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Deliberately waiting

By a show of hands, how many people have no patience for waiting in line?

It’s not really the line, is it?  It’s the waiting.  Do you have the patience

Lines of traffic…

Lines at the grocery check out…

Lines to get into a show or movie…

Lines to get into a building…

Lines to get onto a bus…

Lines to …

Hurry up …. and wait.

I’m not sure exactly when I changed my attitude or point of view or perception, but frankly I don’t mind waiting. (anymore)

Today, when I thought about it, I realized I had decided to make a few small changes and they have affected EVERY aspect of my life, including how I feel about … waiting.

#1) Waiting is not a personal affront on me.   Yes, waiting may be inconvenient, but it’s not personal.  The check out cashier did not see me coming and decide to make me wait.  That cashier may have only gotten 3 hours of sleep as she stayed up with a sick baby and today she’s moving very slowly… or maybe that cashier is 18 years old doing a job that he hates working a cash register he barely understands working for a boss that is constantly telling him how worthless he is.  My point is, it’s not about me.  So, I don’t take it personally.

#2) It will all work out.  Once I stopped rushing around and getting frustrated by things I had no control over (i.e. other people) I learned that it all works out in the end.  In the morning, I gently encourage the kids to get ready, and I’ve learned they don’t like being reminded of the time, however, they don’t mind being encouraged to “go find socks” or “please go brush your teeth”.  Gone are the days of me saying, “I shouldn’t have to remind you” because, whether I shouldn’t or not, doesn’t help move our party out the door.  AND I’ve learned that there is always time to let another car into traffic.  Think about it… you roll forward a little slower and leave a couple of car length between you and the car ahead of you…. then it takes literally less than a 10 seconds, to pause, wave someone into the line as you slowly roll forward.  This provides me with the feeling of giving that opportunity and also lowers the chances of an aggressive driver causing me stress.

#3) Be thankful.  Be thankful for the fact that you are waiting. Think about how thankful you are that you have something to wait for, that you will soon have that thing, how thankful you are that you are there to wait… there are always things to be thankful for…

#4) And share your positive outlook and patience with other people, I have found that showing an example of patience helps other people with their patience… Take a deep breath and understand that right now, right this moment, you will be waiting. You can enjoy that moment or you can complain and make your life and those around you miserable.  If you choose misery, I bet you will be miserable much longer than the wait.  I bet you will be miserable long after you have completed your task, I bet you will discuss your miserable wait with anyone that will listen and possibly, even let it adversely effect the rest of your day… as you sit and stew over that terrible wait.  Be positive.  Comment to someone behind you about the weather, the sales at the store, their colorful blouse…  be patient, be positive.

Does any of that make sense?

So, you say, you’ve realized that you are waiting and you are hating it?   Take a deep breath.   Let’s say you wait for 1 hour…. let’s make it extreme, you have to wait for 5 hours.   You can decide to allow that wait to be 5 hours of contemplation, book reading, meditating, music listening or conversation with fellow wait-er’s or you can make it 5 hours of miserable complaining …  with the add-on of the time and energy you will spend complaining to whoever will listen after your 5 hour wait is long over.

Take a deep breath.

Realize you are going to wait.

Understand that you can decide how you will be as you wait.

And choose… patience, happiness and thankfulness.

Have an amazing day.





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