The following proverbs were collected by a first grade teacher over the years. She gave her classes part of an old proverb and let them fill in the rest. As You Shall Make Your Bed So Shall You........ Mess It Up. Better Be Safe Than........ Punch A 5th Grader. Strike While The........ Bug Is Close. It's Always Darkest Before........ Daylight Savings Time. Never Under Estimate The Power Of........ Termites. You Can Lead A Horse To Water But....... How? Don't Bite The Hand That........Looks Dirty. No News Is........Impossible. A Miss Is As Good As A........ Mr. You Can't Teach An Old Dog New........ Math. If You Lie Down With The Dogs, You'll........Stink In The Morning. Love All, Trust........Me The Pen Is Mightier Than The........Pigs. An Idle Mind Is........ The Best Way To Relax. Where There's Smoke, There's........ Pollution. Happy The Bride Who........ Gets All The Presents! A Penny Saved Is........ Not Much. Two's Company, Three's........The Musketeers. Don't Put Off Tomorrow What........You Put On To Go To Bed. Laugh And The Whole World Laughs With You, Cry And......You Have To Blow Your Nose. None Are So Blind As........ Helen Keller. Children Should Be Seen And Not........ Spanked Or Grounded. If At First You Don't Succeed........ Get New Batteries. You Get Out Of Something What You........ See Pictured On The Box. When The Blind Leadeth The Blind........Get Out Of The Way. There Is No Fool Like........Aunt Eddie.
I hate waiting. Most people I know hate waiting. Life is full of waiting: we wait for loved ones to come home, we wait for movies to start, we wait in lines at groceries, banks, or the DMV. We wait to hear the results of tests at school, and the results of tests about our health. Right now my love is waiting to find out if a new job will come through, unable to make commitments until he does. As writers, we wait for the muse to strike, we wait to hear back about a submission, we wait to see if anyone will discover our work, and we wait to learn if they love it as we do. All this waiting creates an often excruciating sense of anticipation, anxiety, or dread. It puts us in a state of suspended animation, of limbo: we understand, while in this limbo, why Dante used that term to describe the experience of being in neither Heaven nor Hell, of being profoundly uncertain of where one will wind up.
So, in an exercise of deep spiritual dedication, I thought I’d better come up with the top ten joys of waiting. You know, turn this thing on its head. Take a deep breath (well, maybe not if you’re waiting in line at the DMV) and find what we can love about limbo.
Top Ten Joys of Waiting
10. Any waiting room, anywhere, can serve as an object lesson in how NOT to decorate a room for the comfort and pleasure of its occupants.
9. The “take a number” machine reminds you of your first trip to Baskin-Robbins Thirty-One Flavors as a kid. (Oh, would there be any Bubble Gum or Peppermint Stick ice cream left by the time it was your turn?)
8. The conversation you eavesdrop on while in line provides excellent inspiration for dialogue between the two least-educated characters in your work-in-progress.
7. In an hour spent staring at your toes, you are taken on an emotional journey from rejection to acceptance, from “my toes are hideous!” to “I kind of like my left pinkie toe” to “my toes are beautiful, just the way they are.”
6. You finally have time to read your friends’ Facebook posts. (Although you regret, deeply and forever, looking up “twerk” on YouTube, as your friend recommended.)
5. You realize you have a great excuse to say “no” to invitations to upcoming events you were dreading anyway. “No, I’m sorry, I’m still waiting to hear about [fill in the blank], and I’d hate to take up someone else’s spot at your third cousin’s bat mitzvah, the one with the Klezmer Captain and Tennille cover band, only to have to cancel on you at the last minute.”
3. The anxiety from waiting gives you the energy to organize the hall closet. (Hey, your partner/roommate/kid can take that giant garbage bag of stuff to Goodwill. You’re done, you’ve earned a cold beer/dish of ice cream/nap.)
2. You make up six new verses to “American Pie.” In your waiting-induced mild psychosis, you think they’re better than the original.
1. Suddenly, a voice cuts through all the fear, anxiety, anticipation, or dread, and reminds you of everything you have to be grateful for, right in this moment: the ability to breathe, to worry, to create lists, to laugh, and to love.
- The Joys of Waiting (lizfountain.wordpress.com)
- The Joys of Waiting (dalvenrey.wordpress.com)
One thing is for certain; When we can look back and smile a bit or even laugh about it, we are healing. Some silly language humor that I hope bring a smile to YOUR face