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



  1. Posted April 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    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”).

  2. Anonymous
    Posted April 16, 2009 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    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.

  3. Megan
    Posted April 19, 2009 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    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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