Most of life is waiting

by thomasibenton

The good stuff in life tends to happen in brief moments. You meet someone special for the first time in a single moment (at least for that person!). Your child is born, you get hired, or you win the game, or your story submission gets accepted–all of these are brief moments in your life. They happen, and then they are mere remembrances. These brief moments cast a cheery glow over the rest of your days, but they are more the flame of a candle flickering in an instant of life more than a conflagration over the years.

I’m not complaining about the intermittent nature of joy. Give any human, certainly the human writing this, constant joy and the happiness will cease, the pleasure simply dropping into the background din of life. I have to remind myself sometimes that most of life is waiting. When I am toiling away at my day job, when I am dropping a kid off at school for the 435th time, when I am crafting the 19,137th word of a novel–hopefully at all of these times I can find happiness in the rhythm of my work and the little things around me and be patient for the precious moments to come in their own time.

If I take care of the day-to-day while I am waiting, the good stuff is more likely to happen. The unsubmitted story cannot be accepted, work never performed cannot succeed, the novel not finished won’t be published. A family neglected brings no one joy. So I sit here, actively waiting for the good stuff by enjoying the rhythm of my life and work, that I might again find great joy when the time comes. And it will arrive, inevitably.