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