The Time is Right

I think almost everyone spends far too much time waiting.  We wait in line, we sit in special waiting rooms before our medical appointments, we endure easy-listening music on our phones while waiting our turn to speak to a live customer service rep,  we wait for test results, and this year, we’re all waiting for the end of a global pandemic that has really outworn its welcome.  Most of that waiting is beyond our control and so we accept it and learn to adapt.  We tell ourselves that what we’re waiting for will eventually arrive, and until then, we bide our time as best we can.  I’ve managed to read entire magazines while waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, which not only keeps my mind occupied but saves me the cost of having to actually buy the magazine.

But the problem with waiting is that it can become a habit, and not in a good way.  It’s easy to slip into the habit of thinking that somehow our lives will be good and whole just as soon as whatever issue we happen to be dealing with is finally resolved, or whatever we’re waiting for finally arrives.  We can become so focused on waiting for what we believe will be a better future that we tend to overlook the present.  Or at least that’s what I find myself doing a lot these days.

If I can just make it through these next few months, then the worst of the pandemic will be over and I’ll be able to enjoy myself again.  Once my husband gets past this next medical procedure, then I can relax and focus on the things I love to do.  Once we get that new dormer put in our upstairs bedroom, then my house will finally look and function exactly the way I want it to.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  It’s as if I believe that I’m existing in some sort of limbo, just waiting for something to happen so that I can finally begin to live my life the way I want to.

Sometimes I need reminding that when whatever I happen to be waiting for finally arrives, I’m surely going to start waiting for something else.  Which means that the best way to deal with it all is to simply live the best life I can, right here and right now.  It’s amazing how much can be accomplished, and how much joy can be found, when we simply allow ourselves to live in the present, even with all its imperfections and uncertainties.

Hoping and planning for a better future is a good thing.  But when we focus too much on waiting for that future to actually arrive, I believe we’re also cheating ourselves out of the good that can be found in the present.  One of my favorite sayings has always been, “Life is for living.”  I’m beginning to think that it’s time for me to edit that a little, and change it to “Life is for living now!”   Because that’s the God’s honest truth……

121 thoughts on “The Time is Right

  1. Boy, did you hit home with me on this posting. I definitely suffer from anticipation living. Thanks for a great reminder to try and live in the present.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for this houghtful post, Ann. I think peacefulness does come from embracing the present – making every moment count.
    So I see this another way. We don’t have a choice to wait sometimes, but making the best of it is honoring the present. Yes, if we are miserable and impatient as we wait – then that isn’t serving us. But finding ways to pass the time patiently, I know that has kept me peaceful! Your reading in the checkout line is a great idea!
    I had to learn a lot about patience after breaking my ankle 2 years ago. I am very grateful for many things, and as hard as the pandemic was – there were so many positive things that I was able to take away from it. I’ve gotten much closer with all 3 of my children, I’ve embraced cooking again, and I have really been enjoying exploring my art.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Judy! I think learning patience is such a gift, because it allow us to live in the present and also truly appreciate it. Every situation has something to offer, if we take the time to look for it. And yes, even though the pandemic has been awful, we all have learned some good things from it. I know I have! And I’m so glad you’re exploring your art…I follow your blog, so I know you are very talented!

      Liked by 2 people

    • For a number of reasons, I’ve been living in the future far too much lately. And that’s just plain silly. The present has much to offer us, and we need to recognize that and enjoy it, I think. Thanks, Lorie, for your kind comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good thoughtful post. Spending too much time waiting for a future that may not happen is a roadblock, for sure. Living the life you were given and/or working hard for the life you want, seems a better idea. You never know what will turn up when you apply yourself. Stay well Ann.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I love having things to look forward to but, you are right, waiting can sometimes suck up all our energy… energy that we should be using to enjoy NOW. I do hope that more people will wait a little longer to put aside all safety precautions, though. Even though we have both our shots, my husband and I are still being careful. But, while we wait for that time, there is much else we can do and enjoy. Happy spring!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it will still be a while before we can get back to “normal,” I think. But that’s okay. Having our vaccinations does take away a lot of worry, and there is still a lot to enjoy even now. My husband has had both of his shots, but I’ve only had one. And we’re still wearing our masks in public, not eating inside at restaurants, etc. I think there will be a series of steps as we return to normal, and we have to be patient as we move forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great reminder. There are so many things that we can’t control, but we can control the way we spend our waiting time. And there is often another choice of how to go about now, that we don’t see bc we’re focusing on the wrong thing.
    Inspiring, Ann!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ann, I don’t blame you for holding out for a better future. Anyone who had to contend with what you faced would have yearned for nothing less, I think. Most of us might do just the same when the present is too painful for even hope.

