We all find ourselves in seasons of waiting. Being active is a huge part of my life. I swim, I run, I mountain bike, I yoga, I triathlon. Right now, I’m injured. A running injury has taken me out of the game for an ‘I don’t know how long’ period of time. And so I find myself in this space of waiting. Waiting for it not to hurt every time I walk…which, while not intolerable, is a constant reminder of the ‘thing’ I can’t currently do. Waiting to know if my body will allow me to accomplish a goal I’ve set for myself. Waiting to run again. Frankly, waiting is starting to mess with my head and drag me down a bit. It’s making me weary. I’m not someone that usually lets things get to me, but this is. I can often see the bigger picture, but right now I can’t. It’s 5:00 in the morning, I’m on my third cup of coffee, and I realized that I’m at this sort of crossroads- let the current of ‘wait’ take me under, or step up my game in the mental grit department.
To some this probably seems silly, to be upset because I can’t run. My wait isn’t any less or more than yours. I know people desperately trying to have a baby, people recovering from life-altering surgeries, people trying to find their way after the death of a parent or spouse, people dealing with job loss. I know parents hoping that today is the day their kid doesn’t get bullied at school, exhausted moms longing for just one night of uninterrupted sleep, new business owners wondering if they are crazy for pursuing a dream, and the list goes on. Don’t compare your ‘wait’, someone else’s will always seem greater. The ‘wait’ is not comparable. It is mine, and yours, to honor and figure out how to get through. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’ve acknowledged that the ‘wait’ simply sucks, so now what?
The first thing is to lean a little more on God. Now maybe God isn’t your thing, that’s okay, but He is mine. My friend Amy wrote a blog post that contained a scripture reference that seems very relevant to me right now. Psalms 3:3 says “But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” I need a “lifter of my head” because I’ve allowed myself to become discouraged. I need the mental peace that, for me, comes when I finally stop trying to do it myself, and instead drift a little closer to Him. I think that surviving the ‘wait’ requires some type of community. I don’t know what your community is, and maybe it is more than one thing or person. I do know that when you are tired of going it alone, you need to seek out your tribe. For me, this is not an easy thing to do. Vulnerability is not something that suits me, but we all reach a point where it becomes necessary.
Life is a series of events that don’t have to be classified as good or bad. When I re-frame my thinking and see my circumstances as simply ‘life’, things become easier to deal with. I have to get really comfortable with the unknown. To stop seeking the “why” and “when”, and rest instead in the now. I have to get to the place of acceptance where I understand that the end result of the ‘wait’ may not be what I want- I’m not there yet.
While I wait, I will try hard to focus more on the things that I can do, and less on the things that I can’t. The can’t gets really overwhelming if I let it take root in my life. Right now I can swim, and I can swim well, so I guess I do more of that. Choosing to spend your energy doing what you can also has the potential to give you new experiences. Yesterday I went to the pool to swim some laps and do some water jogging. I didn’t pay attention to the pool schedule, and ended up there right as they closed lap swimming for a water aerobics class. The instructor was standing there as I was talking to the lifeguard, and she said “well, why can’t you join us for class?” I had no reason, or at least not a good one, so I did. In a group of 30 people, I may have been the only one under 60, but my arms are still sore this morning. So, I guess be open to new things while you wait, and do more of what you can.
Also, someone please remind of these things, because in my humanness, I will not remember them on the days when the “wait’ is too much.