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3/23/10

Productive Waiting

In past articles we have looked at the importance of goal setting and working to bring them to fruition. I stand by that as a necessary element to get ahead. I also suggest the balance of waiting. Here’s what I mean…

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Live in the now and enjoy today. Always waiting for the tomorrow that has no promise of being, shows a discontent with the present. Ironically, when longed for riches do eventually come, most yearn for a simpler time. It is the struggles that make us strong.

Consider the seed. My then four year old grandson was drawing and said to me, “Come here, Nana, I want to teach you something.” He had illustrated a plant’s growth starting with a seed, to growing underground, to pushing through the earth, to fragile leaves, to a full bloom flower. His insight was, “Even though you can’t see anything happening, it is still growing.”

Plan for relative wait time. They happen every day: checkout line at supermarket, bank deposit, traffic snarl, someone to get back with you. Use it productively.

Refuse to engage in irrelevant wait time. Do not waste today through nonproductive mental activities such as pining for a better job, wanting the children to grow up, or longing for reduced responsibilities. Do not mindlessly wait for a future event or some solution to magically happen or fantasize about success, fame and fortune.

Life is a constant. It is today. You can improve your circumstances but not necessarily life. Be careful how you build thereon.

Life is conflicting. An individual can be content and still suffer lack. One can have outer wealth and inner poverty. I call it a "restless contentment".

Expectant waiting. Be fully engaged in today and alert to the divine. Be at east with uncertainty. Do not be restless with today. “Beauty arises in the stillness of your presence.”

Out of the mouth of babes. A few years back we vacationed in the hills of Missouri and my grandchildren and I re-enacted Little House in the Big Woods. For hours we foraged for materials - rocks, limbs and random treasures - to building our house. It rained the next two days and then they had to go home. We never got to play in our project. Katie said, “That’s okay, Nana, the most fun is in the building anyway.”

The consciously looking forward to, the energetic creativity, the joy of accomplishment, the fun of teamwork - this is what makes the now so special. Revel in it.

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