Hart Beat

I can master the art of waiting

Patience has never been my strong suit. In fact, I can say without a fear of contradiction, my lack of patience has caused me hours of anguish. It's not that I expect to be able to change the outcome of events as they come my way, I just hate waiting for them to happen.

Like most people I hate going to the doctor's office. It's not that I don't have nice doctors. They are very nice and blunt. They are sensitive and caring. Their staff, from receptionists to office nurses, who force me to weigh-in for my annual dose of reality, are kind and sympathetic souls.

I just hate to wait my turn to see the doctor. Blame it on my perpetual state of rush. I always seem to be in a hurry, on my way somewhere else, with no time to enjoy where I'm at.

But then, I don't know how to just sit. I never just sit in order to simply contemplate my navel.

However, as of today, I vow to enjoy the chore of waiting.

I'm trying to get better at the art of waiting, partly because I want to see my navel when I sit down and partly because I understand that all my rushing around is helping to clog my arteries. And we all know that clogged arteries leads to all types of other dire conditions too heinous to think about.

So, I'm trying to curb my need to be in a state of frenzy all the time. In fact, in addition to learning to relax, I'm trying to teach myself the to achieve a subliminal state of Zen. After all, if a person can learn to enjoy the art of mowing the lawn through the Oriental study of Zen, I should be able to learn to wait patiently.

I truly do want to be one with the moment. I want to be among the serene, calm, collected people I see all around me, answering cell phones, reading magazines, and working on their palm planners with a plastic syllus.

I realize that giving up my need to be active every minute of every hour of every day is beginning to take its toll on not only my psyche , but my body. I don't heal as fast as I used to. I don't accept new thoughts and ideas as well as I used to. Basically, I'm like a hamster on a metal wheel, I seem to be going in a circle, as fast as I can.

Well, after yesterday's marathon session at the doctor's office I've decided I want to get off the wheel and stand in one place for a while. I want to see what it is like to go slowly about my business. So as part of my new approach to life, I plan to cut back, relax, embrace solitude and learn to rejuvenate myself from the inside out.

As a part of my new approach to waiting, I've decided to develop some new habits. For example, I vow to aid myself in reducing stress by emulating my fellow waiting room pals by getting one of those cute, little two-way radios/cell phone combinations. I want to be able to call my co-workers and friends in order to ask "what's ya doing?" any time of the day or night. A good friend could be caring and as part of my new Zen life I want to be more sensitive.

I want to learn everything there is to know about smoking and the latest methods being used to stop that harmful habit. My desire to learn about smoking cessation is not because I smoke, but because I know people who do. I want to be able to regale them with my second-hand knowledge of the tricks to give up smoking in order to encourage them in their fight with the evil, nasty habit, in a caring Zen-like way, of course. Fortunately, I have already acquired that knowledge during my hour waiting to see the doctor, thanks to the reading material made available in my doctor's office.

I want to learn how to meditate away fear I suffer when the lights suddenly go out in the stuffy, little examining room where I occasionally find myself sitting half naked for hours at a time. I want to avoid that sense of the walls closing in on me while waiting to be examined by the good doctor.

I want to embrace the quiet and concentrate on my mental wellness, instead of rushing out into the hall with one of those woefully inadequate hospital gowns barely covering my Rubenesque-self. I want to enjoy the darkness instead of demanding to know who flipped the light switch, leaving me nervous in the blackness.

After all, my propensity for rushing about is exactly the kind of action that will only lead to yet another abnormal release of lipids into my blood stream, ultimately leading to a totally undeserved stroke.

I want to make my life as hassle-free as possible and I want to have more than a few fleeting moments of tranquillity while waiting for the verdict of my various X-rays and MRIs. I want to cherish the knowledge that the repeated twisting and turning at the commands of that cute, young physician's assistant is going to hurt like hell later in the day. I want to repeat a little mantra - "what doesn't kill us, means we are still alive."

Yes, I think the art of waiting is a skill I can master, if I don't die first. It would be horrible to be found shriveled up, forgotten in the back room of some doctor's office, like a forgotten, crippled mummy.


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