Waiting, But Not for Godot…..

How much of our lives is spent “waiting?” In the book, “Birds Art Life” by Kyo Maclear, she defines the act of waiting quite clearly, if not definitively (for waiting is nothing if not endless), in this passage:
“Waiting for a late friend. Waiting in line at the movies.
Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the mail.
Waiting at the checkout counter. Waiting in traffic.
Waiting for the train. Waiting for the plane. Waiting in
a darkened theatre. Waiting in a foreign country.
Waiting to give birth. Waiting for sluggish minors.
Waiting for elderly parents. Waiting for something to
go wrong. Waiting at the doctor’s office. The waiting of
chronic illness. Eroded public services waiting. Wait-
ing for the Messiah. Waitlist waiting. The hoping and
waiting, the waiting and hoping. The waiting of
childhood. The waiting to grow up. The waiting of old
age. Waiting to recover. Waiting for another stroke.
Waiting for the body to let go. Waiting for inspiration.
Letting-the-field-lie-fallow waiting. The thinking-of-nothing-
and thinking-of-everything
waiting. Waiting just as the storm
ends. Waiting for the sun.”
And then of course, there is Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” quote: “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful”.
Waiting by my definition is being in limbo, a time and space in which there is no beginning or end, until, of course, it is over. Then we wait on something else. I used to be the late friend that people had to wait for, which is ironic because I normally do not like to be a bother. And a “late” friend is a bother. I have amended my ways, and try not to be late. That does not mean I am not late sometimes, but I put forth the effort now not to be late.
Some of the more interesting and more innocent synonyms for “waiting” are: for the future, in the offing, pausing, expecting, anticipating, and awaiting (which seems gentler than waiting). But waiting has its annoying side, as found in these synonyms: put off, wait on, lingering, stopping, postposing, and worst of all–delaying. I find that the term “delaying the inevitable” never has a positive connotation—why does it seem that the inevitable is never good?
Waiting for many (myself included) is annoying. But as evidenced above in Maclear’s little rant on the page, it is a big part of our lives. Much of life entails waiting—so I suppose we could live little “mini” lives in the waiting periods. Because if we don’t, there is a lot of wasted time. And depending on what you are waiting for (a diagnosis, recovery, the Messiah) you will be doing a lot of thumb twirling.
Right now, many of us are waiting for spring, and in doing so, not really enjoying what winter has to offer. We are in the “letting-the-field-lie-fallow” stage, so let us enjoy it. I do not like bitter cold, or having to don my boots whenever I go out, but there are many things I love about winter. I love the snow and how it transforms our landscape into a winter wonderland; I love snowmen and women with their carrot noses, jaunty caps, and scarves. And who doesn’t find discarded branches as arms on these makeshift harbingers of jolly, charming? When I do venture out on a dark and stormy night, I feel brave, as if I have accomplished something. And you have to admit that being warm and cozy inside is one of the best feelings—add a cup of cocoa and a book, and I for one, am in heaven.
I do not particularly care for waiting in any kind of line, but when you finally make it to the front of the line, it is as if you have earned a gold medal in patience. I particularly do not like waiting on the end of a phone line—when there are 493 in line ahead of me, or so that robotic nonhuman voice tells me, between messages of “thank you for waiting”. Now that I find beyond irritating, but sometimes you have to hang in there because it is the only way to get through. Thank goodness for computers—many times we can go online and forego the incessant wait for the “next available customer service representative”.
Sometimes, if we are so disposed, we can look at waiting as a “mini-vacation” or a little time to ourselves, when we can meditate, breathe deeply, and give in to the fact that some things are just beyond our control. Other times, waiting seems interminable, but alas, it is part of life.

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Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm  Comments (7)  

For the Sake of Simplicity: Happy New Year 2018!

By the time you read this, the chestnuts have been roasted, the New Year toasted, and your resolutions intact and on their way to being broken. Not a great segue into 2018? Well, let us forget the fact that by July most of us have not only forgotten our resolutions, we have broken most of them. We will carry on as if reality has not yet interceded and that this will be the year that we reach our goals, set with the haze of the holidays still fogging our minds.
Resolutions, those determined and pesky goals we set for ourselves, are to my mind a bit of a necessity as they show that the glass is not always half empty. It is our optimistic half full selves that make resolutions, and it is that very positive side of us that thinks that the glass of life is neither half full or half empty, but just waiting to be filled to the brim. (Okay, I see you rolling your eyes at my (borrowed) analogy, but stick with me. And didn’t your mother tell you that if you rolled your eyes too much they would stay that way? No, that was when you went cross-eyed…)
Resolutions are kind of high-faluting promises we make to ourselves, and when we do not carry through, generally we are only letting ourselves down. But think about it, we are our own worst critics, so we are letting down the very people we should be trying to impress. Okay, I am getting a little deep here… let’s lighten up a bit. I say we simplify things and make a few resolutions we can keep, intermingled with a few that will last until mid-year, and perhaps set one (or two or three) that are impossible but that we would like to achieve. So here goes:

Resolutions I Will Be Sure to Keep:
Read more.
Eat chocolate (and I do not mean the healthy dark chocolate. I still like milk chocolate, having accepted that my taste buds are immature.)
Have an occasional spirit.
Laugh more. (It is good for your soul. Seriously)

Resolutions I May Keep (or at least strive at keeping):
Write more (and actually finish something longer than 1000 words or the 17-syllable haiku.)
Read more literature. Reacquaint myself with the Bard and Margaret Atwood (whom I put on the same plane.)
Use social media less (a time stealer I have grown to enjoy too much.)
Cook from a recipe and not rote.
Start a petition exulting the Oxford comma (which I use when I remember).)
My Big Resolution(s):
Find myself. (I am just kidding)
Not make spelling or grammar errors. (Kidding #2)
Okay, now for real this time: Finish writing a book, have it made into a mini-series or movie (I am not fussy) and become filthy rich (as opposed to just rich.)
And, if we are really going for broke “Miss America” style: Broker world peace and make sure everyone has a roof over their heads, and meals to look forward to.
Resolutions are very personal. Many of mine are me-centric, but that is what the whole resolution making game is about. It is a reflection of us, our sense of humour (whether it be lame, witty or cutting edge), our values, and our hopes and dreams. Some of my resolutions were made with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but also with the hope, the outside chance that I can carry them out. I know for sure that some of my resolutions will be easy to keep; some are a bit far-fetched; and yes, a few are impossible, but so what? They are mine and I will hold them dear.
Even if you do not put pen to paper or like me, tap them out on your laptop, you know that you will at least be considering how you would like the new year to go. You may not commit your resolution to paper, but you know that in the back of your mind you cannot resist the idea that 2018 will be your year. With that in mind, I wish you all a very Happy New Year! Cheers to 2018!
Eat. Drink. Be Merry. And do no harm.

Published in: on January 1, 2018 at 3:41 pm  Comments (7)