When I was little, I assumed I was an impatient person because I always seemed to be waiting for something. Waiting for Christmas, birthdays, a sibling to come home, the end of the school year, grandparents to visit. And time seemed to move so slowly!
It probably wasn’t just me. When you’re young and at the mercy of adults for things to happen, there is a lot of waiting in your daily life.
I’m thinking about waiting right now, as I watch every minute tick by until I leave tomorrow for a vacation to England and Scotland. I’ve already discussed my love of travel, and it has been since our honeymoon 2 years ago that my husband and I have had a long vacation-adventure together. I Can’t Wait!
Does thinking about the thing that is driving us mad make it more bearable?
Nevertheless, I’m delving into impatience head first as I sit here confronting it.
I had always assumed that when I “grew up,” I wouldn’t have to wait much anymore. If I wanted something, I could just drive out to get it. If I wanted to visit a friend, I could go.
But in the last few years, I’ve carried this heavy feeling like I’ve been “waiting” for my life to begin. As soon as I graduated university, it would happen. As soon as I got back from a year abroad teaching English, surely it would begin. As soon as I finished my Master’s degree, got married, got a job, moved into a house–life could start!
This waiting-for-life phenomenon seems to go hand-in-hand with constantly feeling busy and overwhelmed. We tend to think that we will be free to start living once things go back to “normal.”
But while we wait for life to start–after something is finished, or things calm down–we could be missing what’s happening around us. I’m starting to think that what feels like chaos actually is normal. Having many projects on the go, multiple responsibilities, facing unforeseen events–that’s normal.
This is what “being present” is all about. Life is not just around the corner. It’s here, right now. This is it.
So we have a choice. Live passively, or actively. Do we just wait for things to happen and hope they work out the way we want? Or do we write our own story, taking charge of our experience in this world?
Easier said than done, but sometimes just acknowledging the choice helps us get moving in the right direction.
Of course, I’m still watching the clock until I’m on my way!
While I’m away, my blog might turn into a bit of a (spotty) travelogue–don’t expect my normal posts, but I’ll try to send some quick dispatches from England and Scotland! Yay vacation!