The year of 2017 will go down in my personal history as the year of waiting and wondering. There were so many unknowns. I wondered how my baby girl with a syndrome would weather her surgeries; I waited weeks in the hospital to see how she would recover. I wondered how my new album would turn out; I waited weeks for it to arrive. I wondered how I would get my restaurant built; I waited weeks for the City of Rockford to issue a building permit.
The nail biting. The floor pacing. The anticipation.
When I was a kid, I loved anticipation. Largely, because the stakes weren't very high. I wondered what my school teachers would be like. I wondered who my friends would be. I wondered what we'd eat for dinner.
You know...the important stuff.
When we get older, the waiting and wondering just feels like a lack of control. I've grown accustomed to the "get anything you want, when you want it" culture that we've developed here in the U.S. There isn't much benefit or thrill in waiting around anymore.
Or is there?
When I think back on 2017, I can say that--with no exceptions--the waiting and wondering have led to better outcomes than if I would have gotten what I wanted, when I wanted it. Waiting and wondering about my baby girl led to compassion and a closeness to her I can't describe. All the time spent waiting and wondering about my album led to a goose-bump inducing thrill when I listened to it for the first time. And waiting and wondering about my restaurant led to extra time to improve floor plans and aesthetic choices.
Reader, if you're also wondering about the outcome of certain parts of your life, maybe it's time we embrace the wait like we did when we were younger. We could let the wonder be exciting. We could let the waiting give us focus and drive. Hell, we could let the time spent in limbo be FUN. Timelines leave little to the imagination. In uncertainty, there is vision and a bit of magic.
Case in point, next Sunday is Christmas Eve, and my two-year old is TEAMING with wonder about the whole Santa thing. My goal is to learn to anticipate the same way that he does: with wide-eyed optimism and trust. See you next Sunday. -Em