HURRY UP AND WAIT

Waiting ...

Waiting …

By Lisa Huddleston

Since my mother has lived with us I’ve been spending more time than usual in waiting rooms. This morning was another opportunity to practice waiting as I shivered in my cold seat balancing my coffee cup on my knee while she had to undergo a diagnostic procedure—the one we all dread for its preparation more than the actual event. Yeah, you know which one I mean. (Poor thing!)

Anyway, I had downloaded a book by my latest favorite author on my Nook tablet and was ready to fill my time with some good reading, but this was one of those times when I couldn’t get my brain to settle. It would have helped if I had already been into the story, but as it was I just couldn’t focus. People kept coming in and out of the room, the ever-present TV was blaring (soap opera), the receptionist was listening to phone messages on speaker so that the whole room could hear (can anyone say, “HIPPA?”), and the woman next to me answered several phone calls which she carried on at full volume two seats away. I was just a little frustrated—no, way more than a little. I was ANNOYED! (I would generally use another word beginning with P, but I hate to offend you more delicate readers.)

Since I couldn’t read, I pondered (another favorite P word). Somehow, no matter the setting, my brain never fails to be able to ponder. After several random takes, I finally chewed on the idea of the waiting room as a metaphor for life. A waiting room is simply that: a place to sit and wait for your name to be called for the real event that has brought you to the office. But the waiting room is nothing more than a holding tank, and I certainly hope that’s not all our 80 some years on earth are about. Just waiting? Some would say Heaven is the main event, the “BIG DEAL” we’re waiting for, and that should make the waiting worth it. But I really hope that life is the main event or at least that it’s the first act of the play or the prelude or something like that. Please, let it be more than mindless waiting or I’m afraid that I really will go nuts.

The other day I sarcastically remarked to my husband that I was just filling my days with stuff to do while waiting around to die. Harsh, I know. But this is a season that really doesn’t seem to be holding my attention very well. Oh there are distractions for sure—some very entertaining like my book but others are really terribly annoying and there are days when I feel like screaming, “Let’s get this show on the road, God!”

So … anyway … I’m still pondering as I wait for the peach pie I just put in the oven to bake and listen to Jack Johnson sing through the kitchen’s Bose. At least home-grown peaches and sugary pie crust are a pleasant distraction. Heck, maybe delicious, homemade pies really are the main event. Who knows? Peach pie as the meaning of life! But, if not, I sure hope I don’t miss my name when it’s called. I’ll be the one with sticky lips and a frown.

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