Tom Petty said it best in his classic song, The Waiting:
“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part”
Right you are Mr. Tom Petty. The waiting is the hardest part. We wait for everything and most of the time we don’t like to wait. About the only time when we like to wait is when we have to say goodbye to someone else. Saying goodbye turns into the classic scenario where we get caught in the 5-minute-long hug with someone because we don’t want to say goodbye.
Everything else though, not so much.
We are so obsessed with not wanting to wait, that we have developed call ahead service for almost everything these days, including the unbearable waiting tactic of standing in line at the DMV. You can put your name on a text message wait-list now before you even leave your house, so that you no longer have to suffer through the agony that is the mile-long, three-hour wait to get a new driver’s license.
If only the rest of life had a text ahead system. But, it doesn’t. In real life, you have to deal with the waiting head on.
As an Aspie, one of the biggest things that I struggle with is waiting. I like to have a set schedule and don’t handle spontaneous change very well. Being such a planner, I go through many parts of my life with a fine tooth comb, just to make sure I know exactly when and where things are happening. The most antagonizing part of anything for me is never when something is happening, it’s always the lead up to it, the waiting for it.
Being unemployed changes the pain of waiting to something different. Not knowing what is going to happen next isn’t frightening. What I’m afraid of is when things will happen. Unless I want to remain jobless forever, which I don’t, I know that one day, I will work again, but when exactly, I have no idea.
As scary as it is though, at times like this, I have a sense of confidence. I will work again and I will continue on the path of a working life. Why? Because of this one verse in the Bible: Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The key word in that passage as it relates to waiting…”future.” How do you get to the future exactly? You wait for it. If we weren’t made to have to wait for things, than waiting wouldn’t exist.
I hate waiting. I really, really, really, really hate waiting. But, thanks to my faith in God, a strong support system around me and coping skills that I’ve learned as an Aspie over many years, I have found ways to adapt to the waiting and use it to my advantage. In the end, waiting for something can actually be a lot more fun than rushing into it, because the feeling of great joy you get when something finally does happen, makes all the waiting worth it.
I’m not saying that you should wait for everything. If you have a car payment due or you need to buy groceries or feed your pet fish, obviously don’t wait. But, for many of life’s other simple pleasures, every so often, take time to wait.
Sometimes, when you least expect it, waiting can actually be fun.