3 Lessons We Learn While Waiting

This is an excerpt from my book, The In-Between, which you can order wherever books are sold. Find out more here.

I’ve spent my whole life longing for the next season, hoping better things would come when I graduated or got married or gave my life to a career worthy of my talents.

Perfect moment

But now, I’m not sure holding out for what’s to come is the smartest strategy. And I have a feeling I’m not alone.

We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences we can be proud of. We want a story to tell our grandchildren. But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now.

The best time of your life

Maybe the good stuff isn’t ahead of or behind us. Maybe it’s somewhere in between. [Tweet that]

Maybe what we call “mundane,” what feels boring and ordinary, is really how we spend our lives. And we have an opportunity to make of it what we will — to resent its lack of adventure or rejoice in the beauty.

Perhaps, the abundant life we’ve been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.

Real life doesn’t always happen like we see stories unfold in books or on the big screen. It doesn’t feel like an adventure most of the time. In fact, it can sometimes seem rather boring.

And as hard as we try to make it so, we are still occasionally stuck with less-than-remarkable moments. So what do we do with those?

What we learn when we embrace the wait

What if, instead of pining for the next big moment, we surrendered to the wait? Learning to live in those so-called “boring” times with more intentionality?

What if we fell in love with the in-between, relishing the interruptions instead of resenting them? We might learn a few lessons:

  1. Slow down. If we wait for the experiences of a lifetime, we may miss the life in our experiences. It’s impossible live in the past or  future; all we ever have is now. We might as well take our time.
  2. Let go. Whenever we get stuck at a stop light, stalled in a checkout line, or put on hold with customer service, we must remember: all of these are signs telling us we are not in control.
  3. Be grateful. You can’t get to from Point A to Point B without going on a journey. We must learn to appreciate the space in between those two points. It’s where we grow.

Most growth happens slowly, over time. You don’t see it happening, but one day you wake up, amazed at how far you’ve come.

When it comes to waiting, we have a choice: we can try to bypass the delays and inconveniences or embrace them as our greatest opportunities for growth.

This is an excerpt from my book, The In-Between, which you can order wherever books are sold. Get a free chapter here.

What lessons do you learn from waiting? Share in the comments.