Waiting Room – “Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?


In “Stranger In A Strange Land,” Michael Valentine Smith typically said “Waiting is.” It was one of those zen-like inscrutable comments. Kind of goes well with Bill Belichick’s “It is what it is.”

Both translate loosely to “The moment contains what it contains. Since we can’t do much about it, we might as well shut up and go with the flow.”

Waiting doesn’t get you anything but a seat on the bus or an opportunity to explain something to a bureaucrat when that little numbered slip of paper is finally called.

Nor, in my opinion, do the meek inherit the earth, unless you count a grave as an inheritance. Waiting — a lack of activity or withdrawal from events in progress — may keep you out of trouble, but it won’t get you noticed. The doctor won’t come out and see you on the bench. It won’t make anyone pick up your manuscript and decide to publish it. It won’t get your job done — any job, anywhere. It won’t get you a job.

It’s an expression which sounds good on paper, but what does it mean? If it means “the baby won’t come until it’s fully developed” … okay. If it means you need to let the bread rise and bake before you can eat it? Fine. Both these are active attempts to create something which coincidentally requires some waiting. Not like being put on hold while someone on the other side of the world finally gets around to taking your call … then promptly disconnects you.

The baby didn’t self-create nor did the bread. Nothing gets started by waiting. Waiting is stasis. What you do after you’ve acted, implemented, and are passing through an interval necessary for fruition.

Hey, anyone been up for jury duty, sat in a big room with a lot of other people who don’t want to be there … and then be told you aren’t allowed to talk, read, or leave the room until someone says you can?


That is waiting at it’s finest. 90% of the time, someone will eventually come to tell you to go home.

I won’t wait on lines in restaurants or at movies. If the grocery is very crowded? I leave. I’ll shop tomorrow.

I wait only for things to bloom, finish developing, be delivered, cool, bake, dry, or land at the airport. Otherwise, there are lots of things to do. I’ll always prefer to do than wait.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

33 thoughts on “WAITING ISN’T”

    1. That was one of many reasons we left Boston … so we don’t have to spend our lives in traffic, on lines, waiting and waiting and waiting. I’ve waiting probably YEARS and I don’t do it now. No longer.


  1. Yes, waiting purposefully is one thing, i.e. for seedlings to be big enough to plant out, or apples to be ripe, but I find all other waiting nerve-twanging. I always arrive early for appointments just put myself through a bit extra torture.


    1. Me too. Because I hate being late … but other people seem to think their time is very valuable, but yours isn’t. Holding on the phone for customer service is right up there in activities that waste my time and time is valuable.


      1. That is so right. I’d forgotten how annoyed I get when other people think their time is more valuable than mine. Then there is phoning my bank which can take hours of piped musack.


  2. Marilyn, well said. I agree and also ‘wait’ until a more appropriate time to avoid wasting time in crowded places. Your last paragraphs say it all.


  3. Thought-provoking and spot-on. I had that d*%# jury duty this past summer. I was irritated that I had ‘no choice’ in the matter, but decided to DO as much reading/writing as I could while waiting.


  4. Loved this. With all the doctor’s appointments, testing, hospital stuff, and so forth, I think I’ve already done a pretty significant part of waiting. I like your take on it. 🙂


  5. The recent comments by the government consultant claiming Obamacare was designed for stupid people put it in a nutshell. We wait in line for government services like stupid sheep waiting to jump off a cliff. Oregon takes most of that away with mail-in voting, driver’s license renewal and Social Security services online.


    1. There is waiting that is unavoidable and waiting that produced a great result. Just so much of our waiting is pointless bureaucracy, bad management. And should never happen. Healing is one of those things that takes patience, whether it’s you or a loved one or friends. Done a lot of that. Still more to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Life definately seems to be one big waiting room. I am lucky to live somewhere where waiting is not a big thing, at least not for a long time, Everything medical is done by appointment. We have our traffic jams, but mainly in the holiday season or because an accident occurred. As I only got my driving licence at the age of 40 something I was used to waiting. I still find it a privilidge today to be able to take the car and go and not wait for the bus or organise something else. I avoide queues where I can, but in a country with only 8 million that it not difficult.


    1. Moving to the country helped a lot. Everything is less crowded. Less efficient too, but you don’t have to be ultra-efficient when you aren’t servicing a gazillion people, all of whom are angry about something.


  7. I don’t take that statement literally. I think in a age of instant gratification I take this as a reminder to be patient. We’ve become too demanding, too rude, too busy and too oblivious to other people. We need to be more patient, more considerate and more thoughtful.


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