The November issue of Health reports “40% of women polled have experienced a three-hour-plus wait at their doc’s office.”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…Comparing Carol
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.Bored Barb
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.
Entitlement EvaEva 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.”Fearful Freda
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.
Busy BetsyBetsy’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. Un-busy Betsy.All-Knowing Alana
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 pegged-jeans teenager.Word for Alana: Life throws us curveballs. Ground yourself in God and expect detours. Do you still have the poster?
Now or Never NellyNelly 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 future.Control-Lovin’ Colleen
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