Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well...what are You waiting on?

According to Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part.

Yet it seems that we are all waiting for something...
John Mayer is waiting on the world to change.
Jack Johnson is sitting, waiting, wishing while The Beatles are crying, waiting, hoping.
Mick Jagger is waiting on a friend.
50 Cent is patiently waiting as Bob Marley is waiting in vain.
Diana Ross is still waiting.
Richard Marx is right here waiting.
Even Greenday, Prince, The Cure, Cake, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani and Madonna have had something to say about waiting over the years so obviously we are not the only ones who have ever experienced this phenomenon.

Currently, I'm waiting on a few things... Like payday so I can make the monthly big trips to the grocery store and Wal-Mart. (Side note: I make lists now and plan in advance what I am going to need for the entire month and make one big trip at the beginning. Then I make about 4 small trips throughout the month to get the perishables like fruit, milk and bread. It's fantastic. I digress.) I'm also waiting until I finish my papers (that are due, oh tomorrow) before I take the time to mop my floors for the week. And since I awoke this morning, I have been waiting for the ridiculous crick in my neck to go away. I could whine about this for hours...I have been actually. Of course I am waiting for much bigger things too which doesn't require a large amount of imagination to figure out what they may be.

The craziest thought occurred to me last night though as I was standing in front of my emptier than usual refrigerator. Now, this isn't a new thought by any means at all so no one rush to get a pen and piece of paper or anything. But...I could be doing so much while I wait. In fact, that's the very thing that we are supposed to do during waiting seasons. The goal is to not sing the same song our pal Bob Marley does. For example, instead of counting the days until I head to Kroger to purchase more cereal and cans of soup, I could actually cook the chicken and vegetables that are in my freezer. Sure, my bathroom is big enough for two people to hula hoop in at the same time, but there's only so much linoleum in a 1 BR/1 BA apartment. I could skip the email/Facebook check during a writing break and mop the floors relatively quick. Why let my neck continue to get more stiff and sore when I could easily massage the knot and stretch it out instead? Because that along with all of the other alternatives require one thing: work. And unfortunately it's just easier to put it off and continue waiting instead of doing it. When it comes right down to it though, it's work that is going to have to be done eventually so why not go ahead and do it?

As a privileged American, I live in a world of instant gratification. I realize this so I am the first one to grow rather impatient and grumble if I have to wait for something. However, I'm always so perplexed when I see people in the parking lot who will wait 10 minutes for the 82 year-old grandma to load her 17 bags of cat food and Ensure into her car (which is parked in first parking space of course) only to scowl at her for taking so long as she wheels her cart back to the corral. If they have two good legs and feet, I wonder why they don't park the 10 spaces farther back and walk into the store? It's actually quicker to do so. Plus, by burning those extra calories from a longer walk, they could enjoy a candy bar guilt free as they WAIT in the long check-out line.

So maybe the question should be...What are you doing while you wait?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

For these things I am thankful...

Before I go into my Thanksgiving song and dance, I should probably start by saying that I am shocked I even remembered the password to this little blog o'mine. Let's face it - I'm not a blogger. My life is not that exciting nor do I live under the illusion that people are constantly stopping in to see if I've posted anything new. However occasionally inspiration will strike and when it does, I'm here to share.

To be honest, my attitude toward the holidays (for purposes of this post, "holidays" will be defined as the period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day) for the past few years has been one of "are they over yet?" For a single gal in her late 20's this is one of the loneliest seasons of the year. I don't say this to evoke any sort of sympathy or pity, it's just the truth. At least for me it is anyway. When you add the fact that I am not at all content with my current circumstances together with the reality that I am 100% human, one may easily see why I often fall into the trap of focusing on what I don't have instead of what I have been given. Last night as I was counting sheep and trying to force sleep, the realization came crashing down that just because this hasn't been my best year and I'm not exactly happy with where I'm at in life at the present moment, I still have so so many reasons to be thankful. Sure, I've got my friends and family and job and that's well and good but if I just leave it at that, I think back to my English 101 class in college and how nearly every single paper I got back had the word "Trite" scribbled across certain passages in red ink. It's kind of like we rattle off those things just like we say "fine" when someone asks how we are doing. Are we really fine when we say that? Or is it just an involuntary response that the person asking the question is expecting to hear? So after some serious thinking, allow me to share a few of the things that I am thankful for this year...

