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Someone said something to me yesterday that stuck with me all day, made me happy. And the echo of those five little feel-good words still lingers with me today.

This someone (who may or may not be reading this blog) told me I WAS WORTH WAITING FOR, well I got a lovely text with those generous words. You see I had arranged to meet this someone and was terribly late in arriving. I felt (still feel) really bad about it, I don’t like to keep people waiting as I hate waiting myself. I always feel as if I am taking their time for granted, which is uncaring, unkind, unmannerly and often unnecessary. So to be forgiven and considered ‘worth it’ was a lovely, unexpected and rare surprise.

We wait for so many things in life, for me it’s often the bus or for the kettle to boil, but as R. Emerson put it so eloquently “How much of human life is lost in waiting.” Thinking back, I can’t remember a time I haven’t waited for one thing or another: holidays, birthdays, Christmases, letters, tickets, answers, love, on or for someone, to be let in, on, off or out of something, sometimes even just for life to really start. Yet it is also quite clear that if the something or someone turns out out to be what we wanted or hoped for, the wait is quickly forgotten and considered time well spent in anticipation.

Research has shown that standing in line waiting for something can actually cause your blood-pressure to rise and stress-levels to increase. A few small tricks can help us in our waiting process, if we know for how long we are going to wait, or if we fill the time with something (that is why a menu is thrust into our hands as soon as we sit down in a restaurant … to keep us busy while we wait) and allowing ourselves plenty of time, make us feel more in control and time passes “seemingly” quicker. All good and well but wouldn’t it be better to not have to wait at all? It seems that waiting has its purposes, too, as we think of time as something valuable. So by waiting, delaying our gratification, we often think something has more worth. Okay, maybe not the smelly, crowded bus that arrives to ferry us home but the degree we worked for three year to get certainly qualifies.

Maybe the trick in waiting is to only wait on things we really want and otherwise try to follow this quote I once read “I took a course in speed waiting. Now I can wait an hour in only ten minutes.” … not sure how that works but for me reading, chatting and daydreaming seems to help time tick a little faster.

The Psychology of Waiting Lines
The secret of self-control : The New Yorker