Waiting: Lines, news, and people

My wife and I frequently do the weekly grocery shopping together. She also usually will pick up things we need throughout the week, because of her schedule, but the big haul we generally do together, and it’s long been that way.

I’ve known since early on in our relationship that she doesn’t like standing in lines. I saw this for the first time when we went to Disneyland together a few months after we started dating. We were still in that “honeymoon” phase so we talked a lot and enjoyed each others company, but it was clear that she didn’t enjoy either the lines or the crowds (I’m a Southern California native, while she’s from a small city in the Canadian Prairies). 

There wasn’t much that I could do about the lines at Disneyland, but I can at the grocery store. I have often stood in the line at the checkout after telling her that I would meet her on the other side. She is grateful for my sacrifice.

Standing in lines like this is usually not an issue for me, but otherwise, I’m not the most patient person and waiting can really get under my skin. I try to always be on time to things, if not early, because I don’t want other people to have to wait for me and I appreciate the same courtesy. 

I find it frustrating to wait for news about something, whether it’s a phone call, email, snail mail item, appointment with someone, or anything else like that. The frustration, or in some cases, worry does me absolutely no good, but that knowledge thus far hasn’t helped me avoid or stop the frustration.  I’m still dealing with anxiety these day, and the waiting, especially if I’m concerned about what I’m waiting for, ramps up that anxiety and I risk letting unproductive wild possibilities bubble up and add to my worry if I don’t get it under control.

I’ve been trying some breathing exercises for this and have also enlisted some of my supports to help me to get better at controlling worry of the unknown. This morning I walked into a friends office and bluntly said, “I need you to talk me down.” She knew exactly what I was talking about and I knew she’d understand and get me through it. I left her office feeling better. 

I know that my patience overall has improved the past few months. That is in part because I’ve mostly recovered from my depression and because I’ve consistently been meditating daily, which has helped me to be more mindful, more aware of how I’m responding to what’s happening around me. I’m hopeful that all of these things combined (breathing exercises, turning to supports, and meditating / mindfulness) will help me to learn how to prevent myself from becoming overly anxious when waiting for news. 

Featured image courtesy of Ken Lund under a CC-BY-SA license.

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