WHITNEY CAIN, PHD

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Waiting, II

Since “Waiting” on September 30, 2015, I’ve posted a blog each Tuesday.  Today’s piece is a nod to that very first post.  On another note and for no reason at all, I’ve decided to give myself the month of July off from said Tuesday blog. During this time, I hope not to put one productive thing into the slot dedicated to writing my blog.  Likewise, for the remainder of July, I hope you will waste away the minutes you usually spend reading my writing.  See you in August.

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Waiting

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
— T.S. Eliot

I’m not very good at waiting. I didn’t have to wait a hot minute for my first baby to be born.  She was six-and-half weeks early and her position and persistence made the nurses and doctors fast as lightening to help get her here.  Before my second arrived, however, I had to convince the hospital staff to let me stay versus going home to await a more “substantive labor.”

Over the years I’ve come up with some tricks to help me through waits.  Meditation, podcasts, crosswords, and people watching are among my top strategies.  Still, waiting can be unsettling.  Just how unsettling usually (but not always) depends on the “what” of the wait. Waits associated with babies, meeting goals, and actualizing dreams are eased by feelings of optimism and hope.  The edge and irritation accompanying waiting for sketchy test results or in too-long grocery lines make those more challenging.  

And then there are the difficult waits – Eliot’s “darkness.”  Now I am no Pollyanna, and, unlike some, I do not think there is always a reason for or lesson in painful experiences.  I do believe, however, that these times bring new openings and, oftentimes, these openings contain their own sort of joy, on their own time.  When the joy reveals itself, Eliot’s stillness may finally, finally turn to “dancing.”  

You won’t have to wait long for this blog to return.  In the meanwhile, here’s to dancing.

 

Whitney Cain