‘Waiting’ is an Action Verb

I’ve been hanging around our house a lot lately. On the days I don’t work,  I just kind of drift from room to room, looking for something that needs doing right now. I’ll bet this is a little like what a surfer feels like, floating in the water waiting for the next set of waves. Except they are having more fun. There is too much ‘waiting’ going on around here, and I’m right in the middle of that.

Perhaps you haven’t really thought much about this, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, but ‘waiting’ is actually an action verb. Remember third grade? There are two kinds of verbs: action and being. And in spite of how passive ‘waiting’ sounds, get real. Sure, there is plenty of sitting around associated with ‘waiting’, but if you’ve ever ‘waited’, you know that there is a lot of activity associated with it. There is foot tapping, pacing, random speed thinking, fear-based storylines running their loop in your head, planning strategies to deal with those fear-based narratives in your head, hand-wringing, and generally the driving of yourself crazy.

The inner narrative goes something like this:

“When will people come and rent our house? What if no one wants to rent it? When will we move onto the boat? How come no one has contacted us yet? Is this going to work? Maybe we should sell, but I’m not ready to sell. But this house is a lot of work, and a lot of money. Maybe we should sell. But it’s our family home. Damn we could be saving so much money if we didn’t have this house. Galapagos still needs a lot of work. We still will spend a shit ton of money getting her ready to go. Damn it! (I use a lot of ‘language’ in my head. It relieves stress.) What is plan B? Maybe we could do a long term rental. No, the rental market in Lakewood is flooded. We can’t cover our costs with a long term rental. I wonder how long it will take before we know if this plan is the right one? Thank goodness we haven’t wasted our efforts getting the house ready because we’d have to get it ready to sell anyhow. Is that our Plan B?  Damn, I hate these kinds of decisions. ”

Do you see what I mean? 

I am not a good ‘waiter’. Good ‘waiters’ are like the roots of these Hellebores. They lay quietly during the dark of winter, softly preparing to burst forth in vibrant color when their time is right. They grow bigger, deeper, and stronger, preparing for the day when their many stalks will shoot up toward the sun, cheerful faces aglow with glorious spring color. They are completely ‘at one’ with their mission in life.

I try to be all ‘Zen’ about it, and I do have moments of that simple peacefulness that happens when you actually succeed in focusing on the here and now, just breathing deeply into the present moment, knowing that you, too, will bloom with the timing of the God.  (See how soothing those words are? Kind of hypnotic.) But I’m not the Buddha. Not even close, even if I do know how to do deep breathing and can actually teach others to do it. Big deal.  No, most of the Zen moments I have are really just because I made my inner voices shut the hell up for just a few minutes. 

So right now the house is filled with this action-based ‘waiting’ to see if our plan A is going to work. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. But I sure would like to know so I can move on to Plan B if I need to. There is no way to hurry this. And I should just accept that by finding my inner Buddha. I’m a work in progress. What can I say?

Soon, we’ll be riding another wave of real activity as Claire and Dan return to Scotland tomorrow, after some weeks with us. We’ll do the final ‘moving stuff out of the house’, as though we actually have people waiting to move into it. At least we will be ready then, and it’s stuff we eventually have to deal with anyway. It will feel good to have something to do that makes me feel like there is forward momentum, even though we will miss them. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s packing boxes.  hellebore

In the end, when I step back from the waiting, I realize it’s all good. We are housed, and fed, and healthy and happy. The rest is just cake. File this post under ‘here are all the thoughts and feels you will have if you, too, make this huge life change when you are in your mid-50’s. ‘   Maybe you might want to consider doing it sooner.

Meanwhile, here are your yearly Helleborus photos and some snowdrops. They look really nice this year.