Last May, I went on an epic New York City trip with my cousin, Katie, and two of our friends, Kerri and Carey. The planning for this trip started almost 10 months before the 4-day trip.
In October, I was texting with Kerri about how excited I was and said, “May is so far away! I can’t wait”.
“But the anticipation is part of the fun!” She wrote back.
I rolled my eyes. I wanted the trip to start tomorrow!
But she was right.
I had so much fun planning excursions and researching places to eat. We had excited emails back and forth about who was bringing what and how many shoes and does anyone have an NYC subway map and do we even need one?
The planning and anticipation was part of the fun, and we totally bonded in the anticipation of this trip. The “waiting” was part of what made it so special.
I say “I can’t wait” a lot. I can’t wait for the end of the day. I can’t wait for Friday. I can’t wait for Christmas. I can’t wait for the water to boil. I can’t wait to see this friend or try that restaurant.
But the truth is, I can wait because I have to wait. For the simple fact that time travel isn’t a thing yet.
Though, I guess we’ve come closer. We don’t have to wait for the next episode of a TV show. We don’t have to wait for coffee to be brewed. With “tap and go” credit cards, we don’t even have to wait for a receipt to be printed.
Everything happens right away. So when we do have to wait, it feels unnatural.
Jeff Goins writes this in his book The In-Between, Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing:
“Our culture has conditioned us to expect instant results and overnight success; this impatience runs so rampant that we dress it up in terms like “efficiency” and “productivity.” But really what’s happening is we are conditioning ourselves to get what we want now, all the time. This mindset robs us of the lessons that waiting can teach us, causing us to miss out on the slow but important stuff of life.”
How often do we say “I can’t wait” and then look back and say “wow time flies!”? We’re rooting for time to hurry up, and the next breath, we’re wondering where it went. We’re wishing time away when we actually want more of it.
I’m going to try and eliminate “I can’t wait” from my vocabulary. Because waiting is important. When we wait, we have the opportunity to plan and anticipate and dream. And our plans and anticipations and dreams become clearer in the waiting period.
“We were made to wait, to long for things unseen. This is the place from which dreams and desires come.” – Jeff Goins