Winning, losing in life's waiting game

Published July 5, 2005

It has finally dawned on me that life is a waiting game.

There are two kinds of waits: the "must waits" and the "I can't wait waits." But at any rate, life is made up of waiting, and patience is the only answer to this problem.

When we're little, we can't wait to get older. I can remember thinking I just couldn't wait to go to school. Then I just couldn't wait for summer vacation. Then I couldn't wait to drive a car, wear my first bra, have my first date, graduate from high school, go to college, marry and have children.

I had a difficult time waiting to start my first job. Then I couldn't wait to retire. I had to wait nine months for my children to be born. Then I couldn't wait for them to walk and talk. Couldn't wait for them to go to bed, couldn't wait for them to get up.

There came a time, and I love my children dearly, when I couldn't wait for them to be on their own so I was free of the financial burden. It was time for them to begin their own lives anyway. Now I must wait for them to visit. When they do, there comes a time when I can't wait for them to go home so I can resume my daily routine of waiting.

Today I wait for different things. Most mornings I wait for the sun to come up. There are many days when I can't wait for it to go down so I can go to bed. I can't wait to get my morning shower, and then can't wait to get out of the bathroom so I can get dressed. I must wait to start the laundry until my shower is done so the water will be hot.

I wait for the clothes to wash, then wait for them to dry so I can iron them. I wait in line at the grocery store, wait for lights on the highway to change. I can't wait for my husband to have a day off so we can golf. Then we must wait for a tee time, wait to tee off, and wait for that first good shot after limbering up.

I must wait for him to get home so we can play our usual game of cards. There are some days I can't wait for him to go back to work. We must wait for doctor's appointments, wait in the waiting room, wait for results of tests.

I can't wait for summer to come with its warm weather, and then by September can't wait for the first cool day so I can wear my jeans and sweaters. When it is dry, I can't wait for the rain. When it's raining, I can't wait for the sun to come out.

I must wait for my paint to dry so I can put on a second coat and must wait to see the finished project. Most times I can't wait to go to Ohio to visit friends and children. When it is time to return to sunny Florida, I can't wait to get home.

Many of us waited for the verdicts in the Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson trials. We now wait for the fate of the American teenager in Aruba.

Right now I am waiting for my dining room chairs to be delivered that I ordered in April. I suppose when they finally get here, I will have to find something else to wait for.

Not having dining room chairs, therefore, is not a big deal.

I can wait for the stump grinder to grind my stumps in the yard. I could also wait to decorate for Christmas. Today I couldn't wait to write this article because it was running around in my head.

There are some things to do while you wait. You can try and recite the Pledge of Allegiance backward; recall to memory all of the Gettysburg Address; remember all of the amendments to the Constitution; recite the presidents, starting with George Washington and ending with George W. Bush.

You could count your toes and fingers to make sure you still have all of them or try remembering what happened to you at 4:11 p.m. on Jan. 1, 1986. My husband likes to recall sports trivia while waiting for dinner to be served at a restaurant. I prefer to count the number of tiles in the ceiling.

No matter what we do in life, there are times we all must wait. Maybe the secret is not to think about waiting. Maybe the secret is to just accept the here and now.

Thought for the day: Someday I will probably wait to die. Then the waiting will be over, maybe. I might have to wait at the Pearly Gates to see when and if I can get in.

--Georgi Davis lives in Homosassa. Guest columnists write their own views on subjects they choose, which do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.