1. Airplanes - During my senior year of college I set a goal to travel to at least one new place each year. Since last Thanksgiving, I've been to Las Vegas, Little Rock and St. Louis. Ok, two of the three were for work, but I still managed to have some fun...even in Little Rock. Any suggestions for 2008 destinations?

2. A new zip code - After living in Dahlonega for 9 years and 11 months, it was kind of a big deal for me to leave. Granted, it was time because I'm pretty sure I out lived the one horse that constituted its one-horse town status. Athens isn't exactly "home" yet nor do I intend to stay here after I finish school, but it's fine for now and I'm excited about the possibilities that may be in store here in the Classic City.

3. The University of Georgia - (things that I NEVER imagined that I would be thankful for) It's official, I'm back in school. I'm glad to be putting my brain to use again and it's something that I should have done years ago. However, just like I tell all the non-trad's who decide to start college for the very first time after being out of high school for years "the good thing about college is that it's never too late to go back". Perhaps I'm more thankful that I finally took the chance (taking the GRE and scoring well enough to get in, applying, getting accepted, etc...) because very rarely do I take a chance if there is the slightest possibility that I may not succeed.

4. Dad "kicking the habit" - I'm actually thankful for the whole experience that my family went through with Dad earlier this year. Yes, it's easy to say now because he's still with us (thank goodness!!), but I learned so much. Until Dad got sick, I have never had to deal with anything scary or uncertain in regards to my family's health or well-being. I'm thankful to know that I have the ability to hold it together when faced with the reality of losing someone I love very much. It doesn't mean that I wasn't scared and there are some days that I don't even remember, but I do know that I will make it and I will be ok. I'm thankful for the new perspective that I have as a result. I place more importance on my family now and I know not to take them for granted. Still now that things are back to "normal", I try take every opportunity that I have to tell them and show them that I love them. Even my daddy who is sometimes a hard man to love, but I'm thankful that he's still here to hear me tell him. And even though I would not have chosen this way for him to quit smoking, he hasn't smoked since April 1 which is something to be thankful for as well.

5. My memory - For whatever reason, I have the ability to remember the most random things. Sometimes a curse, more often a blessing though. While it's really not important that I can tell you what I wore the first day of kindergarten, high school and college or the last day of third grade, remembering some specific detail about a friend and asking about it later helps me build connections with them and I'm thankful for those connections.

6. New friends - I've made some new friends this year, and they are amazing individuals. I'm thankful to know them because I have learned so much from them in even a short period of time. While they are "silver" now, with any luck, they will one day be "gold".

7. Old friends - These people have stood by me and remained my friend when I haven't been much of a friend to them in return, and I am forever grateful for that. It's quite a humbling experience when people will be your friend without condition. I only hope that one day I can show the same kindness in return.

8. My broken heart - Ok, this is the one that I really had to search for some gratitude here. I'm thankful to know that I have the ability to really really care for someone with all of my heart and to care for another person more than I care about myself. And while the broken heart just sucks to be quite honest, I'm thankful for finally getting the closure that I had been waiting for in order to begin the process of mending this little ol' heart of mine.

9. My new computer speakers at work - This may seem trivial to some of you. I know that the people who have had to listen to me moan and groan for no less than 4 months about not having speakers are thankful that I will finally shut up now. However since moving to The OC to work, I have missed listening to the radio to get me through my work day. I love music. Seriously. All kinds. So when I get to spend my 9-5 tuned in to my radio station or CD of choice for the day I'm a much nicer person and the world is a happier place for everyone. I'm already looking forward to work on Monday!

10. God's Grace - I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that God loves me unconditionally and continues to give me so much even when I act like an ungrateful little brat (typical only child behavior) at times. Because when it comes right down to it, grace is the only thing I need and with it, I have so much more than I could ever deserve.

...for these things (and so many more), I am thankful.