learning to wait at the dmv.

Sometimes I feel like I spend entire days in wait: for traffic lights to turn green, for e-mail responses to come, for naptime to come so I can get a couple hours of writing and “me” time in. For the heart-pounding class at the gym to finally come to a close, for my husband to get home, for my fingers to pound out that final word on my manuscript. And so the story goes.

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But oftentimes, the more I focus on all this waiting I have to do, the more impatient I become. It’s as if the rose-colored glasses that I normally view life through turn a monstrous shade of green.

And it gets ugly. I get ugly. Life itself gets ugly.

I ready my hand to blare the horn and I curse my computer toward all those blasted humans on the other side of my computer that do not understand my need for a timely reply, snarkle, snarkle. I snap at my children and I slam bedroom doors, as if that’s an acceptable outpouring of my frustration. I barely acknowledge my husband when he walks through the door, and I forget to give myself grace when it comes to my own set of self-imposed deadlines.

In all of these moments—moments in which I could have stopped and paused and breathed in the beauty of the present moment—I’ve instead lost the opportunity altogether. The waiting has gotten me nowhere, and it’s a nowhere I realize I don’t want to arrive at again anytime soon.

For this nowhere is no way to live.

The irony, of course, is that when I’m in waiting situations with other people, I often become the best version of my waiting self, the person I want to be in all waiting circumstances.

I stand in line at the DMV, a hub known for extreme queues. It’s also a place beautifully filled with every type and kind and make of person, with those I don’t normally see everyday as I flit around in my bubbled world. If I don’t have a child attached to the hip, I carry with me a book, and I relish in the chance to read entire chapters uninterrupted. But then it happens every time: the fleshy people around me catch my attention. They stir my insides with excitement for the story we humans naturally create.

So, want to hear more about waiting at the DMV? There are real, live stories of waiting at the DMV, for sure – click here and head on over to Mudroom Blog to read these stories of wait. Especially if you’re standing in a line waiting today. Otherwise, when are you your best – and worst – waiter? 

7 thoughts on “learning to wait at the dmv.

  1. Yes, I know how you feel. As the publisher of Meredith Etc, a resume writer for Typing Solutions, and as a contributing writing for the Jackson Advocate, I find myself consumed with writing assignments, manuscripts, editorial projects, letters, agreements, etc. The process of writing is so self observing that it is hard to come up for air. Writing is a very intense, yet fulfilling, process. Meredith Coleman McGee

  2. I do best at having to wait when I stop to realize that everyone else is standing there waiting too. We’re all in this together, and perhaps some of them are in more need than I am to be done waiting.

  3. I ride the bus, and that’s played a huge part in teaching me to be better at waiting. It’s a good reminder that I don’t have to be busy or productive or entertained every waking hour of the day. Sometimes silence is good. Sometimes actually noticing my life is good. And sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan (buses run late or I don’t run fast enough as it’s pulling away) which means more waiting, but it’s not the end of the world.

    1. Yup. It’s not the end of the world. It’s amazing to me, how when I enter in, it’s like the world begins anew. 🙂

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

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