Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride...

...I hate waiting.

Don't we all? Over the past few weeks I have found myself waiting for different things. Waiting for results from some medical testing (I'm fine), waiting several days for a diagnosis on my broken computer (it's not fine), and waiting for things to fall into place with my new CD recording (still working on those logistics).  Simply put, it's not easy to wait, especially for things that are important to us.

That got me thinking about how in today's world of technology induced instant gratification, we're not so good at waiting.  I was telling my kids recently that I was around before voice mail, answering machines and call waiting. (I was young, but I was around.) If you called someone and they weren't home - since all we had were landlines - you had to WAIT and call them back later.  If you encountered a busy signal ("A what?" they asked) you had to WAIT, remember what you wanted to tell them, and hope they were available soon.

Another example is music.  I remember saving my babysitting money, WAITING until I had enough, then WAITING for a ride to Sam Goody where I had to WAIT in a line to buy the record album I was dying to have.  (Not to mention having to WAIT through the songs that maybe I didn't love as much as the others as I was not an expert at handling a record needle!)  Today my kids can hear a song on the radio and, if they have 99 cents available, own it instantly.

Not that I'm yearning for the past - I'm a huge fan of voice mail and iTunes.  But I think that not having to wait all year to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special or feeling the pressure of constantly being at the beck and call of everyone on our friends list has made us all more impatient as a people.  Which can become a frustrating problem when we all expect everything to happen according to our own timing.

I'm realizing though, waiting isn't always a bad thing.  Anticipation itself can be very exciting and even inspiring. Have you ever found that when planning a special trip, the planning for it can be as fun as the trip itself?  You can't cook a Thanksgiving turkey or make a homemade bread in five minutes - isn't it lovely to smell the aromas in the kitchen and happily anticipate getting to enjoy their deliciousness?

Not to mention, some things you simply have to wait for.  If you've ever planted a garden, built a home, or had a baby you know it's impossible to see the fruits of your labor (pun intended) or to have success without waiting for lots and lots of time.  These things, and so many others, require patience, which seems to be a scarce commodity these days.

So, while it may be no fun waiting for people to respond, waiting for opportunities to knock and waiting for the right doors to open, instead of focusing on the difficulty of the waiting, I'm going to call it "hopeful anticipation."  I've lived long enough to know that most things do happen in their own time and sometimes having faith that things are going according to plan can be comforting during the process.

I will keep you posted, but in the meantime, to quote Vizzini from The Princess Bride..."I'm waiting!"