Vignettes in Aging – Waiting

What are you waiting for?

We’ve all gotten advanced degrees in waiting these past 14 months, haven’t we? We’ve been waiting for things to open up, stimulus checks to arrive, better news to be reported, and for it to be safer to shop, socialize, and attend schools, churches, and entertainment venues. We’ve been waiting for our turn for shots and to vote. We’ve been waiting to visit with friends and family. Can it be that we haven’t spent time with our parents, best friends, or grandkids all this time? Yes, yes, it can be and has been that way for most of us, until very recently.

Lots of us are tired of waiting for one thing or another. Being frustrated or impatient with waiting, however, doesn’t mean we should stop; it just means we get to hone our craft a little longer. It feels like we’ve had lots of practice. Some things we don’t have to wait any longer for, but that doesn’t include everything. I’ll not wait around to discard wearing a mask in crowded situations, probably forever.

As we age, waiting takes on a new slant. Some elders have no patience, thinking they deserve whatever it is they’re anticipating right now, because they’ve reached the exulted station in life of old age. Other senior citizens are more laid back and feel that anticipation and waiting melds into their everyday activities. They’re open to that thing or event when it occurs but aren’t stymied if it doesn’t happen immediately.

Anticipation and waiting can make us grouchy and irritable. People who are easy with waiting can piss off people who feel they’ve been waiting longer than anyone else.

Anticipation can sweeten the deal. Anticipation can turn you sour too if you try to control things out there. As we’ve learned through the years, forcing most things doesn’t work. Most of what we’re waiting for is beyond our control anyway.

What things are you waiting for that you have complete control over? Focus on those and be prepared for the rest when they arrive.