Standing in line, all masked up, with nothing to do but wait, I people watch and think about how much time I spend waiting—just waiting.
I’m not saying it’s miserable, it isn’t, but time waiting does seem to be increasing in my life. I wait for the time to get up, coffee to drip, elevator to arrive, maid service, shuttle, customer service, laundry to wash and dry, 8,000 steps, 6:00 news, endless commercials, sleep to come, and I’m referring to only one lazy Saturday in a hotel.
Out of curiosity and knowing full-well someone had researched the topic, I visited my friend, Google. Sure enough, a Timex survey found Americans wait:
- 32 minutes whenever they see a doctor
- 28 minutes in security lines whenever they travel
- 21 minutes for a significant other to get ready to go out
- 13 hours annually waiting on hold for customer service
- 38 hours each year waiting in traffic
- Those living in big cities sit in traffic more than 50 hours annually and 20 minutes a day waiting for a bus or train.
These numbers were from a 2017 study. Now we have COVID, where we wait on an X, wondering why only two registers are open and noticing the person in front of us has a cart overstuffed with toilet paper.
Thomas Edison said, “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” He must have been referring to having active thoughts because we have more time to think as we lean on a grocery cart with glazed-over eyes, covered facial expressions, and the inability to visit with the person six feet behind us.
What are you waiting for? I’m waiting for and with other people, and thank goodness my parents taught me to be polite and considerate. Waiting, a practice in patience is likely what we all need.
Right now, we are waiting as we prepare for Christmas. How fun—hanging lights, decorating, baking, spending, wrapping, sending cards, and singing. Waiting enhances the anticipation.
My mother used to say, “Anything worth having is worth waiting for.” I think she wanted me to put a cap on my impatience when I didn’t want to wait on Christmas Eve for everyone to arrive before eating her cranberry sauce or waiting to open presents until my dad got home from the annual eggnog bash at the Vet’s Club. Her words didn’t make sense, but they calmed me anyway.
What are you waiting for? Maybe nothing? Something? Everything? I like what Anne Frank wrote in her diary, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
During this holiday season, let’s put our waiting time to work and hustle to improve the world, our world. Maybe waiting helps us do what’s best.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Powered by WPeMatico