The November issue of Health
reports “40% of women polled have experienced a three-hour-plus wait at their
And we’re not only left twiddling our thumbs in doctor’s
offices. Any of the following sound familiar? Carpool line. Grocery store.
Bank. Pharmacy. DMV. Test results. Publication. And there happens to be a major
holiday approaching that tends to attract diehard shoppers. Ring any bells?
Waiting is a pain in the arse. We all know this. But have
you ever taken time to consider why it’s so difficult? No worries, I went
there. I pinpricked the waiting process in order to test why we’re so allergic
to it. And here’s what I came up with…
Carol is obsessed with measuring herself against others. She
checks how quickly the line next to her is moving in Target. She plants what
her neighbor plants. Determined to be found parallel with the Mrs. Jones, Carol
has established herself as an expert in the art of comparison.
Word for Carol: Her race is not your race. Find your own
road and go at it at your own pace.
Barb’s legs bounce. Barb’s thoughts fly to pessimism. Barb
texts distant relatives to keep from sitting alone with her thoughts. Barb
can’t handle her own boredom.
Word for Barb: Times in wait are perfect breeding grounds
for creativity to grow. Learn to appreciate stillness.
Eva wants what she wants and she wants it now. Eva deserves
it. Eva is never ever ever getting back together with you (wrong song, wrong
topic, excuse the distraction).
Word for Eva: Try playing this song every so often, “You
Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Time to think equates to time to worry for Freda. One
anxious thought begets another, then another. The worry train is headed for one
mother of a wreck.
Word for Freda: If you must play worst case scenario, force
yourself to envision yourself growing from the outcomes. God tips us off not to
fear in the Bible 365 times, one for every day of the year. Must have been an important
point He wanted to convey.
Betsy’s brain is busy. Betsy’s plans are busy. Betsy is so
wetsy with distractions she’s left herself such a small window of downtime, if
the wait exceeds her expected allotment of regimented minutes, Betsy becomes
one soggy Betsy wetsy mess.
Word for Betsy: Slow down. Carve out time to do
nothing—absolutely nothing. Let go of some commitments. Reevaluate priorities.
Alana knows what’s best for Alana. She’s had her future
categorized and strategized on the back of a Johnny Depp poster since she was a
Word for Alana: Life throws us curveballs. Ground yourself
in God and expect detours. Do you still have the poster?
Nelly is afraid if it doesn’t happen now it never will.
She’s lost a lot in life, seen it slip through her fingers, bawled as the
window has slammed shut. Nelly has an irrational fear that if she’s unable to
live deep and suck all the marrow out of life right now her straw will crack,
the drink will dry, and she’ll have nothing left to ingest in the future.
Word for Nelly: While it’s noble to have a passion for the
present, the best truly is yet to come. Every single second offers opportunity
for growth. If you’re strong now, Nelly, you’ll be that much stronger in the
Colleen is best friends with Nelly, Alana, Betsy, Freda,
Eva, Barb, and Carol. (Wouldn’t that be cool if those first letters actually
spelled something? They don’t, but would have been cool.) Colleen is insecure.
Somewhere inside she still buys that if she can just get a handle on her life
and steer it, things would finally fall into place. She’d be peaceful, happy,
and radiant each morning when her feet hit the floor, free of care. It’s up to
her to minimize the wait. It’s always up to her.
Word for Colleen: Ultimately it all comes back to your need
to control. Surrender. Trust in an omniscient God. Mei Banfa (thanks Amy for
teaching me this Chinese expression) = Accept what we cannot change.
Why did I write we on that last word to Colleen? Because I
can only write about Nelly, Alana, Betsy, Freda, Eva, Barb, Carol, and Colleen
because I’ve waited in their shoes.
Among those I listed,
who best represents your current allergic reaction to waiting?
*photo by stock.XCHNG