Different from weight loss (the shedding of pounds), wait loss (the shedding of patience) is less attractive on any figure.
I try not to do battle with time; clearly, it’s a losing proposition. Yet recently I found myself sitting in a waiting room swarming with other people who—like me—were becoming impatient. Fast!
Breathe yourself through this Laurie…
- Inhale to the count of four.
- Hold to the count of seven.
- Exhale to the count of eight.
- Repeat until your name is called.
- You can do this.
Time—yours, mine, and ours—is irreplaceable. None of us knows how much of it we have left. Not to be squandered, every moment of this precious commodity should be enjoyed to the fullest.
Are you gaining or losing wait?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan
Discovering the Seven Selves Life Harmony Facebook
© 2012 Laurie Buchanan– All Rights Reserved
I think I am running about 50/50 right now 😉
OneHotMess – That’s a good place to be!
Boy, I hope so! 😉
Want to get a job now, why aren’t they calling.
Kim – Because the best one is currently being readied for you 🙂
I find it odd that I can wait quietly for events scheduled by Nature to take place, while the arrangements made by Humans set my to teeth grinding. No problems with a span of one to two years anticipating the blooming of a certain plant. I realize this process takes time. However, cooling my heels at the doctor’s office is guaranteed to send my blood pressure sky-rocketing to the stroke level. 9:45 actually means 9:45 to me, if I can be prompt, I expect the same courtesy from them.
Sandi – And that’s precisely the situation I was in (doctor’s office waiting room) when I thought about writing this post. Our time is precious, too. I admire the WAIT you have with nature. I enjoyed reading about it in our daily notes this past summer with the comings and goings in your garden.
morning I try to remember at the doc’s office that I’d want him to give me the time I need inside the room so I try to help that get me through the wait. I was thinking the other day that I’m going to be turning 50 soon and how fast my life has gone. The regrets are that the normal day to day work, errands, and chores take away from the myriad of ideas i have on things I can create. My passion is to create! Oh well, gratitude Beth gratitude for what I have 🙂
Beth – As one of the most enthusiastic, imaginative, and inspired (and inspiring) people I know, you are an awesome creator – I know this well from first-hand experience 🙂
Thank you sweetie! I’m in awe of you. You are such a creator!!!
Enjoy the amazing weather!
It’s a shame to waste even one moment of our prescious lives. I chastize myself everytime I find myself impatiently wishing time away. Time in a waiting room, what a gift. Nothing you can do other than be present and mindful.
Dan @ Zenpresence.com
DSG – Beautiful observation. Beautiful mindset.
I schedule very little into my days. I used to schedule 25 hours into 6 or 7. The few years I have left are important to me to do what I can with reasonable expectations. It took years to build this strong and loving relationship with myself. The world will keep turning after I am gone. All I really need to do is “get out of the house if it’s on fire.” LOL I plan on living wisely moment to moment as best I can.
Livvy1234 – “I plan on living wisely moment to moment as best I can.” Now THOSE are wise words to live by!
As always, an interesting topic to chew on. I used to be very agitated any time I was kept waiting for anything. Lately I’ve been using that time (the unexpected waiting) as a sign from the Universe that there is something mental to do, to think thru, or else just time to meditate. Seems to work. I often have to snap out of it when the wait time is over. I guess I just don’t think about this much in the flow of things. My old self would rage with impatience, my “new” self accepts everything as just right.
SuZen – I love the thinking of your new self: “…using that time (the unexpected waiting) as a sign from the Universe that there is something mental to do, to think thru, or else just time to meditate.”
SuZen … I love the way you “reframed” the moment!
Some days my reserve of patience is far larger than on other days. I need to be more consistent with the breath—-seems the bigger the challenge, the harder it is for me to focus. Thanks Laurie for the positive nudge in the right direction 🙂
Winsomebella – Aside from being alive, I don’t know what I’d do without my breathwork practice. It’s whoa’d me down on innumerable occasions. Plus, it’s just plain healthy. Dr. Andrew Weil actually said that if could only share one healthy tip with his patients, it would be 4-7-8 breathing 🙂
hmmm sound track Tom Petty….the way-ya-ting is the Hardest part. Like Sandiwhite waiting on natures time table is much more acceptable to me. Since a very near miss with the other side, I have come to a place where I don’t accept long/un-needed waits. Case in point: At a grocery store several days ago I had two items. The ‘express’ line was about 20 deep…which would normally go quickly since everyone is supposed to have 10 items or less. Problem: multiple patrons had carts with 50 or more items! Instead of standing there
sheeplike or walking out without needed items, I left my dd there as a place holder and sought the manager. She came over straight away, and looked at the situation…unfortunately for the other patrons instead of moving the excess item folks she merely told me to come to the courtesy desk and she would ring me up. So, action produced a favorable outcome for me, but I left asking myself WHY do the other patrons not march over to the courtesy desk too? WHY did the manager not address the actual problem?
