I am not good at waiting. I like to take breaks from time to time. I relax and unwind at regular intervals when life gets hectic. But long periods of waiting for something that I know lies in my path, somewhere around the corner, just undoes me.
I've been waiting since April. Waiting the requisite time to jump through the required hoops to be able to take the next step I've been working toward for three years. I enjoyed April. I went on field trips with my kids. I enjoyed not having to be up and out the door every morning. I gratefully tucked my girls into bed every night.
In May, I helped the girls navigate the end of school with all the requisite performances and papers. I also anticipated my first real overseas adventure. Even the waiting for that trip stirred some anxiety. Arranging for childcare and petcare and housecare while we were gone, packing the girls for two adventures while packing us for Europe, scheduling and scheming to make sure everything worked just about did me in. But we made it. And I enjoyed the trip immensely.
I spent June waiting for the opportunity to take a test to prove I knew enough to do the job I've set myself to do. A test I knew I would pass but still worried about. A test that I couldn't take until all the hoops had been jumped through.
I spent July waiting for the state to check off a list of all the required paperwork and send me permission to actually do my job. I have the place lined up. I have all my ducks in a row. But until I had that all important piece of paper, I couldn't actually DO anything.
I have spent August waiting for an official start date. Not knowing all the details of a schedule I am not in complete control over. Not able to reconcile how going back to work after 11 years at home will affect my family. Excited to get started. Afraid I'm losing skills while I sit around waiting. Unable to solidify plans until I have more information.
Until about the middle of July, I did okay. I enjoyed my downtime. We've done a lot of fun things as a family. I studied for the exam. I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed just doing nothing for a few weeks after I passed. But these last few weeks have been less than okay. I'm anxious. I'm spinning. I'm trying to put details into a landscape that barely has any form yet. I'm putting the cart before the horse. I find myself snapping at my family. I am not able to enjoy my simple downtime. I'm bored. I'm anxious. The voices are getting louder - and they are threatening to undo me.
So - I've done this introspection thing long enough to recognize that those voices have identities - and that if I can identify them and bring their dialogue into awareness, I can give myself what I need to get out of my head, out of the future, and back into myself and into the present moment. Right now - these voices are both mother and father complexes - criticizing me for being lazy and unproductive and dissuading me from spending time inside myself to find out what I really need. And I hear the voice of an insecure little girl inside of me that is afraid of failing. All of these pieces need my recognition. My attention. My empathy. I need to be present in these waiting moments of my life. I need to recognize that even in the midst of a break, I may not be getting the time I need for creativity and soul. I need to write. I need to read. I need to be okay with waiting. I need to trust the path unfolding before me. Maybe I need to let myself be undone so I can be done up again in a new way, renewed and refreshed and ready for the next leg of the journey.