Waiting at the airport.
Waiting on the train.
Waiting in line at McDonald’s.
Waiting in your car.
Waiting for the pizza guy to show up.
Waiting for school to end.
Waiting for a traumatic event to end.
Waiting for a family.
Waiting for a promotion.
Waiting for…etc., etc., etc.
How much do we spend waiting in this life?
We are constantly waiting for the next thing to happen, the next to come, the next movie to come out...
W h a t i s t h i s w a i t i n g f o r ?
I think the real question is not what the waiting is for, but what are we doing during these "waiting" periods?
Are we just sitting around saying:
"When will the next happy moment in my life happen?"
"Why did this happen to me and when will it stop?"
"Why do things keep happening to me?"
"Why do I have to WAIT...AGAIN?"
As I was traveling last year (yes, I have been thinking about this since then) coming home from California (or leaving home, my HB friends might say), I was waiting for my bags at the airport and saw this sign (you could say I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes):
I realized, we, as a society, are always wanting to do SOMETHING while we wait, we even advertise for people to do something in their waiting moments. Even just 5 minutes at the airport. At first, I thought this was a bad thing and wondered why do I need to constantly have my brain working? Can I not just take a breather and wait for my luggage?
But when I pondered on it more, I realized that in life in general, it is not only helpful,
but v i t a l,
that we are doing things while we "wait".
I think the first assumption I had to get rid of was that this life is a constant waiting game...
Waiting for this, waiting for that.
It does not have to be like that!
I can live life and not feel like
I am waiting for things to happen to me, for me, etc.
What I do while I "wait" will really decide my happiness.
Here is my main point:
Am I constantly waiting for the "next phase" or the "next happy thing" to happen while I am perhaps going through a hard time?
Do I complain in the midst of this hard time? What is with all the waiting to be happy? Why can I not just be happy now?
We all can be happy now.
Here is an example (a really sub-par one):
If you order a pizza from Pizza Planet and they say it will be delivered in 20 minutes and then it takes 2 hours, what would you do during that time?
complain for that whole 2 hours until the pizza arrives?
cuss the pizza place out for not arriving right on time?
I assume most of us would call after about 35 minutes and say
"um hi, where is my damn pizza?"
(okay, maybe most of us would say it in a nicer tone)
We might complain for a second
and then call to see what the hold up is.
I doubt most of us would wait and
complain for a whole 2 hours, that seems excessive, or cuss someone out for just being late...
But do we do this in life? (guilty)
There have been a few times when something
not my favorite happens to me where
I will just complain...
and wonder why it is happening...
and wallow in my bed for weeks or months...
instead of complaining for a second and then realizing I CAN call the pizza guy to see what the hold up is.
(In case you did not get that reference, I am talking about God)
As I have come to realize that sitting back and waiting for things to happen does not necessarily work,
I have had to change my 'tude and
start to be happy with what I have now...
then maybe I will not feel like I am waiting...
just living life.
(a strange concept, I know)
If you clicked on my amazing Ace of Base link above,
you may have heard these lyrics:
"No one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong"
I have realized in just this past week that I cannot just sit idly by and WAIT for things to happen to me so I can be truly happy.
I have to just move forward, taking one day at a time. No one else is going to do it for me. Sure, I have my support system: God, family, friends, etc., but they can only give me advice and strength, not the internal courage to wait no more.
Lemony Snicket wisely said, “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
To me, this phrase is two-fold:
One: I know that if I am not ready to give someone or something up, but would prefer to wait it out...then I am miserable, but if I move forward even if I am not quite ready...often I find myself much happier in my day-to-day life and notice that my murmuring and complaining attitude diminishes immensely. We should not have to wait the rest of our lives...that sounds quite painful, agonizing, awful, and blah.
Two: I think some of us feel like there are certain phases in life...I have to WAIT until I do this...before I can do that (I have to wait to be happy until I have a family...I have to wait to date someone until I feel completely happy)...but, as good ole Lemony so smartly says...we are never really ready or prepared for all of the good or bad things that happen in life. We would be waiting forever for a great thing to happen to us if we wait until we are READY to have it happen. Life does not always work like that.
Although, I will admit, it is appropriate to WAIT to pee UNTIL you get to a bathroom.
So, if you struggle with the same thing (waiting in life, not waiting to pee), here are just 5 of the things I am doing to live life while I am "waiting":
1) I am listening to my wise friends and family and counting my blessings and CHOOSING to be happy.
-NEWSFLASH: Being happy is a choice. When I count the good things in my life, they far outweigh the bad. Even if you have a huge bad event happening, take a second and seriously count the GOOD things, I bet you will find that you become happier and the hard thing seems a little less hard with each good thing counted.
2) I am murmuring not. (doing my best anyway...)
My dear friend sent me an old talk by Elder Maxwell and he said,
"Murmuring can...be noisy enough that it drowns out the various spiritual signals to us, signals which tell us in some cases to quit soaking ourselves indulgently in the hot tubs of self-pity! Murmuring over the weight of our crosses not only takes energy otherwise needed to carry them but might cause another to put down his cross altogether...if we were not carrying so much else, our crosses would be much lighter. The heaviest load we feel is often from the weight of our unkept promises and our unresolved sins, which press down relentlessly upon us. In any genuine surrendering to God, one says, 'I will give away all my sins to know thee.'"
I realized that complaining about my issues does not do any good. When I let go of the pain, the hurt, the anger, like the quote says, my cross feels a lot lighter to bear. Humility really takes hold.
3) I am trusting in the Lord and letting him lift and support me.
That same friend sent me Elder Uchtdort's BYU speech entitled
"The Wind Beneath Your Wings"...he says:
"To stay one more time within the metaphor of flying an aircraft, many things are required to make an airplane fly and fly safely, but the most important thing, as I used to call it, is the 'wind beneath your wings.' Without it, there is no lift, no climb, no flight into the wild blue yonder or to faraway, beautiful destinations.
The Holy Ghost will be the wind beneath your wings, placing in your hearts the firm conviction of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His place in the eternal plan of God, your Eternal Father. Through the Holy Ghost you will know your place in this plan and your divine eternal destination."
I think that is pretty self-explanatory, but I just love it. If you need a visual, watch this (quite possibly one of the weirdest videos...):
4) Taking it day by day
If I keep focus on the waiting part of life, the day to day kinda sucks. When we take it day by day and strive to be happy that day,
the "waiting" in turn becomes something great.
5) Finding activities that make me happy
There are so many things to do in this life that do not involve waiting or complaining all the time!
(my friend Mere pointed this out to me...)
I started to...
ride my bike to work,
read before bed (Harry Potter does it again),
read my scriptures every morning
read my Patriarchal blessing every morning,
and clean and organize, which doesn't hurt my stress level either :)
When we find things that make us happy...
instead of waiting for things to make us happy...
Life can be pretty great.
"...it is in the rooms, not the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in."
So...What are you waiting forrrrrr?