    But as you wisely pointed out, it can become a habit and one that would ultimately rob us of life. Some of the unhappiest people in my family were the ones who believed that the future would arrive free of all the problems of the present. Trouble was, that future either never arrived or when it came, it was unrecognizable as hope because it came with its own troubles. So there you had the perfect recipe for lifelong unhappiness.

    Unfortunately some of that thinking rubbed off on me too. While I did not sit around waiting for a roses-and-daisies sort of future, I always saw the present as something to get through. Hence, I didn’t slow down enough and savour enough the beautiful things God tucked into almost every day.

    But like you, I am learning over and over again that if you wish to really live, then live mostly in the present. Even when there are days when it is hard to hope or to be strong, we have the power to do something in the hours given to us. One of my favourite authors had this to say,
    If today is the best I can make it, the lifetime will take care of itself. If this hour, right now had kitty petting, dinner cooking and book reading in it, and the next had a bubble bath and a call to my mom, and the next had painting with a cup of tea, an old movie and a walk in the woods, if I put all those hours together, what a lovely Red Letter life that would make. ~ Susan Branch, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.

    Liked by 3 people

    • First of all, I can relate so much to what you said about feeling that the present of often “something we have to get through.” It’s so easy to think like that when things aren’t going well, or even as well as we’d like. Letting go of that sort of thinking is hard, but it’s also essential to being happy. Secondly, I LOVED that quote at the end. It is so true! Thanks for sharing, I’m going to have to read that book!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Indeed we spend an inordinate amount of time waiting. And by we, I mean women. It starts young when we wait for a phone call from that special guy, we wait during pregnancy, and then there are all the other things as you mentioned that we are waiting for. Most women are very good at waiting. I think we should stop waiting and start working toward what we want instead of waiting for someone to deliver it to us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, I almost listed waiting for the phone call from that special person, because yes, most women have spent a lot of time doing that. And I agree, it’s time to stop simply “waiting” and not only enjoy the present, but actually work toward the future that we really want. Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Thank you for posting this, it has really resonated with me. I have realised I do this a lot and I need to work on enjoying the present more. As I’ve gotten older the realisation that life is finite has hit me – and this pandemic has just reaffirmed that we never know what is around the corner! Time to start enjoying what I have right now, rather than waiting for things to get better…but also to work for the things I want, rather than just hoping and waiting for them to come around. Thank you for such a thoughtful post, I hope you are keeping safe and well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do believe it is a matter of balance. We need to enjoy the present, because that’s all we really have. Living in a constant state of waiting almost becomes a constant state of endurance, rather than living. But you’re right that we need to also spend time working towards the things we want. Only living in the present almost guarantees that our future will not be what we want it to be. So, as you say, balance is the key! Thanks for that insightful comment, and I hope you are also safe and well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, balance is the key isn’t it, but it can be difficult to achieve a lot of the time I find. Anyway, yes, we are fine here thanks, waiting for my first vaccine shot, but could be another month yet! I hope you are keeping well and have a lovely weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. COVID has made it harder to be present in the present. It took me a while to understand that if I didn’t, I could be wasting my days (or maybe I should say, not using my time as best I could). But we don’t get any of our days back. That woke me up to refocusing on today. Good blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I struggled with that too, Ellen! The restrictions Covid brought made me long for the past and look toward the future, when this mess will be behind us. But as the weeks and months went by, I realized that I’d better just learn to enjoy the present, even in the middle of a pandemic, because I didn’t want to waste a whole year of my life. Thanks for your kind comment!

