Looks like I got called out by my wife for my recent piece about the Pope. Actually, it was more about the fact I am not willing to wait on others that came across as me being negative and seeing my glass half empty that did not set well with her.
Of course, as I write this, I just got done waiting 25 minutes to get out of a parking lot after a relaxing massage because a local charter school was in no hurry to let their kids leave for the day. Then I had the pleasure of waiting another half hour at our AAA branch so we can register a new vehicle. I am proud to say I kept my cool both times.
I told my wife I would write about what I am willing to wait for, but did not make any promises it would be to her liking. However, because I am an anxious person by nature, I had to do some serious thinking on the matter. What better way for me to think than to hop on my bike and ride up a relatively quiet mountain road. So here is my list of people/places/things for which I will wait. Sorry, but the Pope is not on this list.
- People Who Try: This may sound silly, but effort matters. If I have an over-worked waitress who is doing all she can to keep up with her customers, I can wait. The same is true for the person working behind the register, the counter, or just about any other situation. It’s hard to quit on someone who has not given up.
- An Old Person: I hate driving behind them, but I will wait for them as they slowly walk up to the door of a business that I know will give them difficulty to open. It’s one of the few times I know someone appreciates what I am doing for them while I also get called “young fella.”
- Airports: There are worse places than airports to arrive early at. They are also great places to people watch. You can usually find a great magazine/news stand, plus, if you have to wait in Honolulu, I know where there is a great sandwich shop that makes sandwiches so good, you will want to arrive early just so you can get seconds to take with you on the flight home.
- A Good Doctor: A good doctor is worth the wait. No one likes to spend two hours waiting to see a doctor who then gives you 30 seconds of his time before passing you off to the front desk for your next appointment. However, if the doctor sits down and gives you his undivided attention, does not cut you off, takes time to explains things, and is able to make a connection with you beyond just doctor-patient, then the wait is worth it.
- Early Morning Blood Work: I make a point to arrive at my local Lab Corps at five in the morning so I can be the first one in line when the doors open at 5:30. When you live in a town with as many old people as we have in mine, you do not want to get stuck behind the busloads of seniors looking to start their day having their blood drawn.
- The Right Job: After I retired from teaching, I told myself I would work again but only at a job I truly wanted to do. As a result, work has been a bit slow since I retired. Still, I can wait rather than take a job at a local dollar store. My wife and I saved well so I do not have to rush out and take whatever is out there.
- Loved Ones: There are times kids will drive you crazy and make you wonder if being a parent is worth it. The same is true with spouses and marriage. Believe me, it’s worth it. As much as they may drive you crazy at times, always know you are driving them just as crazy if not crazier. My kids and wife have shown nothing but patience with me so I do not mind waiting for them to grow, finish school, or get dressed before heading out to a party.
- Lindsey: My family knows all too well how much I love the music and genius of Lindsey Buckingham. If the Pope is the voice of God, Lindsey is his lead guitarist. He is the only celebrity I would wait in line to see or meet. It’s been that way since I fist heard him play when I was 15 and it is still that way today. Most of you are familiar with his work in Fleetwood Mac, but you really need to hear his solo work to appreciate just how talented he is. You might even start with the song, “I Am Waiting.”
- Myself: Let’s face it, I am a work in progress. Some days, I am two steps forward and one backward. Other days, I am two steps backward and in need of a swift kick in the butt to move forward in life. I have learned to be patient with myself, which requires waiting. I do not like to wait. I am not fun to be around when I am forced to wait. I can’t wait to not have to wait. As I have gotten older and learned to trust the wisdom of my wife, I have learned waiting is not the issue as much as how I wait. I can dwell on what I am missing out on or take the time to see what else is out there while I wait. For her, this comes naturally. For me, I am still waiting for it to kick in and be who I am.
- Getting Old: Anyone who has had to deal with seeing a loved one go through the aging process will tell you they are in no hurry to go through it. We all get older but getting old is not the same. There comes a moment we all fear and hate to have to admit to ourselves; we are old which means we can no longer be the boss of ourselves. Our bodies fail us constantly and our weeks are filled with one doctor’s appointment after another just so they can try to keep us alive longer than we care to be. Yes, this is a downer, but it is also the truth and fear we all have. I can wait to be that old man who slowly approaches a door that someone has to open for me because I am not able to. In fact, I am willing to wait as long as possible.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.