Just the phrase ‘Wait for it’, conjures up an expectation that something exciting or special is about to happen. This little phrase can be the setup for a joke or the prediction that something bad (but still funny) is about to happen. In this case, it’s okay to ‘wait for it’ because it’s entertainment and the wait time is seconds.
At a time when everything is readily available, we’ve become accustomed to receiving instant feedback. I text, and if it’s not to one of my children, I get an instant response. Even email, which was certainly faster than snail mail, has been overtaken by other means of communication like Messenger and Skype’s Instant Messaging. Now you don’t have to make a decision to look at your email, now those messages come to you. You don’t have to go to them.
Every Day Events
With the expectation of immediate results, it’s no wonder we struggle when we have to wait. We may even look at inanimate objects and tell them to hurry up. I stand by the toaster and look at it, almost willing it to make the toast pop. I like a tea kettle that I can see into so that I can see the progress of the water boiling. While not an inanimate object, but sometimes barely moving, children may come to believe their first name is Hurry. Every morning, they hear, “Hurry, it’s time for school. Hurry, eat your breakfast. Hurry, we’re leaving now. Hurry, the bus will be here soon.” You get the idea. It seems like parents can’t wait to get their children out the door.
For adults who take the bus, there are the mental calls to the bus, “Come on. Come on. I’m going to be late.” The same words are uttered for elevators when it takes forever for them to get to the ground floor and then again when it seems like every person on the elevator wants to get off at a different floor. One press of the elevator button is never enough. There’s some satisfaction to pressing it multiple times, even though the light around it is clearly lit. For those people who drive, a red light (especially a series of them) can be enough to trigger road rage, even though it is directed at a light instead of someone else. Being in a line of any kind (on the road or in a building) is just wrong…at least that’s how it feels. To go through this frustration every day feels like a little piece of insanity.
There’s nothing like waiting for the birth of a child, a wedding day or a dream vacation. There’s the first day of a job or school, a first date, or the closing date on a house. Each event is exciting and scary at the same time. Unlike some every day events, we actually look forward to it. While there may be some bumps along the way, the ultimate reward makes the wait for it acceptable.
We can wait because, during that wait, we live and relive the moment in our head. It’s going to be great although, there is always a little doubt that everything won’t go as planned. For example, think of all the reality shows where someone is renovating someone’s house. The couple can hardly wait to see the finished product. Ultimately, the end result is better than the person’s wildest dreams. You hear the words, “I can’t believe this is my house.” In other cases, like when someone doesn’t win on The Price is Right, expectations are not met; there’s disappointment. Although, in all honesty, just getting on the stage to win any kind of prize would be special to me. Being able to spin the wheel without injuring myself would also be a pleasant surprise.
Medical events need their own category, because the waiting and repercussions are different than everyday events or special occasions. Having to wait and potentially be late for work does not compare to a medical crisis and the waiting that can be involved. Technically, a medical event is special; however, unless the event is to provide a long-awaited transplant, it’s not usually special in a good way.
There can be all kinds of waiting involved with medical events whether the wait is for a diagnosis, a treatment, or a full recovery. You can’t truly appreciate this kind of waiting until you’ve experienced it. I’ve had a variety of experiences from a ruptured appendix in Las Vegas to breast cancer in Canada.
And since reading this blog can be life-altering, albeit on a minuscule scale, I thought I would make you wait for it (the second half of this post)...until Sunday, February 5th.
Over 30-years of writing experience, over five years as a cancer survivor, and a lifetime purveyor of wit and laughter.