It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.
He comes in large, a tall and slender man, wearing stress. He strides to the reception desk to make himself known, then starts to pace. Back and forth, around the back of the sofas, toward the door, and back again—his black scuffed dress shoes tap-tapping on the floor.
I have resolved to stop using my phone as a diversion when I’m waiting for appointments, and to inhabit the present moment instead. It’s an opportunity to release any tension I may be carrying; today, this man is leaking adrenaline all over the room as he paces from one side to the other. If I’m not careful, some of it might get on me.
Two young women are working behind me, putting up and rearranging shelves. The pacer recognizes one of them and strides over to her.
”How are you doing?” she asks of him enthusiastically after he greets her.
”So good. And so busy,”he tells her. He goes on to tell her about selling a house, and buying a house—and the business, in a new industry that’s opening up as a result of government legislation changes, he’s waiting approval on to open up. They chat for a while about the industry, and the business, and then she returns to organizing the shelving and he returns to pacing.
Once, in another life, I pulled out my smart phone and tried to catch up on email while I waited for appointments. I never physically paced, but the knots in my gut never completely unwound either. It’s such a gift to be in this different stage of life, grateful I no longer carry, and drop trails of, work-related stress wherever I go.
Why would I choose to bury myself in a device to pass the time while I’m waiting, when I can simply sit in the moment and be.