At a Dr. appointment, can be trickier, granted…unless doctors are working within a triage system as in an ER it is unacceptable to be kept waiting for long periods. Let’s not forget that we are HIRING them!
Oceannah – You bring up some excellent points and questions in your wonderful, real-life example. Thank you for sharing it here!
Since I’m going up to the chiropractor’s office today, will remember this if a wait happens. I think sometimes I’m gaining wait and other times losing. It’s an up and down affair. Wondering if it will ever even out… Great blog post!
In Africa if you don’t learn to wait, life can be pretty miserable. Sometimes it can become extremely trying, but good for the soul.
Don – You bring up such an excellent point. The way we use/experience time in cultures other than our own could well be different! Thank you for bringing that aspect to light 🙂
I’m not a patient person as a result I have developed tools to help me wait. I juggle between knitting and reading. Heaven,for me, is a nice cozy corner to read while I wait. If that’s not available out come my needles and yarn.
Leanne – “Knitting and Reading” – two excellent ways to invest one’s time while waiting. I can hear the clickity-click of your needles right now!
Waiting is great for helping kids develop impulse control! But time is ever-precious, so we all need to decide if the wait is worth it.
Heather – Excellent observation, thank you! As long as I can move while I wait, I’m okay. This was true for me as a child, and it remains true as an adult. If you look up “wiggle wart” in the dictionary, I’m sure you’ll see my picture. Even when I meditate I move…for me, Tai Chi is a moving meditation.
It’s amazing what being diagnosed terminal cancer can do.
I lost 17Kgs in 4 months (Now 6’2″ and 155lb), that’s about as much weight as I can lose – what most would call lean.
Similarly with wait.
When it seems the number of days left might be countable in under a minute, it sorta focuses the mind at many levels.
At one level it demands acceptance.
At another level it presents possibilities, however improbable.
One can really get that we only ever have the now, and there is not a lot of point in wishing it any other way than what it is.
All any of us can do is make choices now that may alter the probabilities of what might happen next, or some way off down the chain of nexts. And we never have complete control of any of it, and we can have a lot of influence.
I’ve lost about as much weight/wait as a person can, and still be functional in our society.
At one level I accept all that is.
At another level I encourage all to take actions in alignment with creating a world that delivers abundance, security and freedom to all; and those options happen in the thousands of little choices every one of us makes every day.
Don’t wait – be the change – Now (and now, and now, ….).
Ted – My hat is off to you for this heart-based response! I don’t know where to begin – it’s filled with so much delicious food for thought. Your last line sums it up beautifully: “Don’t wait—be the change—Now (and now, and now,…).”
This is inspiring Ted.
Great words here – thank you for sharing…I wrote about my anger about losing time and patience this week….I am so frustrated with the big stuff
I on the other hand always have a book with me…and my breath ….I think I use time very well….The kiddos got me a smart phone for my birthday and I now have 133 books “iclouded” on my phone…and all the Christmas books are coming in for review right now…lucky me 🙂
Patricia – What a thoughtful birthday gift from your children. Now you have a myriad of wonderful books right at your fingertips! Lucky you, indeed 🙂
I think, in general, I’m a pretty patient person. If I will be somewhere, like a doctor’s office, and think I will be waiting awhile, I’ll bring a book (or e-reader) to fit in some long-overdue reading. Then, the time flies by and I don’t even want to go in to see the doctor because it will interrupt my reading!
However, I think I have less patience with slow drivers that cause me to be stuck at more red lights than I’d like. That’s when the deep, slow breaths help even my keel. 🙂
Mywithershins – Ah yes, a good book! I’m impressed by the number of people who carry reading material with them 🙂
Wow, what a weighty waiting perspective. While I am waiting I am either reading a book or thinking about a book I am writing.
Sheila – I like your “weighty waiting” 🙂 Reading a book, or writing a book; both great options!
Yep, that’s why they call them waiting rooms. I would like the doctor to wait for his money in revenge. I always have a novel AND the crossword with me all the time.
Carl – Crossword puzzles are a GREAT exercise for keeping the mind in shape!
Like Carl, I take me a goody bag of things to do. When that runs out, I start looking at folk and creating stories about them in my head. I wonder how older folk looked when they were younger and vice versa. Waiting is a dangerous thing sometimes. Too much time to think,
Totsymae1011 – I love what you shared about creating stories about the people you see, that’s wonderful!
“What a gift we have in time … gives us children, makes us wine. And the gift of growing old are the stories to be told of the time more precious than gold.” Can’t remember the exact words of this song I heard quite a while ago from John Denver. Some times I feel such an urge to “go” “do” etc. … when I sit to meditate it takes some time (maybe the entire time) to slow down and be present. Laurie … I like your breathing practice in the waiting room!
