First we’ve got the classically horrific waits; for the dad to emerge dead or alive from heart surgery, the husband to call from a war zone, the daughter’s CAT scan result to come in re. the effectiveness of chemo.
And this I know to be true: Surviving the big waits does not make us any better at handling the lesser waits. Even if we bring a book, or our knitting, catch up on our texts, or have a vivid fantasy life... a wait is time irretrievably squandered by the drop-by-drop seeping bleed of normal life.
Onto the third type of wait. The career wait. The one where you've done all you can do and your fate and future, income and sense of worth are now in someone else's hands, off screen.
Perhaps to those Serenity Prayer types who can wrap their heads around accepting the things they cannot change, waiting for a thumbs up or down from an editor is a snap.
Some humans even seem to be distractable. My husband for example, can glance down at the newspaper and laugh at a Dilbert cartoon while we are in the middle of a fight.
Some people are optimists and assume all outcomes will be rosy. Others are tra-la-la about what is or is not meant to be.
And if the point is to live as l-o-n-g as possible then the way time warps into slow motion while we’re waiting for a call should be cause for gratitude! THANK YOU WORLD for the fluid and inconsistent nature of time! Thank you for adding to my life span in this remarkable way!
But alas, people like me can not be distracted from our obsessions and we don't assume all travails will end in delight or even mercy.
So, as we await career news we do not find ourselves accepting or celebrating the wait. Instead, as the time elongates, we implode, growing stooped, wizened, bitter. A new eye twitch develops, the lip curls. We swear at the cat and snarl at the dog.
Karl Wallenda, of The Flying Wallendas once said something like, To walk the high wire, that is life! Everything else is waiting.
Well, Karl, I’m waiting.