Pablo Neruda has this great poem that starts off “It was half past eleven in autumn and I was waiting for someone or another. Time tired of being there with me, little by little left and left me all alone.” The past few days I have been waiting for test results. Waiting for spring to begin. Waiting for my busy season to end at work. Waiting to see Alice in Wonderland. Waiting to work out. Waiting for a close friend to visit. Waiting. And it is wearing on me more with each day. I hate waiting. As if the time between is a wasteland that I must endure. Like those moments of my life aren’t worth anything and are only a means to an end.
When you think about all the hours you spend waiting for things to happen, it’s horrifying. Your entire life is a rush to get somewhere so you can wait. At the dentist, at the subway, at work, at a restaurant, even in your own home you wait. Sure, I throw in tons of activities to pass the time. I love reading and writing–they make me forget I am waiting. But fundamentally, I am always waiting on something or someone.
Neruda goes on to say, “Never before or after did I feel so suddenly alone. It was waiting for someone that did it…”
I guess no matter how many people try to be there for you, the waiting is yours and yours alone. Maybe that is the hardest thing. We are born alone, we die alone and along the way we spend a great deal of time alone, immersed in our own internal worlds. Does anyone notice how much time I spend waiting? Probably not. They are too busy in their own world to realize it. Probably waiting too.
This week, with spring starting, I feel this overwhelming urgency to get things done while I’m waiting. Last night I came home and spent hours cleaning the cabinets in the bathroom. Tonight, I went over the kitchen cabinets and drawers. Tossed out a total of 4 bags worth of garbage. Spring cleaning or a way to pass the waiting? Most likely, a way to feel like I am doing what I want when I secretly know I have zero control over the waiting.
But that is how I get through the waiting. By making the time in between count for something. Even if it is only in my mind.
How do you deal with waiting?