Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Waiting is Not Living... and Why I Wouldn't Want to Be Al Franken

Lately, I feel like I've just been waiting for things to happen. Waiting for the bank to decide on our short sale, waiting to be approved for a modification, waiting to hear back from multiple theatre companies on my plays... and it's driving me crazy. I'm trying not to wait around. I'm "trying" to let go and give it over to the universe and just keep living every day. "Trying" is one of my least favorite words. How do you just stop waiting and start living? How do you get that question out of your mind?

How, I wonder, is Al Franken doing with this? He has been waiting for a long time to be named the Senator of Minnesota. Since November. A lot has happened since November and still he's waiting. I suppose you could say that Norm Coleman has been waiting too. But a court just ruled in Franken's favor (check it out) and Coleman is appealing again... thus extending the wait. How is he not going crazy? What is he doing in this time? How do you live when you're waiting?

I don't think you do. I mean, I don't think you can. Waiting isn't living. It's suspension. It's forgetting to breathe. It's a clenched jaw. Restless sleep. The stiffness in my neck. Glazed eyes.

I don't know how you stop waiting. Maybe it has to do with breathing. Walking and breathing. Running hard and breathing. Sweating. Listening. And reaching out. Getting out of your own head and making a difference for someone else. I could start there. I keep thinking yoga would help. Yoga and volunteerism. This is a Zen thing, right? Chop Wood, Carry Water.

Get up away from the desk and take a short walk. Close the e-mail and don't check it for the rest of the day. Drink a glass of water. Call a friend or family member just to say hi. Be present in the conversation. Then back to the desk. Back to work. No longer waiting.

Well, it's worth a try.

-Al Franken

-Chop Wood, Carry Water


Kim Hooper said...

I feel like I've spent the better (or worse?) part of my twenties waiting. For something. Not sure what.
Forgetting to breathe? Check.
Clenched jaw? Check. (And I also grind my teeth).
Restless sleep? Check. (Have battled insomnia since, oh, 2003).
Stiffness in my neck? Check.
Glazed eyes? Check. Check, again, for good measure.

I wish I could just let go. I'm a big worrier. I blame my mom. I know I won't be happy to have worried this much when I'm an old lady, reflecting back on my life. How do we just live in the moment, appreciate today? It seems increasingly difficult with the media in super-fear mode. Anyway, just wanted to say I can relate, and I really am inspired by you "trying" to let go (I also cringe at the word "trying").

Anonymous said...

LoquatsWhen we went into foreclosure
The tree in the back yard was beginning
To bear fruit
We hadn’t noticed it before
Not until we were poor
We picked it
And ate it
And then we learned its name
We made baby food and preserves of it
And when that flock of parrots came south of Wilshire
Their old haunt was picked clean
We might not make it round to March again
Before the sheriff comes
But for now
On our morning toast
We have something sweet.

Megan said...

Sometimes I think the trick is to get that waiting actually is living. Its just not the kind of living you are committed to.

I think the idea that waiting isnt living gets you off the hook for the unsatisfaction you get from letting your living be dominated by waiting.

Not that I am not speaking from experience....

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