The preacher threw it out there like he was giving someone the time of day. Everyone else in the church was oblivious to the fury with which the word thundered into the room. Aren't they paying attention. "DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID?????????" It was a miracle that I was sitting in church on a rainy, cold Sunday morning. But now I'm the only one that heard the bombshell? All the other sheep in the flock were making sure the kids had something to keep them quiet and getting their hard candies lined up so they wouldn't cough during the proceedings. Yes, I alone was privy to this revelation...
"Wait." That's what he said. "Wait." It took every ounce of control in me to not stand up, approach the altar, disrespect a man of the cloth and begin a tirade the likes of which Methodists haven't seen since the Wesley brothers were saving souls on St. Simon's Island. "You want me to wait???????? WAIT?????????? I've BEEN waiting!" Better yet, I remembered a story I heard about my great grandfather and the time he got drunk and rode a mule down the center aisle of some church, right in the middle of the sermon. I briefly considered recreating that spectacle for the fine folks of Buford, Georgia but I refrained. The preacher admitted that he knew it was the one word that people who'd been praying and hoping and longing and seeking didn't want to hear. He said the hardest part of growing, reaching goals, realizing unfulfilled potential and realizing destinies is the waiting game. If that to which you aspire has not shown itself, the lessons and growth that occur during the wait are all part of the plan. My first thought? "I should've stayed in that warm bed this morning." He could've pointed his finger down at me from on high and said "TIMOTHY! BECAUSE OF YOUR PROPENSITY TO ENJOY MARTINIS AND LISTEN TO HEATHEN MUSIC YOU WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN UPON YOUR DEMISE!!!" and I would've been less rattled.
I'm at a point in life where most of the folks around me are "there." I go on one of these "social networking" sites and, while I love catching up with familiar faces, I mostly use it as means to berate myself. I look at all these "arrived" folks, convince myself they're at the pinnacle of human existence and that I'm still a doofus. I'm still on the way. I'm really not even sure where I'm on the way to! (that's a poor sentence, I know..blogs are the home of poetic license.) Most days I don't feel any wiser than the day they handed me a diploma on that stage in the Stone Mountain High School gymnasium in June of 1981.
I love the written word. More specifically I love producing the written word. Often feel like it's the only thing I've ever done well. So surely there's the answer - write and fame and fortune and riches soon await! More importantly there will be comfort and peace of mind for the woman that has chosen to live her life with me. Then, through the aforementioned social networking site, I run across a sweet soul I went to high school with and she's written seven novels and received umpteen rejection letters. She's still waiting. I've finally gotten up the courage to begin researching a novel I've wanted to write for years. Just researching the thing is intimidating the hell out of me but the thought of actually beginning the novel is more terrifying than a mama bear backed into a corner. And then the reality that, if I finish that novel, there's going to be MORE waiting???
Part of the problem, I think, is my age. A lot of men hit my age and buy expensive toys. I hit 46 years old and started to panic. I don't want to be the Grandma Moses of whatever it is that I start next. The death of my last living parent last year exaggerated the brevity of life for me. Parents now, me next. Nothing to do but wait on a new hip and start eating dinner at 4:00 in the afternoon. Is Lawrence Welk still on? I should probably work that into my routine.
If day to day life were more comfortable right now, the wait wouldn't be so tough. The economy has negatively impacted our financial situation just like it has for many others. I'm determined to do what I have to do to change that. I sort of look at my writing as a means to that end, though I am taking other steps in that regard. Going back to school, looking for other (better paying employment.) paying off what debt we can so that more of our hard earned money is actually ours. I'm working on all of that to improve things. But, even so, it comes back to waiting. And struggling while waiting. Learning while waiting? Growing while waiting? Nah...I choose to concentrate on the negative....STRUGGLING while waiting.
I was determined this was going to be our year. I was going to approach each day with a new resolve...even courage and positivity. Then bang - the year started off with a frozen/burst pipe and a flood in one half of the house. Our $500 deductible may as well be $5,000 for us at this point. So much for that resolve and courage and positivity changing things. Now I'm WAITING on contractors and insurance adjusters to do their thing. Meanwhile we sleep in this room, while our clothes and everything else from one side of the house are crammed into that room and there's bags of shoes under the kitchen table etc..etc... "This too shall pass.." "It'll be worth the wait when you have new carpet and new flooring in bedroom and bathroom.." I've heard it all. And they're right. But it comes down to more damn waiting on things to get better. And, like I mentioned in my last post, current events in other parts of the world are huge doses of perspective and I really should buck up and take things lightly....and wait..........dammit.