I’ve recently come to understand something about myself. I live my life in The Waiting Room.
It’s a term I first learnt listening the Wobble podcast with Sarah Powell and Jules von Hep which, if you haven’t already, you should definitely give a listen. Sarah wonderfully describes how so many of us, herself included, spend our lives in the metaphorical Waiting Room. Waiting for our lives to truly begin, waiting for that moment where we feel like we’ve finally ‘made it’, waiting to feel like finally we’ve reached our peak selves. Rather than just enjoying our lives in the here and now, being confident in current selves and abilities, appreciating what we have and what we have achieved, we plod along assured that somehow, at some point we will reach the vision we’ve always held for ourselves. It doesn’t even need to be a huge life goal we’re waiting for. It’s not about thinking ‘when I’m famous…’ or ‘when I’m super rich…’ it’s little goals or barriers we have in our head that stop us from just enjoying where we are. It’s promising ourselves things would be better if we lost a bit of weight, had slightly more money, or changed our jobs. It’s like our teenage selves thinking if we give ourselves a mini makeover then we will suddenly become the most popular girl in school, but then slowly realising nothing has changed.
I’m always waiting for something before I feel like I can truly feel successful, like I’m right where I should be, but the older I get the more it hits me that I can’t just live my life waiting for day I feel like I’ve reached my true self, rather than just being content in the now. There’s so many things I find myself in the waiting room for. Even this blog post took me forever to get down to writing because I waiting for the best time. This still isn’t it by the way. And there’s plenty more too…
- When I have more money I’ll be able to blog properly. When I have more time, a better camera, nicer clothes THEN this will be the blog I want it to be.
- When I get my hair exactly how I want it then I feel like myself.
- When I lose half a stone then I’ll be more confident.
- When I move in to London then I’ll be happy in my career.
- When I have my own house then I’ll feel like I’m truly successful.
- When I have more money then I won’t have to worry about things.
- When I have children then I’ll feel like a proper adult.
Living in the waiting room very much comes hand in hand with the notion of saving for best. Oo a fancy new lipstick, must save it for best. A nice bottle of champagne you have received as a gift, must save it for a special occasion. We wait and wait for ‘best’, not only for a better occasion, (god forbid you waste your posh lipstick on a trip to Sainsbury’s or drink your expensive champagne in your pyjamas alongside a Friday night takeaway), but also until we’ve reached our best self. Our own personal level of enlightenment. But the problem is by hanging out in the waiting room, alongside others all waiting to be seen, we’re wasting time whilst some people are just going straight in without even sitting down.
I’m desperately trying to switch my mind set to appreciate living in the now. Not making up excuses as to why I have to wait for something to happen. Not thinking ‘it will be better when…’ or ‘I’m just waiting for X and THEN I’ll do it’. But truth is, sometimes you need to. Sometimes it’s OK to give yourself time, to build something slowly rather than go in all guns blazing. But then other times we just need to accept that our lives are for living now, rather than forever waiting to reach a level where we feel like our true lives begin.
Umm, does that make sense?