Done with Waiting
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Below.
â€œIâ€™m done with waiting!â€
There.Â Â Iâ€™ve announced it.Â Â Some of the people who know me (or think they do) are probably overjoyed. Â And others are shaking in their boots. Â Thatâ€™s because neither group knows what Iâ€™m talking about and theyâ€™re trying to fill in the blanks in ways that have little or nothing to do with them, and thatâ€™s kind of funny.
I heard a story a long time ago from a colleague who was always waiting on a promotion.Â Â She did nothing to increase her skills, nothing Â to network, and complained daily about how everyone was being promoted ahead of her. Â People suggested she write herself up for awards (a common practice, I later discovered after I got promoted the last time), Â take more long-distance classes that would take her away from home for Â six weeks to six months (something I consciously refused to do so I wouldnâ€™t be away from my kids), or take a career-broadening assignment Â that Â would Â have Â her Â working Â 15-hour Â days Â and weekends for a year.
Iâ€™ll Â admit that I, too, complained about the lack of promotions for someone who put their kids Â and Â homelife Â ahead Â of Â the Â job, Â but Â I Â eventually found an interesting Â position that didnâ€™t require the el- bow-rubbing, the Â extra time away from family, and the constant travel.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It tookÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â a long time Â to Â find something that allowed a balance, but it did come. Â I saw this woman a few days ago, and sheâ€™s angry over yet another promotion she hasnâ€™t gotten.Â Â She hasnâ€™t spoken to me since I got Â my Â last Â big Â promotion…fourÂ Â years Â ago…but Â okay, whatever.
The story she used to share was one of a faithful dog who was abandoned by its owners. Â It waited by the road- side, regardless of the weather, for their return until it finally Â died Â of Â neglect. Â Thatâ€™s Â the Â way Â she Â saw Â her- self:Â Â Â Â Â Â faithful, steadfast, Â starving, Â lonely, Â wanting…and waitingÂ through Â anything Â and Â everything Â and Â not Â only waiting but expecting an award for waiting. Â And knowing no one was coming back for her. Â But still deserving that award for waiting. Â I hear so many people say that theyâ€™re waiting forâ€”oh, Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â fill Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â in Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â the Â Â Â Â Â Â blankâ€”before they can have their dreams.Â Maybe Â itâ€™s more Â money or more timeÂ or the stars to line up a certain way.Â Â But everything has to be â€œjust rightâ€ before they can launch their dreams, even the smallest part of their dreams, Â and all they Â do, all their lives, is wait. Â Thatâ€™s not to say that there arenâ€™t things, and people, worth waiting for. Â But there are actions that can be taken and dreams that can be fulfilledâ€”or at least startedâ€”that donâ€™t require any waiting.
Waiting puts the dream always somewhere Â in the future, always at arms-lengthÂ away. Â That means you donâ€™t get to enjoy your dream now.
We wait Â for Â everything Â to Â be Â perfect Â before Â we act. Â Itâ€™s our way of building in security, something Â that may never really be there or, even if it is, we may never choose to recognize it as such because of our own mental outlook.
Sixteen years ago, I had a dream and a plan that Iâ€™d be able to write full-time Â and write whatever I wanted. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â I never followed that dream.Â Â I got caught up in trying to write six BIG manuscripts Â a year so that, if I could only sell ever so many books on a Â regular basis and have a couple Â of Â yearsâ€™ Â of Â manuscripts Â sold Â so Â that Â Iâ€™d Â have enough Â steady Â income Â to Â replace Â my Â day Â job Â income, then Iâ€™d be able to write full-time.Â Â There were plenty of reasons to wait on my dream.Â Â We couldnâ€™t afford it, or thought we couldnâ€™t.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â We Â needed the extra income, Â or thought we did.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â We Â meanwhile moved into a house 3 times Â the Â size Â of Â the Â old Â one,Â Â with Â a Â mortgage Â to match. Â My day jobâ€™s income doubled, so it made the idea of a few years or more with little or no income much less appealing on the homefront. Â It always seemed possible, the idea of writing full-time, but it was always â€œMaybe in a couple of years.â€Â Â So my dream, no matter how many years passed, was always a couple of years into the Â future.
Does Â this Â mean Â Iâ€™m Â quitting Â my Â day Â job Â tomorrow? Â Not quite. Â But it does mean that many of the projects, ideas, relationships, and more that Iâ€™ve put on hold because I was waiting for …something Â (not Â astrology in this case!)… to line up just perfectly, are now going into full action.
So now when someone says, â€œWhat are you waiting for?â€ in regard to me following my dreams, it wonâ€™t be a nebulous, Â â€œI Â canâ€™t Â just Â yet.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â My Â answers Â are Â concrete. Â Like, Iâ€™m finishing a particular project that will be the product Iâ€™ll sell when I launch XYZ. Â Or Iâ€™m waiting for Â the Â rights Â back Â to Â that Â particular Â project Â before Â I launch that. Â Or Iâ€™m writing the first four lessons before I launch a Â 52-weekÂ course. Â So yes, there may be a little wait time in there, but it wonâ€™t be waiting for â€œwhen the time is right.â€ Â No, the waits will be only a pause in get- ting to the next steps.
But as for getting my dreams? Â Iâ€™m done with waiting.