I tend to observe a lot. Something that I have observed over the past several years is that we are beginning to lose the value of waiting as a culture. If we want something we can probably find it on amazon and have it shipped to our house in two days. Food is fast. You can stream entire tv shows on Netflix. There isn't much we have to wait for these days, so our sense of patience can be a little skewed at times.
Dont worry, I don't want to go too deep with this one. I won't go on a rant about the good ole days.
I've just noticed that people have become so uncomfortable with waiting. Just watch, the next time you are in an airport, or a waiting room, or are even in line for something - pay attention to how long it takes for someone to pull out their phone to scroll through the social media feed that they've probably already see 3 times prior to that moment. We've all done it.
While I have no qualms with social media, or phone usage, I do think there are some healthier ways to use your time while you wait, so that's the topic for today...hence the title.
Short Term Waiting
Lets start with some thoughts on short term waiting. I have very seldomly lived close to all of the things that I do/am involved in. That being said I have always prepared for the worst in the case of boredom. This is a short list of healthy things to do while you wait for a bus, a plane to land, or during a break between two classes. Basically any kind of short span of time where you might render yourself on the bored side of things.
I always have a book on me just in case I have a couple hours of waiting time on my hands, you never really know. Reading is a good way to get out of your environment and maybe learn something on the way.
Reading is a great way to get away, however writing is a great way to document. Write about what you have been thinking about or draw what's going on around you. Or make things up! Either way it's a great way to excercise your mind while you wait.
3. People watch
There are always plenty of interesting people in crowded places. See what stories unfold.
4. Start a conversation/ allow people to talk to you
When your waiting it's a great time to catch up with people, send a text to someone you haven't heard from in a while, or call your parents. Also sometimes it's entertaining to not close yourself off and let people talk to you, most people are nice if you treat them nice. Just be careful... Use your judgement to talk to the right people or else you may find yourself unable to get away from someone who is particularly chatty. Also there are people you probably shouldn't talk to.
5. Go places
I think this one is the most important... Maybe it's just because I like it. If you find yourself with a couple of hours to kill, between classes, appointments, or whatever else it may be, go exploring. Find out what's in walking distance from you if you don't have a car. Or see how far you can drive before you have to turn around an go back if you do. Who knows, your new favorite place might be just around the corner. You just haven't found it yet.
Long Term Waiting
Now lets talk about long term waiting. This is a little bit of a different story, it's less trivial. Long term waiting means that you are applying for jobs, or your waiting on an email, or a phone call, or you have new found free time from a recent life change. This sort of waiting can seem indefinite, as if you could be in that place of discomfort forever. This kind of waiting warrants a tactful sort of response. Here are some things to do when you find yourself in such a season.
Its really easy to loose sight of you dreams when you come to a road block in life, and I think that's why it's so imperative to hold on to your dreams even when it may not make the most sense. When you're waiting for life to happen keep dreaming up crazy ideas about what the future can hold for you. Pray about them. Keep being optimistic about the future even if it's really hard. You're gonna have rough days, I won't lie to you, but don't give up.
In other words keep making things. If you're a writer, write. A painter, paint. An accountant... Account? You know what to do. Resist the urge to watch all of 30 Rock on Netflix for the 3rd time just because you feel mildly depressed. I may or may not be speaking from experience here. The moral of the story is don't forget to do what you love during the times when you don't necessarily have to.
This is a big one, and it's really easy to miss out on. When you find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands it's the perfect opportunity to learn. There are literally endless resources to choose from and most of them are free...FREE. Podcasts, YouTube, books, skillshare, just take your pick and get to it.
Don't allow yourself to slump down into of a routine of not getting out of bed until 1:30, and never leaving the house or showering or doing laundry. Get up. Even if it's to show the employees at target that your outfit is on point.
5. Get excited about something (even if it's dumb)
It's good for your mind to have a sense of anticipation about life. Find something you enjoy and get excited about it, it'll give you something to talk about with your friends so you don't have to tell them about only your problems. Plus there's so much to be excited about!