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  10. Another thought-provoking post, Ann! In the introduction, you describe the inevitable and often annoying instances when we have to wait. Just yesterday I was waiting in a repair facility where my car was being fixed. I had my kindle with me that keeps all my favourite books in one place. In no time, a full hour went by waiting and living in the presence. Of course, I realize that waiting in line in a grocery store is an entirely different story. I agree also with Gerry above that we become more aware of the need to live in the presence the older we get.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do think that the older we get, the more we realize that our time on this earth is finite, and we’d better spend it wisely. Like you, I always bring along a book when I know I’m going to be waiting somewhere. I honestly don’t mind waiting when I’m reading, because I love to read and that is a great way to live in present. Good for you to have your kindle with you when you need it! And thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful post! So many good comments here also!!! The more we live in the present, the happier we are. Children and our dogs have this life lesson down pat; they are able to enjoy the present time fully. When I take the dog for a walk, she doesn’t miss a thing! When we live that way, enjoying the small details, we find that what seems ‘ordinary’ becomes extraordinary. Even our problems seem to grow smaller as we awaken our sense of gratitude for all that is actually going ‘right’ in our lives. It might be raining or snowing, but my Bella dog takes it all in stride. From her point of view, even a familiar street is new and exciting…always something new to appreciate and explore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! And you are so right, children and animals are a great example of how to live more fully in the present. One of the things that helped me most during the early months of this pandemic was taking care of my grandson while his daycare was closed. He didn’t care that a pandemic was going on, he was just living his life and enjoying it! And that helped me to shift my attitude in a much more positive way too. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I always have a to-do list, too, so I know what you mean! But after a while, I realized that just as soon as I marked the last item off of one to-do list, I started another list. It was like laundry and grocery shopping–there was never a point where I was truly “finished.” That’s when I started to realize that living is what we’re doing now, while we’re waiting for a a future that may or may not come. And so I’ve been trying to live more fully in the present. Some times I’m more successful at it than others, but I’m always trying!

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  12. I’ve had vacations where once I have seen something on my list I say “What’s next?”. Not really fully enjoying the moment before my mind thinks about the next thing to accomplish or see. You hit the nail on the head about needing to live in the present. I’ve gotten better at living in the present and trying to squeeze as much as I can out of everyday.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I’ve had those kind of vacations too, and they’re not nearly as much fun as the kind where I wake up in the morning and think, “now what do I want to do today?” Living in the present is something we all have to learn, I think, but it’s well worth it in the end. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  13. AMEN, Ann!! I guess that’s why they say, “Yesterday is history, and tomorrow is a mystery, but TODAY is a gift — that’s why it’s called the present”! And it’s a present we should enjoy to the fullest while it’s here. Yes, we’ll always look backwards and forwards, but we have no control over them, do we?!?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that saying! And yes, the present (now) is a present (gift), and remembering that keep our attitude positive and our focus on the right things. I’ve had to work at it, but I do think I’m getting better at it. As you say, looking forward and backwards is a good thing, but since we can’t control either, we need to do that in moderation. Thanks for the comment! This has been one of the posts where reader’s comments add so much more to the subject that I ever could have thought of, and I love when that happens!

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    • I think it is a coping strategy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, we do have to plan for the future to a certain extent, if we have specific goals we want to meet. But the problem comes when we’re so focused on the future that we overlook all the gifts in our lives right now, even in circumstances we’d rather not be in. I think it’s a matter of finding the balance between the two. I know I struggle with that sometimes. Thanks for the comment, Svet!

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  14. I read this post while I was waiting on line with my electric company. Apparently, they overcharged me quadruple and yes, I’m very upset. My life won’t be better till I get this massive bill fixed and out of my life! Unfortunately, as I began to read your post I was #4 on line. After I finished reading your post, I was still #4. I usually play solitaire while I wait on the phone, which thanks to the pandemic and less humans working, is more and more each day. What a waste of my precious time!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m so sorry! I think waiting on the phone is one of the worst things, because you can’t really fully engage in anything else while you’re doing it. Why companies don’t hire more reps to answer their phones is something I’ll never understand. When a client finally does get through to to a real person, they are usually so angry about waiting that it’s hard to have a decent conversation. I hope you got your issue resolved!

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  15. I’ve discovered I’m waiting less for things this past year – mostly because I dislike wearing a mask so much that I don’t go many places or attempt to do things that require me to wear one for very long! So, Take out food for in home dining – check. Online ordering for in car pick up (at a designated time, no less!) – check.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s certainly an upside of the pandemic! The few times I’ve gone to the medical or dental offices in the past year, I haven’t had to sit in the waiting rooms for long either, because they only call you in the building when they’re ready for you and they’re seeing fewer people. So I guess there is a silver lining in all this mess after all….thanks for pointing that out!

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  16. How true. We wait till we have more time, till we have more energy, till we are ready and basically till the cows come home. I really enjoyed reading this post because it so hit a chord on something we all have a tendency to do. Perhaps it’s also a form of procrastination for some of us some of the time.

