“The average person throughout their lifetime spends five years waiting in lines and queues where roughly six months of that is waiting at traffic lights.” -thefactsite.com
I used to hate waiting. It drove me bonkers. I have little to no patience for that nonsense in my life. I guess the joke is on me because now we are all waiting for this Covid stuff to go away or at least die down a bit to resume our normal lives.
I realized I find myself waiting a lot. Not just in lines or on other people, but in general on life. That’s a problem for me, so I decided to make a conscious effort to combat this. As a result, I have thought a lot about waiting a lot lately. Here are some of those thoughts…
Waiting on other people: this post isn’t going to focus on waiting for other people, but I must touch on the subject briefly. I used to think people who are always late and make others wait were the absolute WORST. It irritated me to no end! Why couldn’t people just be considerate of my time and be On Time?!
I used to only be around one person who was late all the time. He purposely kept people waiting in order to feel as though he had control over situations. This isn’t speculation, he told me this. He did it professionally and personally all the time. I was never especially fond of this person and the fact that he did this made me like him less than I already did. He probably couldn’t have been on time regardless because he also happens to have horrible time management skills. Anyways, this guy is a real piece of work. A top notch narcissist. We did not jive and since I really only knew him as a person who is late all the time or kept people waiting, I assumed all people who are late all the time were doing it because of his reasons.
What I realize now is that there are a variety of reasons a person may be late all the time. Too many to list honestly. My kids make me late all the time, but it no longer bothers me. If I have to wait, I may get irritated for a second, but I let that go really quickly. This is because my people now who are late people always show up and when it really matters if they are in time, they are on time.
Also, I’d much rather wait on someone and have them be late than not have them be there at all. I used to be a chronic yellow light runner. When I saw a yellow light, I would speed up to get through the light before it was red instead of slow down and stop to wait for the cycle to run. My late husband knew this and it bothered him. He didn’t think it was very safe. He brought it up to me one day and I tried to argue that I hated being late to things and thought it was rude and embarrassing. He responded by saying, “Don’t you think the people you are going to see would rather you arrive late than never arrive at all?” That really hit me in a way I had never thought about before and ever since then, I slow down when I see a yellow light even if a light cycle might make me late.
Why did I get so wrapped up in other people’s behavior? I was so worried about them being late that I was literally just wasting time waiting for them and worrying about something I cannot change. We can’t go through life letting other people’s actions affect us so negatively. We have zero control over what other people do. Now, I always have a book with me and if I happen not to, I have a plan to write something or I come up with something to do to pass the time other than to sit and wait. A short drive alone can do wonders for a person.
I believe my anxiety makes me feel like I am always waiting for something. Anxiety coupled with my planning, type-A-ish personality really does a number on me for this one. In order for me to believe I will get what I want, I envision it. I meditate on it. I see myself where I want to be in life and that helps make it happen for me. This works incredibly well. It has to do with the Law of Attraction, which is a bit more complex, but not really. There’s a really good movie called The Law of Attraction on this subject if you are interested.
What happens when I don’t know what my future plan is?
Well, first, I fall apart. I feel lost like I can’t function and I lose my damn mind. I would say, the majority of the time, a person can control their future by doing what I do. A scary part of Covid 19 for mantis that they don’t know what the future looks like, so they feel out of control. I get this. My anxieties don’t all revolve around Covid19 though. There are plenty of factors in my life that are out of my control making certain future aspects of my life difficult to envision. So, what do I do?
I have decided that all of that thinking, worrying, and anxiety is really just me waiting. Waiting for something I don’t know to happen. When you are sitting alone waiting and stressing about your future, you are not taking advantage of life the way you should. You are not living your current best life if you are constantly stressing about things that may or may not be. Note: this is different from what I spoke of before, envisioning your future. Stressing about it is basically sitting there because you can’t figure out what your future holds and stewing in it. Crying about it. Losing sleep. All of those things lead you to not live in the moment or even the day. What a waste of time.
When I finally got to the point where I was at my wit’s end with worrying and stressing, I knew I had to make a change. This was driving me crazy. I was like Rapunzel in Tangled singing “When will my life begin??” Now, any time I find my mind going down that path, I do something different. I don’t always do the same thing, but I always get up and do something. Cleaning makes me feel very in control and who doesn’t love a clean house, right? I often clean. When I don’t want to clean, I do something else. Instead of stewing in things I cannot control, I think to myself, “What would make me happy right now?” Then, I do the thing that will make me happy. If anything it distracts me for a while from worrying and most times I am happy with what I decided to do.
Here are some other things you can do when you find yourself Waiting:
- Craft something. I am back into doing collage art for now, but also love sewing, crocheting, and coloring
- Read a book. We all have so many books or at least several. Pick any one up and read it. If you can’t get into it, get rid of that book
- Do a puzzle
- Watch a movie
- Watch a show
- Go for a walk/run/bike ride
- Do a live video on Facebook. You never have to re-watch it and it is fun!
- Cook a new-to-you dish
- Take a nap (if you can stop your mind long enough to get to sleep)
- Play a video game
- Talk to your kids
- Call a family member/friend you always mean to call, but never do.
- Play an instrument
- Sing karaoke
- Meditate. If you don’t “know how,” check out YouTube videos. They are super helpful
- Make a list of 10 year goals, write them out, put them on your wall, & envision them being your reality
I definitely do not have all of the answers, but I do know that waiting around for your life to begin is not a healthy way to live. As much as we might want our life to be a Disney movie and have everything magically happen and turn out perfectly, it’s not. We have to work for what we want.
If you can’t see what you want or what your future is, focus on now.
Enjoy what IS.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah