It is really hard to stop whatever it is we are doing and take the time to breathe. Really, really difficult. It doesn’t matter if its a good book, the 50th YouTube video we’ve watched that day, a video call with friends, or time stuck in our mind overthinking everything; our minds find it easier to stay on a path than diverge. But, waiting is sometimes time that couldn’t have been better spent. This looks different for each of us, but it will never stop being important.
If you’ve been following my wee corner of the internet universe you’ll know I’m currently in the process of writing a book. At the end of last year I finished the first draft, and now I’m editing that confusing mess into a more coherent created world that is home to the story. It’s a tough project. Some days I feel like I read the same sentence over and over and can’t find the words to make it read how I want it to. The best then is to put that section to the side and move on. I’m not abandoning hope that I will find a solution, rather I am waiting. Editing a different section while I wait for my subconscious to work away in the background, searching for the right words to say what I mean, and clearly convey that to the reader.
In the same way, I need to give myself time when writing music. Usually I come up with a cool line of lyrics, or a catchy guitar riff, and begin to craft a song around it. Sometimes a word doesn’t sit quite right within a phrase, but I can’t think of a better one. If I agonise over it I get frustrated and stop enjoying the act of creating music. A better choice is to acknowledge the problem word or words, write them down, and come back later. It works better that way, every time.
This quarter I have been coaching and playing on an ultimate frisbee team. I have played for over fifteen years now, at a range of different levels so my base knowledge and game IQ is relatively high, and I can play well with many different types of players. The rest of the team spans a range of experience levels and few have played on the same team with each other. When we work through a specific strategy the ideal is that everyone would pick it up after one or two explanations, with maybe a few elaborations along the way. In reality, players need a lot more time playing together and figuring out how to make sense of the strategy in their mind. We play together as a team once a week, and have a training maybe every fortnight so it may take several months, or maybe even a few seasons together to figure things out. Instead of trying to hammer home the same points over and over again, I encourage my mind to wait and give people the time they need to understand things. At the beginning of every game or training I briefly explain what it would be helpful to work on, then let the players play.
God encourages me to wait. A lot. A phrase I’ve come across recently is, “don’t waste the waiting”. This waiting time doesn’t have to be spent looking at the desired end result and hoping it will arrive sooner; in fact that’s usually the opposite of useful! Instead we can turn our focus away from it and put time and energy towards other things. For me, this involves writing a blog, going for a walk, talking with friends, reading a book, or getting a good night’s rest. I’m still working on that last one, but it’s a good choice!
Waiting is tough, especially when it’s something we really want. But good things take time, and the best things often take the longest.
Take care and practice patience on your journey my friends. Peace.