Above photo: I snapped this lovely but dramatic sunset while passing through Dixon, on the way back from Tahoe.
I have mixed feelings about waiting.
Learning how to wait teaches you patience, to slow down and just be… while you: wait for the train, wait in an epic layover in a foreign country, wait in a crowded mess for the ski lift, wait for a check to arrive in the mail.
My tolerance for waiting is probably a lot higher than the next person (I once waited four hours to get into a museum), but lately, I’ve become slightly consumed with a different kind of waiting. The only way to describe it is a kind of waiting-for-shit-to-happen.
What am I waiting for? The first things that come to mind are better work opportunities, my next trip, seeing friends, the next thing.
I’ve never been a waiting-for-shit-to-happen kind of person. I’ve always been more on the make-shit-happen side, so I had to take a step back the other day and give it deeper thought.
I want to be more present and let go of this mental waiting room I’ve unknowingly created for myself.
Waiting is messing up my flow of now
It’s the complete antithesis of living in the moment and being mindful — two things I’ve been really intentional about over the last few years, so what is all this waiting business about?
It started with travel. Last year, traveling every month always gave me something to look forward to, and while I wholeheartedly believe in having things to look forward to and get excited about, I don’t have any big travel plans this year, which is sort of throwing me through a loop.
Truth be told, I’m a bit burnt out from the whole traveling thing. Packing, checking in for flights, delayed flights, not knowing when I’m landing, coordinating transportation, mapping out destinations and things to do… it just feels like a lot of work that I don’t feel like doing.
So for now, any big travel plans are on hold.
Waiting for the perfect client
If there’s one thing I learned about consulting and having your own business, it’s that there are always opportunities, but things just take forever to actually start. Contracts, meetings, lots of back and forth…
Recently, I noticed I’m “holding out” and waiting until the right client comes along. Of course, there’s no such thing as Mr. Perfect Client. I know this, but yet I still wait.
Then, a few pretty awesome full-time opportunities presented itself to me, so I was putting all of my waiting energy there.
How to Stop Waiting
After I left my full-time job I made it a point to break out of clock-watching and live my Monday to Friday life like it was a weekend. A weekend with work, of course, but the idea was to stop the autopilot that was daily life.
I also have extra long lunches with friends or my sister and go to Whole Foods way too much. Sometimes I meet up in the middle of the afternoon with my mastermind group. (None of them have real jobs either, ha!)
I should also preface this with the fact that all of this took training, discipline and understanding my schedule to a fault. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do whatever I wanted in my day just because it was fun and carefree. I wish it was that easy.
Work can still be really stressful, but I find that adding elements of spontaneity whenever I can helps with the woes of waiting.
Breaking out of the mundane in this way has created a deeper connection to what day it is and what I’m spending my time doing. When I was in the office, all the days kind of meshed into one long weekday.
Why am I waiting when life is so sweet?
Waiting, thinking, and wishing for other opportunities is interrupting the daily joys of life. It eats up delicate brain space that I need to reserve for other things, like writing or listening to my audiobook about cadavers. (“Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” by Mary Roach; highly recommend it!)
As it turns out, and much to my delight, 80 percent of my income is coming from writing projects and not to mention I’m really enjoying my writing schedule too.
I’m making the most of the boarding season too, with one more weekend hurrah at Northstar!
So, life is good and I have plenty to be thankful about.
I decided that I no longer am going to wait. We’ll see how this goes. Awareness is the first step, right?
What are you always waiting for?