No one likes to wait. As we grow up, we can’t wait to drive, graduate, leave home, join the “real world”. As adults we can’t wait to build a successful career, go on vacation, get a new car, retire and be free. Nevertheless, we wait, counting down the days, ignoring today. But today is what we have, tomorrow is merely a possibility. And what’s the rush? We all know the ultimate finish line.
In a way, we spend our entire lives waiting. In fact, life is about the wait. None of us chose to be born. We don’t control that at some point it ends. What we can do, is decide how we spend our time in between.
This notion is illustrated by the feeling of nostalgia. Most of us have moved into a new house at some point. We were excited to buy a new home, make it our own. We couldn’t wait to leave the old place. It didn’t make us happy anymore. Then, as you close the door one last time, you are overcome by a feeling of nostalgia. We suddenly think about all the great times we had there, how we grew. It wasn’t perfect, but somehow that’s what made it ours. We wonder if we took it for granted. We are grateful to have had the experience. Then we move on.
Now everyone is waiting for the same thing, the end of social-distancing measures for COVID-19. As with everything in our lives, the current measures are temporary. They may be longer than we like, but they will come to an end. If all we think about, and bemoan, is how and when this will end, we lose the only thing we possess, the present moment.
The current situation has been, and remains, a unique opportunity to accept the wait, take up the challenge, and do something that makes us proud. Being future-oriented is a good thing, but only insofar as it challenges us to focus on improving ourselves today.
Don’t wish your time away. To wait is our fate. It’s what we do while we wait that makes the difference.