What kind of waiter are you? I’m not talking about the people who work in restaurants. I’m talking about how do you wait? Are you impatient and grumpy? Do you honk your horn in traffic? Do you snap your fingers to get your server’s attention if it takes a second too long to get your drink?
Or do you wait with a smile? Are you content to talk with the people around you while you wait in line? Or really observe your surroundings instead of reading your emails or texting on your phone?
Waiting is not something I do well, but I’m getting better. To say that I was an impatient person is probably an understatement. In my mind once I’ve decided something should happen it should happen – immediately!
I would get angry and say nasty things (mostly to R.J. my husband or my stepson when he was still living with us). Or I would just cry and have a panic attack. Thinking about it now makes me cringe. I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with.
No wonder I got all those confused looks from them! I would freak out at the smallest provocation and when things didn’t happen within my time frame I changed into a fire-breathing monster.
So what’s different? Why is waiting not such a big deal anymore?
I’m not gonna lie, waiting is still a problem for me, but nowhere near as much as it used to be. There wasn’t any one thing that worked.
There was prayer, there was therapy (a lot of therapy!), there was a dogged determination to not be an awful person anymore, there was a deep desire to not let my past ruin my present or my future, there was the unwavering support of the best, kindest, most decent human being I’ve ever met, and there was going through things that I couldn’t make go any faster no matter what I did – it took almost 3 years to sell our first house!
Anyone that tries to sell you a quick fix is just trying to make money. Anything worth having takes time and patience and determination. Deep down I don’t want anything that comes easy. Of course I’m disappointed when things don’t happen as quickly as I had hoped (for instance the sales for my book Fallacy are nowhere near what I wanted!).
But now I realize that if things happen too fast or at the wrong time or when I’m not ready they don’t turn out nearly as well. There have been so many times where if I had rushed to complete a project I would have missed something that would have made it better. Like with my kitchen renovation, now I’m getting granite counter tops instead of laminate for about the same price. All because I waited and shopped around.
I’m still impatient. I still want and expect things to be finished quickly, but I’ve also learned that if I take my time the project turns out better. I’ve also had to admit that I am not as productive when I rush to complete things. I get sloppy and don’t care as much when I’m exhausted.
I’ve learned that sometimes I have to call it a day way sooner than I used to in order to get the results that I want and expect.
I’ve learned that it’s okay to be human and imperfect and to ask for help – and to wait. Not because good things come to those who wait, but because waiting is a part of life. And I want to be a human that can wait with a smile. I want to be a human that can appreciate the things around me while I’m waiting – to learn from them, to give back while I’m taking.