On the surface, most parents appear to have an endless supply of patience. Able to deflect and evade the constant barrage of questions and interruptions as skillfully as any highly trained member of military intelligence.
Unless you spend time regularly with children, this ability appears baffling, bewildering and at times borders on the metaphysical. There are of course days that push each of us to our limit. Some of these days all too vividly reminding us exactly why we waited, fearfully, to have children in the first place. Days when our attempts to remain calm and collected amidst the chaos confronted during each moment feels a Herculean task.
Why don't we have an equivalent female term meaning of extrordinary power? Xenaean and Wonderwomanean, somehow don't quite do the trick. Hmmm...
I still clearly remember an afternoon, years ago, precariously close to nap time, when my adorable, well-behaved daughter began to scream at the top of her lungs in the middle of Whole Foods demanding a Jamba Juice...needless to say the icy stares from kind grandmothers, late-lunch dinks and helpless team members made the overly airconditioned store feel like Palm Springs on a bad day.
Why am I coming up empty-handed now?
I am no longer gainfully employed.
The waiting game. Only this time on a much grander scale. Perhaps the odds combined with the uncertain timeframe are what's making these games a bit more challenging. I am struggling to retain my high levels of composure, grace and patience. Expectations can be that way.
Turns out I have always found it much simpler to do something rather than nothing. I am now learning the fine art of waiting and being. However, like a verb acting as a gerund, I feel impotent, inactive, secondary. Afterall, I don't want to wait for too long...
What are you waiting for?!
I can't say, exactly, but I'll know it when I come across it. I have fine-tuned my list. I am sending the requests out there. If I stay mindful, trust and allow things to unfold, this too will arrive. Much like waiting on the platform for the evening train returning from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego, the precise timing is irrevelant. Another train is already on its way. Rather than watch the clock and angrily attempt to outlast the holds on the customer service line, it's a better use of my precious time to enjoy the music wafting from across the tracks, to savour the warm, strong hand holding mine, to feel the air begin to turn from warm to chill and to notice the cricket chorus strike flawlessly just as the remains of the day fades from dusk to darkness. A phenomenom as gratifying as witnessing the green flash.
Waiting is doing something, right?!
Time to break-down the act of waiting. Am I actively or passively waiting? I start to get a bit unclear here. A fuzziness (that word always reminds me of Fozzy the Bear) exists somewhere right between actively waiting and distracting oneself with activity. For me this is very similar to the boundary between trying to let go and actually letting go. Once I let go there is no longer any work involved in getting to that place. It's the journey to that place that takes the strength and patience.
What happens if I'm waiting for patience and grace to help me while I wait?
Be what you hope to find. I will instead embrace the uncertainty and the feelings of groundlessness and lack of purpose that accompany it. I currently lack a title. When asked what I do I will respond, "I am waiting." No not tables, I am waiting for the appropriate opportunity to present itself.
It must feel like being on vacation!
Unemployment certainly offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. Up to a point. Fiances begin to become limiting and remember, I'm one of those people who feels complete when she's doing something. I enjoy a purpose. This is clearly my lesson. Just as I felt frustrated and skeptical for the first few years that I meditated, my thoughts straying, failing to envision that clean, white sheet of paper in my mind. I am simply letting go. No more trying, forcing, making it happen now just to have something. I am letting go of the need to understand and explain and do. Once again, I have been presented with an opportunity to be.
I'm still merely human. The waiting is at times excruciating!
For now, I have shed my titles and the tasks and spreadsheets that accompany them. I am a loving, patient-at-times, single mother. It's by far the most challenging (Xenaean, it might catch on) and rewarding job I will ever have.