THE WAITING ROOM

I’ve been here so long that it’s beginning to feel like home.  What is it about interminable waiting that makes it so irksome?  The tedium?  The powerlessness?  Or knowing that you’re being shaped for some unknown purpose?

It’s been said that patience is a virtue, albeit one that is not terribly popular.  In a world of instant gratification, it’s difficult to cheerfully bear the passage of time without thinking about loss.  Shouldn’t it be put to better use?

But I often wonder if the tasks we undertake in the interim are just distractions.   We can persuade ourselves that the mindless job at hand is important and needs to be done.   But we’ve done it so many times that it’s rote and before we can stop it, we’re already daydreaming.

Are we so desperate to escape the monotony that we’ll invent virtually anything to keep us occupied?  I used to think that patience was the hallmark of the the weak-willed, but after having been recently forced to it, I realize it takes steel and a considerable amount of perseverance.  It’s a lot easier to run off and indulge in a whim than to exercise self-discipline and wait until conditions change.  Easier, that is, until you discover that your premature action has jeopardized the goal and you’re left with nothing.

So what do you do?  Push the envelope and risk a lifetime of regret?  Or, take your lumps now and wait until your objective is realized, happily spending the rest of your life free of the pangs of conscience?

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