Waiting for a plane to be inspected or repaired on the runway? Take your time. Take all the time you need. I’ll sit on board contentedly, amid the recycled air and frustrated passengers as long as this bird is going to be in tip top shape by the time we’re in the air. Please don’t cut any corners.
Waiting for a traffic accident to clear? Thank goodness I’m in a car stuck in the traffic jam and not in the car that caused it.
Waiting for minor inconveniences? A doctor’s appointment running late? My cup of coffee taking a dang eternity to brew? These pauses I’ve learned to enjoy.
I showed up for a haircut recently only to be told my stylist was running late and I should come back in an hour. At first I was frustrated. I admit I was annoyed. I had places to go and things to do and how dare they not call me in advance to reschedule? But I realized this setback in my schedule forced me to stop. I now had an hour to burn. No kids. Just me. No work distractions. Just me. No other demands on my time – at least none I was really able to attend to right then and there. Just me.
So I grabbed a cup of coffee and I sat. I could think. I could read. I could experience the warmth of the sun. I could listen to the birds. I could stare at the sky. I could enjoy that time I would have never intentionally taken for myself.
I realized I have to make a choice in these moments: I can be frustrated or I can find enjoyment in the experience of the time for which nothing else had been planned.
Rather than an inconvenience, I had been given a gift. A gift of moments. A gift of quiet. A gift of time.