I have spent much of my life waiting.
Waiting to drive.
To graduate from college.
Waiting for my boyfriend to propose to me (little did I know what marriage entailed).
Waiting to own a house (which turned out to be this house).
Desperately waiting to see two pink lines, then, of course, waiting to not be pregnant anymore.
Waiting to see if skinny jeans were really here to stay (like we had a choice #teamskinnyjeans).
Waiting for my babies to become more independent and to learn how incredible sleep is.
Much of my waiting has been necessary, much of it has been voluntary.
When my waiting has been a necessary part of life I acted like a hostage. I would woefully write a mental list of all the things I would be doing. . .
“If only I wasn’t pregnant I would totally join the girls at gym class.” (I’ve been to the gym twice in my life)
“When my oven is fixed I am so going to bake for 48 hours solid to make up for lost time.” (I don’t bake)
“When my kids are sleeping through the night I will finally become a morning person and wake up before them to have time to myself.” (I would pay large sums of money to make it logistically possible and socially acceptable for me to sleep in til at least 8:00am every single morning)
When my waiting was voluntary, it would serve a convenient excuse for the things I was too chicken or too lazy to tackle. Sure, I’ve ‘done lots of stuff’, but there was so much more within my reach.
Mom Shawna shakes her head at Young Adult Shawna – who had so much luxury in how she spent her efforts, money and time.
But as Young Adult Shawna, I had to wait….because circumstances weren’t lining up in a way I was comfortable with. There were trips I never went on. Friendships I never invested in. Hobbies I never learned or nurtured. Habits I never fostered. Health I never took care of.
Why am I even saying I would do these things? If I have never done them in all the times before, why would I be quick to blurt out that I would do them once my circumstances prevent me from it? I love how Shona puts it, “the thing about waiting is you stop being in control”.
Waiting has allowed me to stall without being responsible for it (Type Nine problems). As I would throw my hands up in the air, I would drop any accountability I have in making things happen.
This past year I decided I wanted to live my life on purpose. After so many years on auto-pilot, I knew that my complacent ways were leading me to live a stagnant life. I had been growing too comfortable in the ‘Waiting Room’.
As the months have passed, the quiet chant deep down in me has been loudening, a crescendo of accountability to do the things that are in my heart. The things I have been made to do. The things I have been called to do. I’ve become restless. In the past I would lid this feeling with a ‘but I have to wait for…’, but now I find the restlessness exciting.
Sometimes we must wait, sometimes we need to ‘be still’. I am thankful for those slow times in my life, they have helped me to acquire a routine of simpler living. But we aren’t called to a whole life of waiting, all of us burrowing into our cozy little spot (unless you have a new baby, then burrow all you can!). We aren’t called to bench ourselves, we are called to run the race before us. To run alongside each other. We are called to get messy, to get worn out, to use and offer our abundance of resources. We are called to listen to those little whispers and whimpers of our hearts and liven them to shouts.
All this time I have been waiting, putting off, brushing aside. Every single morning I need to make the decision to stop waiting and start doing. Wake up early (I can’t write that with a straight face). Cradle my kids’ cheeks in my hands and read their eyes asking for more of everything. Listen to those little nudges that encourage me to act boldly throughout the day but I just shove down with more coffee and ‘I would do that, if…’.
Because if not now, then when?
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4 thoughts on “For the mom who is ‘waiting’ for life to happen”
yes. This is so true for me as well. Sometimes we need to lean into some necessary waiting. As sometimes we need to using waiting as an excuse for not living.
Thanks for sharing your journey with it all!
Oh, wonderful. Yes! I think especially with little ones (even not-so-little ones) it’s kind of easy to get so loud in the minutia of every day and forget that it’s a gift, it doesn’t last forever, and in a few years I’ll be wishing for a few more moments to cradle my kiddo’s face as she sleeps.
It’s too easy to go on autopilot.
I waited for so many things to happen before embarking on my long-time plan of writing. Spoiler alert: I should have started way back when. But I’m on the road now! Great reminder. I hope people heed their call to action…fit their activity in the nooks and crannies of the day…and come out way ahead “when they have time.”