There will always be something that I cannot wait for. There are weekdays when I cannot wait for the weekend. There are times when my bank account cannot wait for payday. There are moments on the downtown 1 train when I cannot wait to get to the Christopher Street/Sheridan Square stop and run up Bleeker to Magnolia Bakery. And right now, I cannot wait for my new couch to be delivered.
A fellow blogger X!ne recently wrote "it feels like I'm waiting for something to happen to me rather than trying to make anything happen in my life right now." It made me think about how much waiting I've done. No matter how much time it wastes, it's still a common state of being.
Certainly there are episodes of waiting we cannot avoid, such as waiting in a doctor's office, waiting to cross a street, or waiting in line at Starbucks. It's those often inevitable moments of "waiting for our lives to begin" or "waiting for something to happen" that make me wonder: Do our goals trap us in the future and perhaps block us from seeing what is right in front of our faces in the present?
Is it that we're so self-absorbed and preoccupied that we miss opportunities that could have been or that we more often find what we're searching for when we aren't looking? Either way, are we always waiting?
Before this post turns too much into one of Carrie's laptop journal entries on "Sex & the City," I'll get to my point. I spent the last year and a half of my life waiting. Waiting to move to New York City. Waiting for New Year's Eve. Waiting for 2007 to begin so that I could achieve my goal of not starting 2007 in North Carolina.
This evening I bought a datebook from the book store on the first floor of my office building. It's called "The Power of Now 2007" and features excerpts from the best selling book by Eckhart Tolle, which according to wikipedia.com, "describes his experience of enlightenment at the age of 29 after suffering long periods of depression, dissolving his old identity and radically changing the course of his life. This book emphasizes the importance of focusing on the present moment and the futility of dwelling on the bygone past or fearing the imagined future. In Tolle's view, the present moment is all that one really has (as past & future are merely thoughts in the mind), and being consciously present in the now is the best way to realize the immense potential of the future. 'Being in the now' also brings about an awareness that is beyond the mind. This awareness helps in transcending 'the painbody' that is created by the identification of the mind and ego with the body."
Or according to my interpretation, "to live as the animals do - without regret." One of my aunts used to say, "The most lonely words in the world are 'if only' ..." I suppose those words are what make us human.
Now I'm not one to normally purchase self-help books, but as I flipped through the datebook, a particular excerpt caught my eye:
"Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting, snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be, and enjoy being. If you are present, there is never any need for you to wait for anything."
I don't want to spend my life waiting, but I don't ever want to run out of living to look forward to either. I guess it's recognizing the difference. And I suppose knowing the difference is what makes us human.