All six of us were at a round table in the front window of the restaurant we always went to. Mom had already read the entire menu to Great-Grandma Orlance, and Grandma Orlance had already said, “Scrod,” the same dish she always ordered. Grandma Marines was there, too, I’m sure, but I only have a sense of her as a fuzzy, grumpy image. Of course, that’s most of my sense of her from childhood. Dad was there, too, quiet as usual. And my brother Jeremy and I were side by side, kicking our legs under the table, ready to eat. We were certainly whining. Neither of us liked waiting for our food, and after we were done eating, we didn’t like waiting to leave either.
“Patience,” Mom said. “You need to learn to be patient.”
I’m sure Mom said this to us many times, but for some reason, at this place and this time, her words stuck, and from then on, I tried really hard.
But I’m still terrible at waiting. I’m not just terrible at it; I hate it.
Yesterday, I sent my first query about the book off to an agent. I carefully composed the email, used the right address, mentioned the friend who had recommended me. I hit send. Then, I proceeded to check my email every 30 seconds after that. I’m so bad at this.
I would, honestly, rather get a rejection than wait. I would rather be in the pain of that moment than sitting in this one because pain is something I can manage, something I can act toward. Waiting – it’s the epitome of inaction.
Yet, wait I must. I’ve learned this time and time again – with relationships, with the farm, with direction about life. I can do what there is before me to do – but mostly, I just have to wait. As time passes, my impatience eases. I find calmness under anxiousness. My legs start to settle, my focus on this thing slides to others. That time will come.
But right now, can you see me kicking my legs under the desk as I type?
I hear Mom quietly, a cool hand on my arm – “You must learn to be patient.”
How do you wait? Well? Poorly? Any suggestions on how I can get better?