… For What?

The idea of time keeps messin’ with my head. I woke up yesterday morning (2:30 a.m. … 3:45 a.m. … finally at 4:25 a.m) with the sensation of holding my breath. Like I was waiting for something. But what?

No clue what. Thought about it all day. The saying, ‘Life happens while you’re making plans’ came to mind. But I’m not planning anything. At least not consciously. The closest I come to a plan these days is packing my lunch the night before I go to work, or looking at the tennis schedule to see if I’m on this week, or putting in for time off to go home for Christmas. Still, life is happening … and me with the sensation that it’s happening around me, almost like I imagine an out of body experience might be.

Baited breath. Anticipation. Waiting. That knot in my throat keeping me from swallowing or taking a deep breath. Did you know there’s a sign on the cork board in front of my desk instructing me to ‘breathe deep’? I put it there 6 months ago.

It occurred to me that I’ve lived this way for a long time. The experience is not new but the awareness of it is. Interesting. Why the recognition now? Probably because that time thing has been messin’ with me. My daughter reminded me yesterday afternoon about living in the moment. I reminded her of the impossibility of that venture – as soon as you are ‘in a moment’ that moment is gone. So instead of living ‘in the moment’ we are forced to live moment by moment. We do that whether we are aware of it or not.

We spend so much of our lives waiting. As children we wait to grow up … young adults wait to meet their mate … adults wait for their children to arrive … grow up … come home for a visit. People wait for the perfect job to come along, or whatever circumstance they are in to change. We wait for planes, packages, people, and events. We spend our lives waiting … to die. That’s what time does. It’s killing us one second at a time.


verb (used without object)

1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often followed by for, till,  or until): to wait for the bus to arrive.
2. (of things) to be available or in readiness: A letter is waiting for you.
3. to remain neglected for a time: a matter that can wait.
4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed: We waited a week and then bought the house. Your vacation will have to wait until next month.
5. to look forward to eagerly: I’m just waiting for the day somebody knocks him down.

So what am I waiting for? ‘Your next life, maybe, who knows’ (the Oracle to Neo in The Matrix). My next life? Yes. Absolutely I am waiting for that. I eagerly await an end to time as well … an end to waiting. But that’s not where the knot’s coming from.

What are you waiting for? Your next promotion … your spouse to change … your kids to be old enough to go to school … the cure to an illness … retirement? I once heard someone say, “My favorite verse in the Bible is ‘it came to pass’ … and everything comes to pass.” True. Perhaps everything comes to those who wait as well. I wonder if I have to know what I’m waiting for to see it come? It’s coming whether I know what it is or not. I just hope I don’t miss it before it passes. It’d be nice to live knot-free.

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