Ever notice how much time people spend waiting for stuff? Waiting til they're old enough. Waiting til they're rich enough. Waiting til they've found that perfect mate. Waiting to lose more weight, or grow more hair, or find a better job, or move into that new house...
Waiting for their ship to come in.
Seems funny to me that we spend so much time waiting, when there's all this time right now to do lots of stuff we think we can't do until those other things show up. It's goofy. Like when I was 13, I just couldn't wait to get my driver's license. Then, as soon as I had it, I couldn't wait to have my own car. Then, I got that and I couldn't wait to graduate high school so I could leave my claustrophobic little town and go to California. Then...well, it's just been one thing after another. Each time I got whatever I was waiting for, I was looking for something else to wait for. Like I couldn't just do. I had to wait. What the....?
One of the worst is when you're always wishing you were someplace else. Like, you could be at your job, a job you don't necessarily dislike, maybe you even like it, but all the while you're there, you can't wait for it to be over so you can go home. This is possibly one of the worst ways to go through life. And I know tons of people who do. I used to be one of them. It drove me nuts for years. I'd get all down on myself for it too. I'd have these little arguments with Me over it.
“Why do you do this to yourself?”
“Gee. I don't know. Maybe it's because I'd rather be home drinking wine than listening to some bonehead bitch about how his dinner is nothing like he thought.”
“Well, you know, it could be worse. You could be standing on a car lot with a bunch of schmoes waiting for your next customer. Ever think about that?”
“As a matter of fact, I have. And it's not that I'm not grateful. I just don't want to be here.”
“Well, where do you want to be?”
“Home. Or riding my horse. Or playing my guitar on some grand stage somewhere.”
“Well, those are lovely places to be. But still. You're here now. Why not make the best of it?”
“Shit. Here we go again. All the waiting stuff. I'm sick of it!”
“Calm down there, missy. You don't have to wait. Just be here. Let go the waiting for other stuff....”
On and on these arguments would go, round and round til it felt like my head would explode. SHEESH.
Somewhere around the time I got knocked off my Cosmic Axle, I realized that the waiting stuff was part of how I got knocked off. I wasn't paying attention to that centrifugal force. I hit that big brick wall and it flattened me in a heartbeat. There I was, crumpled on the ground, all bruised and disoriented, and for the first time, I wasn't waiting for anything. I was just there, all broken and stunned. Right there...in the moment.
Hey. What's going on here?
All my senses went into hyper-drive. Because I wasn't trying to be anywhere else, where I was seemed so much more...acute. Crystalline clear. Sounds, smells, the physical sensations of pain and burning...so clear that it was almost too much to bear. Full-on sensory overload.
But the cool part was that I saw it. I actually got what was happening. The emotional roller coaster from realizing it and also feeling the physical sensations all at once was about as wild as that monster coaster at Magic Mountain.1 Thrilling to be sure. Also scary. When that many emotions show up all at once, in full force, without warning...it's more than just scary. It's terrifying. All you can really do is hold on and trust that the ride is going to end eventually. With any luck, you'll be alive when it does.
That's how these things go.