The Sacrament of Waiting…NOT!

I have nothing to say as profound as that of Fr. Donelan in his homily with this title (click this link: — hyperlink not working again, wordpress).

As a student working on my final paper, my life is now a cycle of writing and waiting. Today starts my period of waiting that only my adviser knows how long will last–I submitted my revised proposal. Yay! As I handed over my 99-page proposal to our department secretary, I was actually excited, looking forward to this time of waiting. Today, waiting means lots of time to rest, write and read leisurely, sleep, and meeting up with friends. It also means going back to my “normal” routine: going to bed by 9pm and waking at 4am in time for morning yoga practice. I love being “normal” and waiting allows me to be so.

Earlier today, too, I was trying to schedule a meeting with my team lead. On our common free day, I will be off by 12 noon from a seminar while he will be available by 1pm yet, coming from a meeting. Gentleman that he is, he was initially hesitant to set out meeting at 1pm, not wanting me to wait for him for an hour. I really would not mind. I was tempted to tell him though: waiting? That’s what I do best! I sometimes wait for a ride for an hour; during Emong (typhoon that hit Manila in June this year), I waited for 5 hours to get home; and during Ondoy (a super typhoon in 2009), I waited for 16 hours on the road. So an hour of wait for my team lead simply means I will have some time to do errands. Yay! I look forward to accomplishing some life-administration-for-survival kind of stuff.

Funny that this musing occurred to me while I was in a coffee shop, waiting for my mom’s medicine which required special preparation by the pharmacist. Waiting gives me some time for introspection. Waiting means an opportunity for me-time, which I need on a regular basis to keep me charged. And sane.

Even during yoga practice, I now look forward to waiting for my turn to be assisted or adjusted because it means rest time! Yay! Or at least, it means a chance to build my energy even just a bit.

My relationship with “waiting”–welcoming it with excitement, sometimes looking forward to it with joyful anticipation, like a lover to his beloved–has not always been like this. Why had Fr. Donelan’s homily struck me years ago if it were so? Because when I was younger, wanting and waiting just did not go well together.

Everyday is filled with those little moments of waiting—testing our patience and our nerves, schooling us in our self-control—pasensya na lang. We wait for meals to be served, for a letter to arrive, for a friend, concerts and circuses. Our airline terminals, railway stations, and bus depots are temples of waiting filled with men and women who wait…. We wait for birthdays and vacations; we wait for Christmas. We wait for spring to come or autumn—for the rains to begin or stop.

You wait for your boss’s instructions or feedback, for your pay check, for your promotion, and for the long weekend. You wait for the time you would settle down and build your own family–of course, for women, this goes with waiting for him to pop the question. You wait for your first baby, and the next. The waiting never seems to end.

I’d say that now I have grown comfortable with waiting. I don’t mind it at all (oh, but please don’t confuse waiting with the need to put up with inefficiencies). Does this change in attitude come with age? 😛

Waiting requires more discipline, more self-control and emotional maturity, more unshakeable faith in our cause, more unwavering hope in the future, more sustaining love in our hearts than all the great deeds of derring-do that go by the name of action. There is a meaning hidden in all the times we have to wait. It must be an important mystery because there is so much waiting in our lives.

And I am fine with that. Perfectly fine.



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