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Waiting and Waiting

December 27, 2020 | by Emuna Braverman

Our lives are filled with endless waiting. How do we cope without losing our minds?

We spend a lot of our time waiting – waiting to grow older (and then wishing it didn’t happen so fast!) – waiting to go from elementary school to high school, waiting to get our driver’s license and a taste of independence, waiting to getting accepted to college and then graduate and get our first job, waiting to find the right person to marry and then to actually marry them, waiting to have children and then watching the whole process begin again from our perspective – waiting for them to sleep through the night (waiting for us to sleep through the night – I’m still waiting!), waiting for them to be toilet-trained, to lose their first tooth, to go to school and so it goes.

The waiting is constant and unending. Right now, among other things, I’m waiting for my house in LA to sell (any taker?) and my house in New Jersey to be ready. I’m waiting to get vaccinated and for this dreaded disease to disappear. I’m waiting for some of my children to give birth and others to find their life partners, for some to find a job and others to find a new home.

There is always something we are waiting for – and I didn’t even mention our longest wait of all, the wait for the Mashiach and the Ultimate Redemption.

Since waiting seems to be an inevitable part of life, it stands to reason that we must find a way to cope with it. We can’t just wish it away. We can’t just put our lives on hold as we wait for a particular event to occur or a specific milestone to be achieved.

How can we endure this waiting without losing our minds, or at the very least, pulling out our hair?

I think the most important response is acceptance. If we tell ourselves that we shouldn’t have to wait, that our needs should be satisfied instantaneously, that our lives should speed up and opportunities should magically come our way, then we will live in a constant state of frustration and disappointment.

If we tell ourselves that waiting is just a part of life, if we remember that old saw our mothers used to quote that “all things come to those who wait”, then we will be able to move through our days – and our trials – with greater piece of mind.

Easy to say… I don’t know about you but I’m definitely having a hard time with this waiting business! When my children are single, I find it difficult to wait until they are engaged, when engaged I find it challenging to wait until they are married, when married, it’s hard to wait until they are expecting – and then that nine months…what can I say? It never ends!

But I also recognize that that’s no way to live (and if I don’t recognize it, my husband kindly points it out to me!). Each day, each moment is so precious; I don’t want to waste them focused on the future instead of the present. So, for about the millionth time (but who’s counting), I’m taking a deep breath and trying to hold myself in the now. I’m focusing on the good in my life at this moment – not anticipated or future good and I’m sending a big thank you to the Almighty.

If I can continue express my gratitude right now, I can keep that anxiety for the future at bay and enjoy the present. I have to try; this moment is too precious to waste!

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