It seems I’ve been doing that a lot these last few days.
Waiting for the road to be plowed.
Waiting to hear if my meeting would be cancelled.
Waiting for the cold weather to ease up.
Waiting for bread to rise.
Waiting for more information.
That’s too short a word to describe the act of it.
The “ting” on the end gives it a lilt it doesn’t deserve.
It should be replaced by one of those long, impossible-to-spell, difficult-to-pronounce words that seem to go on and on and on.
Like “onomatopoeia”, maybe.
In it’s purest and best form, waiting is anticipation: waiting for Santa Claus; waiting for the bell to ring; waiting for the announcement.
Usually, though, even when the wait is for something wonderful, the “waiting for…” takes the joy right out of the phrase. Compare:
“The baby has arrived!”
“…Waiting for the baby to arrive.”
Too often, the wait sounds like a state of Limbo, where everything is on hold until the much desired occurrence comes about:
“Waiting for my ship to come in…”
“Waiting for the right man/a good job/a better deal…”
“Still waiting for that apology/a raise/the respect I deserve…”
Sometimes it sounds downright fatalistic:
“Just waiting for this day/week/year to be over!”
So what happens then? We start on another long day that we can’t wait to be finished with, in our long string of days that make up our lives as we wait – inevitably – for our lives to be over.
Waiting for death.
There has to be more to life than that!
When my friend, Russell, knew that he was dying, he took his adult children to help him stock up on liquid refreshments, as, “folks will be stopping by.” He took his family on a ferry boat ride. He got up to see the sunrise and share coffee every morning.
When my Mom knew that she was dying, she decided she was going to live her days in the comfort of cozy pajamas, read just the books that would lift her spirits and eat only what tasted best to her. She welcomed family and friends around her, reconnected, reminisced and shared memories. She made note of the weather and her view of the lake (“the best view!”) every single day.
These people, with numbered days, were not waiting for death…but living.
This has been my intent: to live with purpose and direction; to pay attention and appreciate each day; to live in the moment.
Sometimes, though, it seems I still find myself waiting.