I was never good at waiting. In my mind, the word “waiting” meant “wasting.”
There are times when it's best to wait. It’s best to wait until you’re making a steady income before purchasing a home. It’s best to wait to get to know someone before you get married. It’s best to wait to go swimming after eating a big meal (I know that’s old school, but I still adhere to it).
I did not have issues waiting in those kinds of instances. What I had difficulty doing was waiting to get to the next level, the next big project and the next big impact in society. I felt compelled to do my best in all situations, so I would drive myself harder than anyone else every could and that meant not wasting time or in some cases “waiting as time passed.”
However, I’m in a new season of “waiting” and I’m ok with it, at least for now. For the last year, I’ve felt as though I was waiting on something significant to happen. I’ve continued moving along with various projects, but what's different is that I have allowed myself to revel in the moment of small successes, instead of working on one project while planning five others.
Fortunately, all of my past diligence has paid off and things are progressing and moving in the right direction.
In the past, despite many successes, I would quickly move to the next project. It’s as if I could hear pop icon Janet Jackson singing “What have you done for me lately….ooh, ooh, ooh yeah.”
When I was a journalist, I felt that sentiment deeply. It was stressed in the industry, that the great story from yesterday would not hold your readers over through to the end of week. So it was all about the “next” story.
This time of waiting has tested my “next” story mentality, but it’s been a necessary journey that I’m grateful for. I’ve learned a few things that might help you if you too struggle with waiting:
1. Look inward while you’re waiting. Ask yourself why you have a hard time waiting and try to resolve this struggle.
2. Look outward. Are there other people, jobs or circumstances that push you to a point of not wanting to wait?
3. Consider that the "wait" is for a reason – to teach you patience perhaps.
4. Develop new skills as you wait, instead of being in a pattern of “doing,” try a pattern of “being.” Just enjoy the moment and enjoy the discovery of what you can learn from it.
I have discovered many gifts that were produced as I waited, but the biggest gift was that I discovered a new peace in just being still. I used to always be in motion. If I was at home, I was constantly cleaning, rearranging, decorating, gardening, cooking and working.
At work, I was of course, working - visiting my locations, designing new programs, representing the organization in the community, writing, coaching staff, organizing and the list goes on and on. I never felt overworked, but during this time of waiting, I realize that I can be just as effective at a different pace. In waiting, may you find your pace and your peace.