Waiting can be difficult. Waiting for big events… birthday, first day of school, grandparents coming to visit was so hard. When my child was small, we used to talk about “how many more sleeps it would be” until something happened. I sometimes still think in number of sleeps.
It becomes more challenging when as an adult, you don’t know the number of sleeps… you don’t know when the other shoe will drop or the next major life event will happen. You get more anxious about am I wasting time not doing enough (or being enough, but that is a whole other post) and attempting to squeeze every second of “value” out of every minute.
We were in a city a few weekends ago… and the restaurant did not take reservations, wait time was 60-90 minutes (the food was worth it). We put in our name, waited and in 70 minutes were seated. When I looked up after ordering, I saw this adorable little boy lying in the street (don’t panic, the street in this area was closed) using the curb as a table and just coloring. He was oblivious to the people walking by and very seldom would his head even come up to look around. He was that intent in his work and very patiently waiting until it was time to eat.
He stuck in my head for a few different reasons. First off… how patient he was. There were many examples (in LOTS of different age ranges) not being that patient. Sighing loudly. Harassing the hostess. And in the midst of all this, was my small friend. Second, how he spent his time. Paper and crayons. Not a single electronic device to be seen. I felt guilty. I had been on my phone, playing a game, checking email, etc. while waiting. I wondered if I might feel more relaxed if I had been just randomly doodling or sketching. And finally his smile. While he was working, he was smiling and the drawing. His inner world was a very happy one, regardless of if he was happy with his drawing or telling himself a story in his head… he was just happy.
I got home and tucked a small notebook in my purse with a pencil… just an idea for the next time I need to wait.