many of these around. If you are one of these people who like to wait, can you please share your secret with me. On the other hand, are you pretending, with your laissez faire approach to waiting, that this is perfectly fine! No waiting is not always fine, but it is something we must live with. The best approach then is to find ways to fill in the waiting time – activities that we enjoy or those that will help take our mind off the “waiting time”.

Are you like me when it comes to waiting for a trades-person or invited guests to arrive at your home for a meal? If they do not turn up at the arranged time doubt arises. Were we clear about the time? Did they forget they were “coming for dinner” or was it tomorrow the trades-person said he would arrive to assess the job and quote? We then contemplate whether we should we give them a phone call or text. It is much easier today, if you have a mobile phone, to text to say “I’ll be a little late”. If you don’t get a text, then during the waiting time you wonder “what should I do”. As I mentioned earlier, keep busy, do something, don’t just sit and wait and frustrate!

Just hanging about …..waiting!

There are occasions in life, that we have no choice but to wait for others. One area we should not wait is to wait for others to make us happy; waiting for others to fulfil our needs; waiting for others to encourage us or waiting for other to make up their mind. In these areas, we cannot or should not wait forever. We must take the initiative. If we wait, we may wait a lifetime! Waiting for others to make us happy, is a sure way to make us feel sad. Waiting for God to answer a prayer could mean we are asking and waiting for the wrong thing. Waiting for love is a sure sign that we should just get on with life and firstly love ourselves. After this, love has a strange habit of turning up.

What is the moral in the “art of waiting”? Firstly, for me, it is to accept those daily situations where waiting is part of life. There is nothing we can do to change the situation. It is best to “go with the flow” rather than swim against the tide. Secondly, I must challenge myself to go beyond waiting. That is, to live my life to the fullest, to keep busy, to set new goals, projects and activities for my life. Then something amazing happens – during the waiting time! I discover that it is more comfortable to swim with the tide and accept that “waiting” is part of the flow of life. Then, before I know it, I find I have mastered the “art of waiting”.


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