We live in such a rush-rush world that we often consider time spent waiting time wasted. If I tell anyone that we waited for something somewhere—it doesn’t even matter when or where, or for how long—they often reply with strong sympathy that my time was wasted.
I have to laugh at this, though, because I’m trying to be more mindful, enjoying each moment, and part of that includes waiting time. My daughter and I were going to have to go to the library a couple of hours early before a field trip this week, and one of our friends wouldn’t hear of it! She kindly offered to pick us up and take us before our field trip and we did appreciate it very much.
That said, I was looking forward to a bit of quiet time at the library. My daughter loves to explore there and play on the fire truck a local Boy Scout homeschooler made for the children’s section, and I would have enjoyed meditatively organizing my things or even watching her play. We don’t get to do that in different scenery often—we, too, are a busy family with many things to do—and I enjoy it when I do.When you are waiting, why feel rushed or frustrated? It’s not helpful. It doesn’t make the waiting stop. Instead, we can do the following things…
Enjoy our time with a book or drawing.
Pass the time in meaningful (or simply engaging) conversation with a friend or loved one—or a complete stranger.
Watch a child enjoy the time. The younger, the better; younger children are amazed by everything before we ruin it all by rushing them around and introducing them to television!
Read aloud to other kids. I do this at the DMV and it’s so much fun, especially when there are little kids who toddle up to hear the adventures at Pooh Corner along with my own little girl.
Be creative in the space by leaving a bit of guerilla art for someone to enjoy, adding googly eyes to anything in sight (inconspicuously, of course!), or even tidying up. Sometimes I spend time at the doctor’s office straightening pictures on the wall or magazines as we wait.
Next weekend, we are planning on spending one of these evenings together while my husband works, and I look forward to waiting and exploring with my daughter. Who knows what adventure awaits us?