The Waiting Game

This week’s theme is waiting.

I have a weird gift – I rarely have to wait in lines. Almost any time I arrive somewhere that requires waiting in one, either there is no line or it’s really short. Inevitably, within minutes, a long line forms behind me. When I first noticed this happening, I thought I might be imagining it. But as time went on, I had to concede it was real. Now whenever I’m with someone and they say, “I hope there’s not a line,” I am able to say with confidence, “There won’t be. You’re with me.”

If only other aspects of my life that required waiting were this effortless.

It took me nine years to earn a bachelor’s degree. I went to college part-time while working and raising children. There were times when I would lament to my grandmother, “I’m going to be 30 by the time I get this degree.” “You’re going to be 30 regardless,” she would say. “Wouldn’t you rather have the degree or not?”

How does one argue with such logic?

It took eight years for me to get promoted at my current place of employment, another two to get promoted to director. Lord knows I tried to advance. I worked my butt off, applied and interviewed for positions outside of my department and organization, to no avail. Just when I was ready to deem myself a failure, maybe even find a new career field, the unexpected promotions came.

I’m grateful, of course, but it’s tough when your timeline doesn’t align with the Universe’s.

I waited 10 years, during my 40s, for my husband to find steady, well-paying work. For 10 years prior, he was a stable, strong provider, then boom, a decade of job hopping and underearning followed. He was having some kind of extended mid-life crisis I think, but thankfully, when I reached my breaking point, voila, he found a good job and overall calmed down, and just in time for a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Speaking of pandemics, like so many people, I am waiting for this one to end, for life to resume a sense of normalcy. The past eight months have felt like limbo on good days and purgatory on the worst. The monotony of working from home, staring at a screen all day, and every day feeling the same juxtaposed with rising Covid cases and deaths, political and social unrest, and relentless uncertainty takes its toll.

I won’t even get into this week’s long-awaited presidential election.

What was and is the purpose of all this waiting? Like my gift of not having to wait in lines, I may never fully know. Or maybe, like most everything else, I’ll have to wait to find out.

Have a great day and maybe enjoy Tom Petty’s The Waiting