My Waiting Problem
I’m at Logan Airport in Boston. My flight was delayed four times – and counting (the night is young as it’s only 6:42PM). It’s the end of the day and all I want to do is go home. All I want to do is crawl into bed. All I want is…
That’s the problem. “All” I want is asking a lot because these are “first world problems”, to coin a phrase. I’m sitting in the airport, enjoying a glass of wine and actually writing something instead of checking email, taking work calls or trying to navigate carpool schedules that are not possible thanks to poor weather in Philadelphia.
It reminds me of the “I just want to be happy” mantra. Really? That’s all – just unadulterated happiness? Why, that isn’t asking much at all (he responds sarcastically).
I’m not good at waiting. With our “always on” cell phone culture, it’s only gotten worst. For example, way before smart phones were “smart”, I was never one to read in the bathroom. That never even crossed my mind. The bathroom was for getting in and getting out as fast as possible, lest a parent should knock on the door to inquire if “everything is ok in there”.
Then one day it happened. I realized I became one of those people – scrolling through Facebook while sitting on the “throne”. (You’re welcome for the image.)
It occurred to me that I pretty much never was in the moment and that’s when I realized I have a waiting problem. It is my problem – in the bathroom, at line at the airport or supermarket, in traffic, on a teleconference with no chance of getting a word in edgewise – you get the picture.
It’s my waiting problem. Then this whole Buddhist thing came along and the waiting thing became a chance to exercise (learn) patience and take in the moment. It worked, too – sort of. If nothing else it taught me how to not try and distract myself at every moment I feel frustrated, irritated or bored. Boredom is essentially not being able to just be in the moment.
It’s not that I don’t long for things to be different or get an anxious wave of internal angst every time the board at the airport changes to show yet another further delay. It’s just that I’m starting to recognize it for what it is – the grasping of wanting for things to be anything other than they actually are – you know, that whole “reality” thing.
I’m not enlightened – just waking up – though sometimes sleep, the best distraction of them all, is just to appetizing to ignore.
Until next time,