The weight of the wait

Businessman with a huge resume sitting in line with other candidates at a job interview

“At times life seems an enormous waiting room with no destination, in which some walk stiffly to and fro, waiting for the pain to stop. Others wait for something good to happen. Still others fear that something bad will begin. The driven plan while they wait. I am each of them.

It is such a struggle, always has been, for each of us to settle deep enough into the wait, into the weight till we discover that there’s nowhere to go.”

So says the wise Mark Nepo in his “The Book of Awakening.”

As I read this the other night, I had entered a period of waiting.

Waiting to see what will happen with my work contract at a time I see others being let go.

Waiting to see what will become of a relationship that makes me very happy right now.

Waiting to see how my eldest will handle a challenging school year.

Waiting to see if I will be able to pay the bills per normal, keep a family going financially and emotionally, and find time for a creative work that may never be seen by an audience broader than the agents who reject it.

Illustration depicting a sign with a waiting list concept.

I am sure you have your own waiting list.

I am not a good waiter. I tend to spring into action, solving a problem before it is actually upon me. Perhaps foiling kismet by doing so. I certainly hope not.

I was raised to act, not to wait. I was taught, when mistakes occur and disasters strike, they should somehow have been anticipated and dealt with to avoid or at least minimize damage.

I guess, according to Nepo’s criteria, this makes me “the driven.” Sounds about right, unfortunately.

I know what I should do. Be in the moment. Stop future tripping. Put on my big girl panties and man up (I think one precludes the other, no?).

I pray a lot. Meditate (not enough). Think far too much.

Cooking becomes therapy. Red wine helps. Nature soothes me.

My arsenal is so very simple, really. Surprisingly simple when faced with some very big worries and what ifs.

I am not sure if my fixes are enough to see me through what lies ahead.

I guess I will just have to wait. And see.

Sigh.

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24 Comments Add yours

    1. candidkay says:

      Wishing you more peace and patience than I have during the process:).

  1. gina amos says:

    As always, I enjoy dropping by your blog, Kay. I think women are born worriers but as I am getting older, I am working on not worrying so much. I’ve decided it takes too much energy. I try not to overthink things by distracting myself with good friends, good wine, good books.

  2. Lately I’ve been struggling with the waiting game myself. Strangely I find working with my hands, doing housework and laundry, help me connect to the present moment. There’s something soothing in doing these simple tasks every day.

    1. candidkay says:

      I agree! Something about physical activity gets you out of your head in the most amazing way.

  3. What an insightful passage from Mark Nepo’s book. (I have it on my nightstand.) Thank you for reminding me that waiting is not wasted time. Sometimes in the waiting period, everything becomes clear.

  4. The waiting room analogy is very powerful. I’m a worrier, so I spend a lot of time worrying about what will happen, which is another form of waiting. And yet almost always, things unfold just right, whether I’ve worried about them or not 🙂

  5. KM Huber says:

    Thank you for reminding me about Mark Nepo’s wonderful book. It feels as if it is time to take it up, again. A daily dose of Nepo often lightens the moment.

    Am in a bit of a wait as well but recently threw off its burden–there were just too many weighted years. I do my best to show up for the moment I have; often, breathing is the best (and only) thing I can do. I credit meditation for helping me with the weight of the wait–one moment at time seems doable. Thanks, Kay.
    Karen

  6. Aunt Beulah says:

    Great photograph, thought-provoking quote, and, indeed, candid words from you. Altogether, a fine read. I, too, am doing some waiting and fearing the weight. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

  7. I could not resist this:
    ‘ You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place…for people 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.
    No! That’s not for you! Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky.’

    This is an excerpt from Dr Seuss’ last book “Oh, the places you’ll go” and the ironic thing is that “Seuss” is a pseudonym that he used while “waiting” to become the serious writer that he wanted to become when he wrote the ‘next great novel’ which he never wrote.

    1. candidkay says:

      Perfect! I had forgotten about this passage:).

  8. Amy says:

    Waiting just doesn’t come naturally. Whether we dread something, desperately want something, or hope for something, the wait feels long. It’s so important to quiet our inner dialogue and lean into the simple things we enjoy doing, like listening to our favorite music, getting out in the garden, baking or sewing or singing or going for a walk by the river. There are a thousand good ways to spend moments we’d otherwise waste with worry or anxiousness or impatience. May you be soothed and restored by life’s many little lovely things while you wait for life’s unknowable ones, my friend. And may your prayers be answered with an abundance of blessings. xox

  9. Yes, waiting sucks at times. Just the other day, my brain was spinning so fast it started to hurt. I was texting with a girlfriend about it and decided I just needed to go do some manual labor, to help me get grounded and out of my head. I think that thinking about what I’m waiting for is what is the hardest. So, lately, I have a few house projects (alongside the usual housework) to occupy my mind and time. I’m also learning about the times to act, and to do, and the times to just allow and trust (the universe). When I can trust that things are working out for my highest good, it helps me chill out. It’s a process.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, you hit the nail on the head! Manual labor. Getting out of your head and into the physical. I was just reading an article this week about how we’re all so virtual, we crave the tactical and tangible when done with a workday. Hence, the farm to table cooking movement, a resurgence in knitting, gardening, etc. I get it. Totally. It’s why my closets and drawers are getting a makeover:).

  10. Waiting is definitely hard. I too, am a do-er of things. I feel like I’ve gotten better over the years but it never comes easy. I start to wonder as I’m waiting, “how long do I have to wait?” “Am I just being lazy?” I’ve just had to learn to trust my instincts and not rush things. Rushing things usually never turns out how I like it, and then I regret not waiting :). Have a fabulous, patient Friday and I’ll have a glass of red too please.

  11. It’s about surrender, which does not mean giving up like some people think. It means letting go of being the puppet master long enough to see that the world will still spin if we let go of the responsibility/control/worry. It means trusting that my hands don’t have to be in every element for it to work out and that there are bigger forces at work. I’m better at it now than I used to be but it’s still a challenge. That’s why Tom Petty wrote that song. 😉

  12. Dottie Martin says:

    As per usual …. I love to read your perfectly put thoughts.
    Xoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      Much better at writing them clearly than thinking or saying them that way!:). Thank you, friend. Can’t wait to see you soon?

  13. Going exactly where you need to Kay. Trust it 🙂

  14. Love this. I’m a good waiter as well, but my head gets all squirrelly at times because like you, I was raised to act rather than wait. Sometimes I get around my family and even certain friends . . . and somehow waiting feels inadequate, though my soul knows better.

  15. One thing I’m learning as I sit waiting for a life altering dream to come true, that just happens to completely beyond my control, is that no matter how you look at it, waiting is hard work! But, distractions do help ease the agony, particularly distractions in the form of great food, red wine and nature, ideally together. Great piece by the way. 🙂

  16. Reblogged this on Sexless in the Suburbs and commented:
    Candidkay is very candid. She says what we are thinking.

  17. Love this post! I’m a procrastinator in some areas and in others – I attack before it gets bad. Waiting can be the worst. I know what you mean about wine – I love German Riesling Auslese. Also cooking, I’m a better baker though. I look forward to your future posts. Have an awesome evening.

    1. candidkay says:

      Cooking, baking, Riesling, red wine–all therapy:). And better than French fries and chocolate chip cookie dough by the pound, right? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. Left you a comment on your reblog–truly appreciate it!

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