patience is (not) my virtue

IMG_0533

“And sure enough even waiting will end… if you can just wait long enough.” –William Faulkner

They say good things come to those who wait. Too bad I’ve never been a patient person. Exhibit A: I was born 5 weeks early. (Life sounded fun, okay?)

All my life I’ve heard it: Slow down, hang on. Wait a second. Let’s save that for tomorrow. Maybe next time.

Being stuck in traffic by myself makes me completely crazy. Long lines are torture. Slow walkers are my pet peeve. The world is big, there’s a lot to see, and technology has made instant gratification that much more accessible.

Long story short, patience has never been my virtue. The thing is, it’s going to have to become one of my virtues, and quickly.

My due date is in four days, and my daughter does not seem to share my sense of urgency. She’s still hanging out and kicking me in the lungs where I would’ve been wearing those onesies weeks ago. (She already has a nicer wardrobe than me, you would think she’d want to hurry up and wear it. People really like buying baby clothes, by the way.)

Every day she has yet to arrive is a new lesson- in patience, in humility, in love- and I’m assuming that will only continue, most likely for the rest of my life.

I can only hope that patience skips a generation and that I by some miracle acquire some more along the way.

I keep reminding myself to stop wishing the time away. To enjoy what’s right in front of me, every single second of every single day. I tell myself things happen when they’re meant to.

Tomorrow, someone else will be here and someone else might be gone. Tomorrow could be your big break or your rock bottom. Tomorrow could be a first or a last. All there really is, is today.

I should’ve learned this lesson by now, considering all of the goodbyes I’ve had to say and all of the unexpected bits of life that have fallen into my lap. It surprises me that I have to keep learning it, yet here we are. (Did I mention I’m also stubborn?)

“All we have is today” should be my new mantra. I can’t tell if that sounds morbid or hopeful. Maybe it’s a little of both, but I think it is, at the very least, true.

All I have is today, so here goes my attempt to slow down a tad, to be a little more patient and a little more appreciative of the quiet moments, and of the waiting game. There’s nothing wrong with excitement, anticipation, and spontaneity; but there’s a lot wrong with neglecting to enjoy right now.

As our friend Ferris taught us, life moves pretty fast (I never thought I’d be a mom at 23). I’ve got to stop and look around, because I don’t intend on missing anything.

I do believe that good things come to those who wait. Exhibit A: I’ve been waiting for this little lady, and she’s going to be extraordinary.

be a destination

photo

“It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, ‘As pretty as an airport.’”  – Douglas Adams

Train stations always make me existential.

I was in several over the past three days, and each one made me strangely sad. I always think, when I’m traveling, how unloved train stations, airports and bus stops are. They are necessary places, but they are transitionary- no one leaves home with the sole intention of visiting the station.

I couldn’t help but imagine the other people who stood in the cold, waiting to see headlights swing around the tracks, newly-purchased ticket in hand. Where were they going? Just- somewhere else. They were excited, or hopeful, or full of dread and sadness at the prospect of getting to wherever they were going.

People are a lot like places. Some people are destinations; they shimmer with all the promise of something better, of possibilities.

Some people are trains themselves; they come in and out of your life maybe once or twice, they teach you a lesson or open your eyes to something new, and get you where you need to go.

Some people are train stations. They are full of waiting, not action.  They never take off for something better. They let people come and go from their lives while they themselves just wait for something exciting to happen to them.

Waiting is necessary every once in a while. But if you make a habit of it, you end up standing still for too long. You get stuck and scared. Before you know it, you become what other people pass through as they live their lives. You become a train station.

Standing on the platform with my nose hidden under my scarf for warmth, I could only manage one thought as the train rushed towards me through the night:

It’s time to be a destination.