Waiting really depends on what you’re waiting for. Waiting for a chocolate souffle is a different experience than waiting to hear if you need to report for jury duty on Monday morning. There is no one conclusive way to define waiting. But, I can alphabetically organize aspects of waiting. Here is my A to Z List of Waiting.
A Acceptance. You resign yourself that whatever is going to happen will happen, all you can do is wait and see. The outcome is now out of your hands. You have scored well on the SATs, maintained a high GPA for four years, received several letters of recommendation, and have been active in your community. It is out of your hands and all you can do is wait for your college acceptance letters to arrive.
B Boredom. You are sitting in a meeting after school, waiting for it to be over. You can’t grade the stack of social studies quizzes sitting on your desk, you can’t call a parent about a student’s missing book report, you can’t do anything but feign interest in the latest data and wait for the meeting to be over.
C Confusion. You are waiting to see if you have arrived at your destination. Directions were vague, and you’re not quite sure if you should have turned left instead of right. All you can do is wait in a state of confusion, hope you’re traveling along the correct route, until you can read the addresses on the office buildings you are approaching.
D Displeasure. You have back-to-back parent conferences scheduled, and you are waiting for a parent to arrive. A parent who arrives ten minutes tardy, with no apology, and is becoming belligerent when you say her time is up because my next appointment is waiting outside.
E Expectation. Waiting on a massage table, undressed, under the sheet and eagerly awaiting an hour of pampering. You take deep breaths, blissful in knowing that soon your tired muscles will be soothed.
F Frustration. Waiting in line at a public venue for the women’s restroom. You wonder why architects don’t design larger restrooms, with more stalls, knowing that women generally take longer to visit the restroom, and are many times accompanied by small children, making restroom visits even longer.
G Guilt. You rushed your child out the door, yelled at one point for them to stop playing their imaginary game, because you had to go to the dentist. Then, you arrive at the dentist to be informed that it will be at least a twenty-minute wait because she is running behind schedule. And then you feel guilty for rushing.
H Hopelessness. Everyone tells you to be patient, eventually the braces come off, you become old enough for contacts, and the acne will clear up. It’s a matter of waiting to be older, waiting for your body to change, and waiting for your life to change. And there’s really nothing you can do to speed up the process.
I Impatience. You are instructed to arrive fifteen minutes before a doctor’s appointment only to find the doctor is running over an hour behind schedule. You have lost an hour’s pay, and now are waiting in an unflattering hospital gown, sitting on the exam table, flipping through a magazine that is four months old.
J Joy. You are pregnant, happily and healthily, and joyfully awaiting the birth of your child. You know how lucky you are.
K Keeping your fingers crossed. It is your child’s first day of school, and you’re hoping it has all gone well. You are hoping that he felt comfortable and secure and wants to return because it will make tomorrow morning so much easier.
L Love and pride. You are waiting, love and pride swelling through your veins, because soon it will be your chid’s turn. Your child’s name will be called, your child will walk across the stage, shake hands, and accept his diploma.
M Multi-tasking. You are on hold, waiting to talk to a representative from your cable company. Meanwhile, you are waiting for the water to boil for tonight’s spaghetti dinner and are making your son’s lunch for the next day.
N Nagging feeling. You are waiting to return home while meanwhile there is a nagging feeling that perhaps you forgot to do something. Maybe you forgot to turn off the light in the bedroom, unplug the coffee pot, or close the bathroom window. All you can do is wait because you won’t know until you return home.
O Observing. You are waiting for your child to be done playing with the children who live next door. You have told him that he has fifteen minutes left before you need to go in for dinner, but you’re hoping he wants to go in sooner. In the meanwhile, you’re observing, watching how your child interacts with others.
P Pleasure. Waiting in traffic or a red light can be pleasurable, depending on where you’re going and how much flexibility you have in your schedule. The extra wait time provides you with the opportunity to continue listening to a favorite song or podcast.
Q Quietly. Tiptoeing down the hall, whispering, and waiting for your son to be soundly asleep before you and your spouse can have some adult time. A chance to chat and cuddle.
R Restlessness. You have treated yourself to a manicure, something you haven’t done in at least six months. You have been able to zone out for the last half hour or so and your nails are polished a coral color that makes you think of summer beach days. But now you’re restless as you sit and wait for your nails to dry so you can get up and go about the rest of your day.
S Suspense. You are anxiously waiting to see what will happen next in the movie you’ve rented, what will happen in the next chapter of the novel you’re reading, or what will happen when the television series resumes in the fall.
T Take effect. You are waiting for the pain medication to take effect. You know that pill is supposed to provide some relief, help ease the throbbing you feel in your mouth since the dentist extracted your infected wisdom teeth, but as you wait, you groan in agony.
U Unease. Your doctor ran a battery of tests and all you can do now is wait for the results. Wait to see if the condition that causes daily pain is something life-threatening, wait to see how drastically your life is about to change.
V Veer off task. You are at home, waiting for your new stove to be delivered. You have decided to use this time to tackle one of those tasks you’re always meaning to do, but somehow never manage to find the time to do. You start to empty your refrigerator, shelf by shelf, wiping it down, discarding anything that is beyond its expiration date or looking questionable. But that reminds you to check the date on the package of gravy mix that has been sitting in the pantry for quite some time. While in the pantry, you realize those shelves also need to be wiped down, and while you start emptying the shelf, you realize you left your salad dressings out on the kitchen counter because you weren’t done cleaning out the refrigerator.
W Wait it out. You are dealing with something temporary but uncomfortable; a stomach ache, an upset stomach, a cold sore. You know it won’t last, that there could be worse things afflicting you, and it will soon pass.
X X-ray your argument. You are waiting for things to simmer down between you and your partner and meanwhile are replaying the argument in your head. You are wondering if what you said really warranted that loud outburst from your partner. And you’re wondering if you came across as too judgmental, as you have been accused of before. You’re wondering how it could have been handled differently, and you’re waiting to feel some love and affection again.
Y Yearning. You are waiting with yearning, for a kiss or a hug from a loved one, a dear friend, someone you haven’t seen in a while. You are waiting for that ache to disappear as soon as this person reappears in your life.
Z Zero energy. You are waiting for the end of the day, when you can crawl into bed, make yourself a warm cocoon, and finally rest. You don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want to get anyone anything, you have done all you can for those around you, and all you are waiting for now is a sweet slumber to restore your energy level and your soul.