Saturday, 2 March 2013

What Are You Waiting For?

What am I waiting for? Lots of things. For example, I am currently waiting for Button The Cat to vacate my room, more specifically, my bed - "Why don't you just through her out?" I hear you ask in an exasperated voice. I tried that already. I'm not a complete ignoramus. That didn't work out so well for me so I shall wait patiently...then bribe her with some food later - tactics. But there are loads of things I'm waiting for. I'm waiting to go back into hospital and to get back out again. I'm waiting for the results of my bone marrow biopsy and a match for a bone marrow transplant. I'm waiting for the end of this treatment and to be given the all clear in three years time. I'm waiting for the next chapter of my life when I can put all this behind me. I'm waiting to work and earn my way. I'm waiting for love and for a family of my own. I'm waiting for answers and epiphanies. But above all else, I am waiting for the day when none of this matters any more; I'm waiting to die.

Curiously, it is the only item on my list, and I'm guessing yours too, that I can be sure will happen. It is a strange concept, waiting to die, because the idea of waiting for something suggest that there is a desire to acquire what has been patiently waited for. "Good things come to those who wait" they say. Ain't that sweet. Unfortunately, it's not particularly true or helpful. It is a carrot at the end of a stick to stop us making a fuss along the journey. Dying can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective and world view. But one thing is for sure, we are all waiting to die; the fact that death is inevitability, is irrelevant. 

I hate waiting. Mostly because it makes me wish my life away and stops me living my life now. But then, maybe it's not the waiting in itself that is causing this unsettledness. Maybe it is my need for control and assurance. If I was completely guaranteed that my waiting list would be fulfilled the way I wanted it to be, then maybe I wouldn't be so bothered. Waiting to die does not make me unsettled because I know there is something better after it and because I know it is definitely going to happen. 

So why wait? Waiting forces you to relinquish control because there is no other option. But, more importantly, when waiting is forced upon you it may be a gift of wisdom in disguise. For example, if your three year old son asks you if he can play with your chain saw to help you cut down trees, you would tell him to wait until he was older. It may be that many of the things I am waiting for would do me a disservice if I had them now. But on the other hand, maybe I am made to wait for a completely different and unknown reason. 

So here's the question. Is waiting good or bad? Yes. It is both because it depends on why and what you are waiting for. Some people are professional procrastinators and just need a good kick while others need to pause and consider before acting. The key is to know which is which. I guess the answer can't really be illustrated in a flow diagram, but can be learnt through listening, trial and error, and guidance from people who give wise counsel. Up to this point in my life I have always jumped in cannon ball first without a second thought and reaped the consequences. It is only now (slow learner you see) that I am starting to learn to wait. 

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