Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow…
…or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another chance
Everyone is just waiting.
–Dr. Seuss, Oh the Places You’ll Go!
I’ve posted this quote before. It always runs through my head when I realize that part of my brain is waiting for an event. Today I’m waiting for multiple things. The most prominent being the fact that I’m waiting for a shuttle to take me to the airport, where I will wait to get on a plane, then wait to get off a plane, then wait for a ride to get to my destination. Of course the shuttle isn’t due to arrive for three hours. Theoretically I could get a lot of work done in those hours, in practice it is difficult to get my brain to engage with the work because I know I’ll have to stop in order to leave. In part, writing this post is helping my creative brain warm up to the idea that we can do something useful with the next three hours instead of just making the time pass quickly by watching Netflix.
I’m waiting on a larger scale as well. It shows clearly in my paper journal where I allow myself to be repetitive with my thoughts and words. Lately there have been a lot of lists like this:
3 weeks to Thanksgiving
6 weeks until college girl is permanently home from college (graduation in Spring)
7.5 weeks until Christmas
8.5 weeks until 20yo starts his residential “Autism school for Adulting” program.
I’m counting down because the change in who lives at home will be a big shift in our household dynamics. I’m curious to see how it will play out. Also I’m very excited for both kids to be moving forward into the next phase of their lives. There is also an element of making myself accustomed to the idea that my second child will be leaving home. I’d resigned myself to a long, slow launch that I figured would take another five years or more. But he’s anxious to get out and build his own life, so this guided program lets him move out far earlier than he could do solo. It has been less than a month since he decided he wanted it, applied, and was accepted. I’m still re-calibrating.
And I’m struggling to not switch over into waiting mode. Waiting mode isn’t very creatively productive. Instead I remind myself that I’ve been waiting for this trip to a writing retreat for almost a year. I need to not spend the retreat focused on waiting for something else. And that starts by not spending the next 2.5 hours waiting for a shuttle.