It was getting late, very very late. And with each passing second, I was getting very very irritated. I was stuck in a meeting, thankfully along with many others; but what was gnawing at me that someone had been waiting outside for me for the past two hours.
‘Hurry hurry hurry’ was the slogan the Impatience Army was chanting in my head. I wanted to snap when casual talk was being made, I had to curb the urge to yell at my boss (thank goodness for that) and then I was very close to coming up with an excuse to leave early. None of the above scenarios took place and I left by 8.20 pm having aged at least 10 years.
As I look back on the events of yesterday — where I felt I was the Queen of Sheba and everything around me needed to align itself according to my schedule — I can’t help but be reminded of Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) and the phrase his father would constantly use “this will build character”. Running out of time is something we ALL struggle with forgetting all the while that God gave each one of 24 hours per day knowing fully well that they are sufficient for us.
Tipping the wait-bait balance
Here are some of the instances where I waited and on other times, rushed in to having my own way.
Memories for a lifetime: I was 12 years old and had recently moved to a new school. Everybody used to play volleyball so I took up the sport too. There were few spots for extras in the school team so the girls (eight of us) from my class decided to try out. They had been practicing for two years, so I knew they had an edge. While everybody got through, my friend and I didn’t. For the next one week, there would be just four girls in the class and both my friend and I would feel terrible (me, humiliated) because we didn’t make it, we were the ‘leftovers’. I had to wait for a year to try out, but I practiced like a madman and when the time came, I made it to the main team. And when I got in college, I was selected for the college team too.
Dark horse: When I was in college, I participated in a local beauty pageant. I was excited to take part and also learn how to walk in heels. I made it to the Top 20, but the excitement went downhill when I met the other contestants who were either professional models or beautiful/smart/outgoing and so Caleb Johnson-like (American Idol 2014, https://www.facebook.com/IdolCalebJohnson) confident. Other than that, buying stuff for the pageant was burning a hole in my peanut sized savings. But I still wanted to give it my best shot, so I would come back home practice for an hour. On the final day the hard work and the waiting paid off, I bagged the first-runners up; though I was more excited about the cash prize.
Biggest mistake: A relationship I shouldn’t have got into, but I did anyway. Why? Because I thought I was Nostradamus and the future I predicted was going to be a bed of roses. I am not going to write a lot about it but it serves as one of the biggest reminders for me to wait.
While everybody is in a hurry to get ‘there’, Ann Voskamp drives home the point on why hurrying sounds so much like worrying.
Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…. Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.
Even though I slog to win in this rat race, I forget that if crowned the winner, I’ll still be a rat.
I hope I am less irritated when stuck in a meeting next time because in the long run it will surely help in “building my character”.