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?