    I’m impatient for small things and hate waiting but when it comes to longer waits for important changes for example or transitions, I definitely rate better!

    Thought provoking post!

    Peta

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Peta! And I think you’re right about focusing too much on the future being a form of procrastination. It can even be avoidance of problems we’re facing now, I think. Yet another reason to try to live in the moment more!

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  17. These are such valuable truths, especially for our age right now. I tend to do just what you said, thinking that when this or that occurs then I will be________. Just fill in the blank because I sometimes wait to be all sorts of things. I love your challenge to live life NOW. Besides, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Bless you, Ann, for your wise words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly it, Ally! We wait patiently for what we want, and do the work necessary to make the future a better one. But we also live in the moment, with all its imperfections, because that’s real life too. And face it, the future will never be perfect either. I have to keep reminding myself of that!

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  18. Totally true! I always feel that I am waiting for the next thing and then everything will be “perfect”. Although we are all imperfect and so is life, so that never happens! Trying to just enjoy the moments of joy in the present. Easier said then done, but worth a try. And now waiting for our first grandbaby – that is definitely worth waiting for and actually enjoying waiting and looking forward to seeing this new little person.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are so much alike, Louise! I keep thinking that when things are “right,” then I’ll relax and enjoy myself…and guess what, they are never exactly “right!” Life is messy, and I need to learn to just live with it and enjoy the good stuff. And yeah, waiting for that grandbaby will be hard, but SO worth it when he or she arrives! I can’t wait for you to experience that!

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  19. Thanks to the burgeoning numbers of our species, waiting has become an inalienable part of our lives. But as you have rightly said, there is a real danger of falling into the trap of waiting past stuff that are deviations from the settled routine of life. That also borders on procrastination which can complicate the matter further still.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! It’s a hard balance between accepting that we often must wait, while still not falling into the trap of believing that as soon as whatever we’re waiting for arrives, then we can begin living our lives. And procrastination…when we impose waiting upon ourselves…just muddies the waters!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting post!
    In a sense, I’ve spent decades waiting, Ann.
    On first becoming ill, many things got put off, while waiting for recovery.
    (No treatments are available: go away and rest, the doctor said.)
    Once I had energy again, then I’d really get on with it…

    33 years older: it’s too late to do most of them, anyway.😞

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so sorry…the medical profession definitely doesn’t encourage “living in the moment,” sadly. And it is very hard to live your life fully when your health is compromised. I do hope that you are able to find some joy in your life, and am so sorry that there were no treatments when you needed them!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Ann, synchronicity at work, I just copied this out again for myself (am checking/editing my book again before sending off again) I too love planning but it can get too much of that and not enough of the present moment! Lovely post, thank you. I do hope your husband is okay.
    ‘The journey is to accept the moment, accept yourself, be where you are; to really be where you are. That is the work, the journey and the destination. Every time you find yourself planning, dreaming, projecting re the future, wanting something, worrying about something, thinking you want to change your life, thinking you’re on some kind of journey. Remember that ‘the journey’ ‘the place to get to’ is not a place but an attitude. An acceptance that here is where you are, where it is, where everything is.’

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! My husband is doing fine, although still in the hospital, which is why I’m behind on blogging. And I love that quote! I always tend to think of life as a journey, which can be a good thing in terms of goals. But not when I actually begin to live as if I’m on a trip, simply passing time until I can get to where I really want to be, you know? Thanks for the comment!

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  22. And SO IT IS! Ann, you captured the essence of this past year so well. So many people waiting to live! It hit me somewhere in the middle that we ARE LIVING…and it is not something we should wait to do. Because before we know it, we will be old and frail and wonder what happened to our life!
    Happy Easter Sunday! Hope you are well…keep living NOW!

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  23. Many years ago, I decided one of the most important questions isn’t “Is there life after death?”, but “Is there life before death?”. No one truly knows what will come in the Great Hereafter, but we have the opportunity to shape these lives we’ve been given — if we’ll take it. I suspect that’s the wisdom that’s summed up in the old phrase: carpe diem, or ‘seize the day.’ If we have to wait, for one reason or another: so be it. But choosing to wait for some imagined better future is an iffy proposition at best!

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  24. Yes, “life is for living now.” At my age I realize I don’t have as many days as I used to so I need to make the most of each one. And since the pandemic I am even more grateful for the simple and quiet days. Your post is a good reminder for all of us.

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