How I learned patience amidst a pandemic
I’ve been somewhat surprised at my reaction… or maybe lack of… to this lockdown… I’ve been calm and reasoned, present, connected and hopeful. My anxiety has been low, very low and I am sleeping well. The family is all getting on well and we seem to be enjoying our time together. We get along well most of the time, but these are uncertain and frustrating times for even the closest of families.
Thing is, I’ve felt capable. And even focussed. I haven’t felt chaotic or uncertain. I’ve grieved, like everyone has, for the times when we can go back to normal.
When the kids can attend uni, or school balls, or simply hang out with friends. When people are no long staring down the barrel of unemployment, or the loss of businesses that they have spent decades building up with pride and passion.
Yet, here we are. Calm. Present. Grounded.
And finally this morning I put my finger on it.
I am waiting.
Sounds funny right? But it’s true. And, so bloody simple.
Learn to love the wait
I’m happy to be waiting. I’m content with waiting. I’m, dare I say, even enjoying waiting. And here’s why I think that has manifested itself into a calm and soulful state.
Life was busy. Flocking busy. 3 teenagers, a busy mind and jobs. And without thinking about it we, along with you and countless others worldwide, were going from one thing to the next in exhaustion.
We were dropping the kids off, picking the kids up, grabbing the lunch, running to the meeting, throwing the washing on, popping to the store, dashing to the gym, squeezing in a walk, and if we were lucky, on Sunday, we might just get a lunch out with the family or a date with the hubby walking along the beach to decompress.
You see, we were not left to wait.
We were able to buy the thing we wanted right now, at a price we were happy to pay. We could get the produce or meat we needed at short notice from a warehouse style store stocked to the gunnels with products.
We didn’t have to wait for the special occasion to buy the perfume, purchase the iphone or treat ourselves to the cake. We could do it now. Right now. We could, and we did, do everything, right now. No waiting. Flowing from one thing to the next. Not pausing in between, nor taking the time to distinguish between consuming life and simply being alive.
When I was a kid we anticipated Christmas for months. The treats, the gifts, the holiday food and the family time spent in our favourite holiday spot camping and boating. We didn’t get random gifts or items of value through the year. Only on birthdays or Xmas. We didn’t have McDonalds. We couldn’t drive through to grab food. We waited. We waited for our special day. We waited for our dinner. We waited for the thing we coveted so badly that it hurt.
And we loved every goddamn minute of the wait.
I’m waiting for cake
Here right now, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the right type of weather to feel like baking. I’m purchasing a roast lamb for dinner during the weekly shop, then deciding at breakfast time Saturday morning we will have it that night and waiting all day, knowing we would have a family meal that night, knowing we would come together and enjoy each other’s company.
Knowing that a great meal was coming. I’m waiting, not consuming every minute of the day. I’m waiting till June for my birthday to enjoy a treat. I’m waiting for cake.
I’m waiting in the moments and nooks and crannies to see where my mind will take me. I’m not rushing. I’m content with the wait. The solitude and the mindspace. I’m at peace with the present and savouring the flow of daily interaction.
I’m allowing myself the time to think and to create.
The wait is exquisite. Trust me.
The wait is where you will find yourself and the life you were meant to lead.