I'm not sure when I started waiting. Probably in middle school, waiting to get boobs. I wore my first training bra in sixth grade. I wore it on the days we had P.E. and had to change in the girls' locker room. Then the waiting became very predictable. In high school, waiting for college. In college, waiting to find a man and have a career. Then waiting to find a place to live, then waiting to find the right house, then waiting to HAVE BABIES. Then having the babies and waiting until they could play on their own in self sufficiency. In the last six months or so, its possible I've emerged from all of this waiting. I've surfaced from a deep sea of baby mania and looking ahead, and I'm seeing my life right now for what it is. Not for what is to come. Part of it for me is that I'm turning forty and I sense that just about half of my life has been lived, give or take ten years or so. I feel like I'm in the process of deciding that I'm all done waiting.
There are two kinds of waiting, long term and short term. Short term waiting can be fun, like, "I can't wait for my kids' nap time!" (i.e., a cup of decaf and chunk of dark chocolate.) Or,"I can't wait for my kids' bed time!" (i.e. two beers and three episodes of Glee.) Or it can be self destructive, like those mornings when all you think about is nap time and you don't notice that your kids are drawing on the walls and eating your husband's deodorant.
Long term waiting is not all bad, but mostly. At least for me, I'll wait and wait for the contractors to leave, and they never do, so I miss out on opportunities to enjoy the gutted out bathroom and the door less bedroom and the homey chaos of linens and towels and toiletries lining the walls of the hallway. And more seriously, long term waiting creates for me, a general feeling of emptiness. Because I'm waiting for something that doesn't exist. That future in my head is not real, and if I'm going to dwell on fiction, it might as well be a well written novel, like Jane Eyre. Sometimes I catch myself in this mode and I force myself to stop what I'm doing and watch a spider for fifteen minutes. Or paint a watercolor. Or listen to myself breath.
And if I think about it really hard, I have to admit to myself that its fun to dream about the future. But the problem is that what I dream about in my head is often way better than what happens in real life, so then I'm disappointed. There's been a long drawn out scenario brewing of that vacation or the final nail on the house remodel, or whatever it is I'm waiting for, and then it comes and not only does it not match up to my dream, but also I've probably moved onto the next dream, so the thing I dreamed about for months and years turns out to be chopped liver.
Today I played a fifteen minute sonata for violin and piano with an amazing pianist at a retirement home, and I tell you, it was fifteen minutes of pure fun and feeling present. I was really tired before playing, so I had zero energy to be nervous, and the audience was amazing, just so loving and interested, and we hadn't rehearsed it since playing it six weeks ago at a more formal event. It would be cool if every day there was something like that. Well, here's something. A couple of days ago I wrote about wanting to "make a difference." Duh. I can totally get out and play more. At retirement homes, at schools, maybe, places where there might be interest but limited resources. Here I go, dreaming about future me hopping around from retirement home to retirement home. Oh, and I could change it up, sometimes bringing my guitar and singing the three songs I wrote back when I was 24. And I could invite all my music friends to join me! FUN! Stop. Breath. Go watch the spider in the corner.
Coffee: Two cups of green tea. Did you know that green tea contains mood enhancers?
Cups and Bags Challenge: Ok people, wait for it... Today we had 3 reports of reusable cup usage! I'm very proud of the users. We're up to $20!