I have found myself having to hurry up and wait a lot this spring.
In the military, many of us family members find that the phrase “hurry up and wait” is the ongoing story of our daily life.
We wait to be told when to move and where to move. We wait for our loved ones to go and to return. We wait for paychecks, promotions, and news of job changes or new assignments. We wait when we don’t hear from them, often trusting that no news is good news, in the sense that if something bad had happened official notice would be our unspoken nightmare.
We wait for a better location, better work opportunities, better schools. Then we move again and sometimes we find them, but then we are waiting on interviews and new housing and the list goes on.
Military life is a constant cycle of waiting and starting over again. Some embrace it. Some thrive in it. Most of us struggle with it at one point or another. Some of us hate it, but feel ashamed to admit it.
To be honest I have found myself in every one of those categories, experiencing every single emotion.
However, for me this spring–life itself feels like it has taken that normal life cycle of the military and transposed it on to everything.
I have also been waiting and watching as this pregnancy goes by, knowing there is something new coming at the end–my son.
Even just in saying that, I know this baby represents an entire new chapter of life for us that will be something so wonderful and yet so important and complex that fear and anxiety often do their best to convince me how easy it will be to fail.
The waiting even consumes me physically, as I find myself in this last trimester often awake in the middle of the night waiting on sleep, or to find a comfortable position, or for my son to realize that maybe 3 AM dance parties aren’t the most fun thing in the world… that’s probably going to take awhile to sink in. I hear it may even take months or years.
I also have seen the slow reward of diligence and hard work help bring to an end my three-years of graduate studies. First I was waiting to finish classes, then it was my all-encompassing thesis, then it was my thesis committee review, and now all I am waiting on is my diploma in the mail granting me that Masters in Public Administration.
I have also been quietly and desperately waiting for inspiration again. Finding my voice here in this space a few years ago was the breath of fresh air that I had been yearning to find. I found a steady rhythm for awhile, but then life changed and evolved taking me with it and I have struggled to figure out how to morph as a writer.
Was I just supposed to write about my childhood experiences or my journey of faith that has taken so many unexpected turns? Was I supposed to take up the blogger mantra I see so many other writers and bloggers I follow doing, where I utilize the ever changing horizon of current events to inspire and illicit passionate responses?
I felt lost before I even started–still feeling so new to this writing adventure itself, struggling with writer’s burn out during a year of intense academic writing, and feeling overwhelmed as the world around me seemed to explode online in a never ending chaos over the latest scandal, controversy, event, political figure, or person of interest.
So I have waited. And waited.
Waiting for courage to find my voice again.
Waiting for clarity on a new writing direction.
Waiting for understanding and confidence about what role creative writing will play in my life now as it changes from me being a student and married adult without children to that of a mom who plans to work full time.
I have started to write and stopped so many times I can’t even count the past several months. I have been waiting and waiting, hoping the words would come and yet they only seemed to circle evasively in my head.
I have also been waiting on my faith.
Waiting for clarity.
Waiting for answers I somehow know may never come.
Waiting for peace again.
Waiting for wounds to heal.
Waiting for genuine interest to spark again, versus just falling into old habits of forcing the issue or performing.
Waiting to be ready to find a faith community again–questioning and doubting and agonizing over where exactly will I ever feel at home again? Worrying over what exactly of my faith experience and what kind of faith community do we want to share with our child?
And then military life happened. The assignment came. The new location was not on the planned list, nor did it neatly fall into the timeline of my pregnancy, so we jumped into hurry mode and got me moved across three states to our new location in a whirlwind process of about three weeks.
We got me to Arizona, we found a house, and then in typical Air Force fashion, he had to go to finish training elsewhere.
The process of starting over had never seemed so daunting, when all of a sudden I found myself facing it alone while also entering my third trimester.
And so the waiting commences again.
Waiting to close on the new house.
Waiting to find a new doctor.
Waiting on appointments.
Waiting on paperwork.
Waiting and looking for new work.
Maybe its just this season, or maybe its my perspective that needs some adjustment.
I realize that sometimes waiting for whatever comes next is often just a part of our daily lives, but perhaps for me the fact that I can see it as such a consuming part of my life is because I am overlooking the opportunities it presents me with daily to relinquish my grasp for control and certainty, to learn anew the the treasures found in the practices of patience and contentment, and to realize that true joy comes from being grateful for the present as it merely is not for what it isn’t or what I wish it could be.
Letting go of control and certainty
All of these do not come naturally to me and they are much easier written about or thought about or talked about in my experience than to actually commit to practicing them.
How do you daily implement these qualities into your life? I would love to hear and learn!