At the first spot I stopped, an old man clasp his hands together across his chest, casually leaned his head back, and closed his eyes. In the next stop, packed with people nudged up against each other in tiny chairs, the teen next to me bent forward with his headphones on and scrolled through his music playlist.
I had to make a number of stops a couple weeks ago to my local garage to get my car worked on and then to the barbershop and I couldn’t help but notice that everyone else seemed to be dealing with “the wait” better than me.
Besides the old man and teenager, two men talked lazily about what they planned for the upcoming weekend and a guy my age whistled a show tune like he had all the time in the world.
And then there was me, my right leg restlessly moving up and down and my eyes bouncing up every few seconds to try to make eye contact to see if it was my turn. I’d sit for a few minutes and then stand-up abruptly to walk to the door to look out the window. I couldn’t go anywhere. My phone was dying and I couldn’t call anyone. Where did I think I was going? Who did I think I was going to call?
The struggle is real
While everyone else looks calm and relaxed to my naked eye, I’m as patient as a vulture devouring its prey. I struggle to wait on the most mundane things, doctor’s appointments, traffic lights, cashier lines to move, the list goes on and on.
I wish I was calm like the old man in the garage. When the shop manager came to tell him that his car was done, he looked rested and relaxed. In fact, he was so relaxed, he looked like he didn’t have a care in the world. He joked to the manager that he was going to go back to sleep, because it was the best sleep he had gotten in weeks.
And then there was me. In my head, I was listing off my to do list and counting the numerous errands that I needed to make before I had to head home to pick-up my son. I couldn’t wait to get my car back and to get on the road.
Working to get better
To be honest, I’ve never been much of the patient type. I compare it to running on a treadmill. I’m thinking of where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I want to go. I’m constantly multi-tasking. For example, when I turn on my laptop, I don’t have just one application on my screen, I have ten, maybe twenty.
I’m always working, thinking, moving onto the next item.
I wish I were like the old man or even the woman I met in my second stop. She scribbled on her calendar and worked on a list for a while. When that was done, she put on headphones and listened to some music. She soon was deep by the music. In fact, she was so engrossed that at one point she started singing along to the music on her smartphone. “And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, staying alive.” Let’s just say, I got my fill of 70’s disco music during my wait.
I’m working on becoming more patient, but I’m not holding out much hope for a change. I made myself a promise to get better, to take more things in stride. Of course, later in that same evening, I went to pick up my son from practice. As you might have guessed, his bus was late.
How’d I spend my wait? I sat in my car the whole time, leg bouncing, looking up every few minutes to look for the bus’ lights.
Of course, I made one big improvement: instead of sitting quietly in the car, I was singing out loud to the Beatles “Yellow Submarine.” I may be impatient, but I can still sing loud!