Productive Waiting

I used to hate waiting in lines

We’re facing more waiting these days. Hard to believe isn’t it? We were waiting to get through with the pandemic and now we find ourselves waiting for everything as cooped-up homebound folks escape to appointments, shows, work, (work IS an escape), and restaurants. 

We stand in grocery lines, sit in doctors’ offices for those long overdue appointments. We drum steering wheels in stalled traffic, and twiddle our thumbs as we wait for delayed Zoom meetings to start, check out our face ONE MORE TIME, and look up to see everyone’s watching. Oops. They caught me.

These are opportunities to do something productive.

“Dang. I’m always doing. Can’t I just sit?”

 Of course!

I like wasting time, but I’m also not one to waste productive time. When I’m exhausted, I can sit and watch Netflix with the best of them. But, I mean, if it’s daylight and I’m stuck waiting somewhere, I’d just as soon do anything other than heave big fuming breaths over something about which I can do nothing to change the situation. (I HAVE been known to exit the freeway to take surface streets, but everyone knows that’s a fool’s errand, because getting to San Diego from Los Angeles on surface streets would take eight days.)

I like to listen to podcasts. Learn a language on Duolingo. Write a blog post like this one. Listen to an Audible book—fiction or nonfiction. Contact that person I’ve been meaning to call. Write a chapter in my novel. Edit it. Meditate. Think. (What’s that?) Practice a dance step even if it’s in my head. Go over a golf swing. (Oh wait. I don’t play). Maybe I could prepare for a speech (the one on ‘Productive Waiting’). Think deeply. 

While always being “productive” is crazy-making, it’s also my way of making sure that I’ll get the stuff done I want to do before I die. Morbid? Maybe. But bottom line, being consciously aware of our time is important in the grander scheme of things. If COVID taught us nothing, it did remind us of the fragility of life, and the capriciousness of death. Just sayin’.

What’s the deal? Can we never do nothing? Hah. Doing nothing is productive IF it’s a conscious choice. That’s all I’m saying.


And finally…

“I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Please let me know how you use your waiting time. OR, if you think Stephen Hawking and I are nuts, let me know that too. 🙂

Image compliments of Pexel’s Free Images.

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