Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I can't wait

It was just a phrase I used to describe my anticipation of Diane Walker's exploration of a technique she's discovered using Photoshop. "I can't wait to receive the gift of your explorations," I wrote.

And it's true. Given the beauty of the photo she's posted today over at her blog, Contemplative Photography, I'm excited to see what wonders she comes up with.

What struck me, however, was the contradiction within the phrase, "I can't wait".

Taken literally, that phrase begs the question, "So, what am I going to do about it?"

Hello? I don't really have any option do I? Until Diane posts another image, wait I must.

So, why tell myself, I can't wait, knowing I must?

It's a phrase often used in prose and song and poetry. A phrase meant to express our anticipation of something, someone, someday when... we won't have to wait any longer for whatever we're looking for.

Yesterday, as I stood talking to a client on the second floor of the shelter where I work two women walked towards us. A man approached. The older of the two women immediately stepped in front of the younger woman and told the man to 'get lost'.

The man was incensed. The trio began a heated dialogue, spiced with expletives and threats of what one would do to the other if... Front line staff quickly intervened. The drama was defused and everyone walked away.

The man with whom I'd been speaking looked at me and said, "I can't wait to get out of here."

"When will that be?" I asked.

"Soon," he replied. "Soon." And he went on to explain the many reasons why his wait couldn't end today.

Just then the intercom buzzed and I was requested to come down to reception. I bid the man good-bye, wishing him luck in his quest to leave the shelter. As I passed the two women who had played such a vital role in the drama we'd witnessed earlier, I overheard the older woman tell the younger what she'd do to the man who had tried to talk to her. "I can't wait to get him alone outside," she insisted. "I'll teach him how to treat a lady."

And there it was again. That phrase. "I can't wait."

Now, I'd like to tell you I intervened at that point and talked to the two women about the incident, but I didn't. My mind was focused on the visitor I was on my way to greet and the meeting I had next. I'll have to wait for another opportunity.

And that's the rub. My purpose in life is to 'ignite joy in an enlightened world'.

Waiting to do it until the time is right, or I have more time, just doesn't work. Living on purpose can't wait.

What can't wait, what mustn't wait, is what I can and am doing about my world today.

I can't wait to change what isn't working in my life today.

I can't wait to stop doing what brings me down.

I can't wait to do whatever will lift me up.

Those things I can and must do today. I don't have to wait until some distant date. Some moment in time in the future when I quit waiting and start telling myself, "It's true. I can't wait any longer. It's time for me to do it, NOW."

I can wait for Diane to post her new images. I have no choice. Her life is in her hands. When and if she posts her new work, I'll be the grateful recipient of the gift of witnessing their beauty on her blog.

I can't wait to change what isn't working for me in my life today.

I can't sit around any longer waiting for 'someday' to arrive.

Someday is now. It's time to live it NOW.


Anonymous said...


you write of patience, and of urgency

we choose better with each new teaching/learning experience

the world is not in a hurry, but never slows down - spinning in space at exactly the same speed every day; it does not take us from darkness to light, from patience to urgency, it just turns

everything else is us, our perceptions and our anxieties

a healthy mix of both makes for a healthy mix in us

keep questing, keep questioning and thanks for helping me in so many ways



Maureen said...

Thoughtful riff on a common phrase few of us ever give a second thought.

S. Etole said...

this is so good!!!! said...

So fine. I love the way you stop and listen... and thanks for the link, too!