One of my teachers Sarita Chawla led a master class on “time and timing” … I recall the distinction she made between “chronos [chronological and sequential] and kairos [the indeterminat moment; the in between]” time. Joseph Campbell said it is present in the great OM “O … ah (the breath) Um” … Wow you took me deep Laurie.
Audrey – When I take people through the 9-month Life Harmony experience, there’s a section where we talk about Chronos time (ordinary) and Kairos time (extraordinary time). It’s amazing to hear about the kairos experiences that some people can recall. Utterly amazing!
Love the wisdom in this, Laurie. Patience is not easy–especially for those of us who want to use our time wisely. Hope the BIGGER wait is going okay.
Kathy M. – I’m still waiting on pins and needles to hear about my agent’s trip to Boston yesterday. If I don’t hear from her by Friday, I’m calling. I leave for Mexico on Saturday and I don’t want to be on “tenterhooks,” as my friend Sandi would say.
I am not good at waiting. I am especially bad at waiting when I’m ready to leave – for wherever – and must wait for husband. Even if it’s early. As long as I take the iPad with me when I must wait somewhere else, I do okay. Okay, not super, but okay, when I can entertain myself with reading – my magazines, my book – or playing solitaire or some other rather mindless game. If I must just sit, forget it. Just as I do not do wait very well, I do just sitting even less well. Except on my deck.
Carol – I can well imagine that an iPad would keep you busy. Better yet, your deck. I’ve seen many photographs from that very spot and it seems like heaven on earth to me.
Waiting around is an opportunity to meditate.
Waiting around in the Doctors’ is an opportunity to play Cough Cricket. Count up every cough you hear (to a maximum of six per time) until someone sneezes and you are “out”. You could bend the rules to play Cough Baseball, so that 1 cough was 1st base and so on, until 4 or more was a home run.
Cough Cricket was invented by myself and Douglas J, Hughes in Yorkshire, England in February 2003. All rights reserved.
Kevin – You never cease to make me laugh! There must be something in the wonderful Scottish water 🙂
A Nice & Useful Blog you have shared Laurie !!… Thank You !!…
Btw in India the long hours of ‘ wait ‘ period is very common- at Bus Stop, Rly Stn, Grocery Shop, Doctor’s place, and even Toilets !!!…I am so used to it that I never feel it burdensome!!…. Reason??- I carry few interesting BOOKS wherever I go and the moment ‘Wait ‘starts I breeze into a different dream world thro’ books !!!…:-)))
Bkjagadishb – I love the way you said, “…the moment the wait starts, I breeze into a different dream world through books.” A great word picture for shifting gears!
I would say I am a patient person for sure. Too patient I think 🙂 this was such a very unique and cute message Laurie! I make sure I live my day the best and most happies possible!
Any Lucky Penny – You go, girl!
I don’t mind waiting if I have my Kindle to read – it’s always in my handbag when I leave the house, just in case. Sometimes it seems like I’ve just sat down in a waiting room and have barely started reading when my name gets called. But without something to read, well, patience is not one of my virtues!
Barbara – You just confirmed it…throughout the comment thread I’ve seen reading to be the number one, and meditating to be the number two ingredients to avoid Wait Loss. Thank you for weighing in – pun intended 🙂
Oh WOW… what a powerful message in such a succinct little package. I’m taking this to heart and really need to do those breathing exercises OFTEN. I’m losing the wait loss battle!
Melissa – You can’t go wrong with 4-7-8 breathing 🙂
I have realised I’m not receiving your posts in my reader. I shall have to ‘un-follow’ and ‘re-follow’ to correct this… it seems to work…!
Patience was my greatest weakness, Laurie. There are certainly other things that need my attention however; would it be improper of me to say that I feel I now have this under my command? I was sooooo impulsive, and wanted everything now; thank you very much. I had such a temper, and such a juvenile attitude it now scares me (just kidding) to think upon it… Mind you, I have been ‘put through the ropes’ in order to attain it. No gain without pain; as the saying goes… This has been a wonderful post, Laurie….
Carolynpageabc – Thank you for your gift of reflection, I appreciate it.
As far as “weight” loss, well this is a never-ending struggle for a pasta-loving Italian-American, and even a diet heavy with blueberries and broccoli still needs some serious tweaking.
“Wait” loss on the other hand, I’d say that as I get older I am more “impatient” than I have been over the previous years and decades. I don’t think I’ve decended into the pits of cantankerous tantrum, but I have my testy moments.
Great post Laurie!
Sam – The words “cantankerous” and “Sam Juliano” don’t work together in the same sentence. I simply can’t picture it 🙂
Reblogged this on katzideas and commented:
Read this!Very wise
Katzideas – Thank you very much 🙂
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For the most part, I’m a very patient person. I usually savor the ‘waiting game’ and treat it like a mini break for relaxation or meditation. Who knew I was so zen? 😉
Dana – “Waiting game” — that’s a great attitude my Zen friend 🙂
Cute and profound 🙂
George – I’m glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know.