Waiting

IMG_1809 (1)Sometimes I wonder about the percentage of our lives we spend waiting.

Waiting in traffic… waiting in line at the grocery store… waiting for the phone to ring… waiting for our lives to change in some dramatic, fantastic way… waiting to be inspired by someone, or something….

Do we spend more time waiting than sleeping? I’m not sure I even want to know.

Meanwhile, as we wait, life happens all around us, even to us, never stopping to wait with us. People intersect our paths, we go about our day-to-day tasks, yet we still spend so much time just… waiting.

Sometimes I’m not even quite sure what I’m waiting for. Godot, perhaps? Sometimes it certainly feels that way.

I haven’t written anything in more than a month, mostly because I have been waiting: to feel less busy, less tired, and more inspired. In the last several weeks, the placid and unhurried days which I had come to cherish so deeply switched – nearly overnight – to a hustle and bustle that feels as foreign to me as Latvia felt the day we arrived.

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The days here are quickly getting shorter, which means sunrise is finally at a reasonable hour. Here, the sun rises over the Daugava River on a crisp early fall morning.

Just over a month ago, I began a new chapter of my life as a teacher in Riga. As is the case with any new job, there are multiple learning curves, some of which have been steeper than others, but all taken at full speed. Though I find myself surrounded by wonderfully talented and supportive colleagues and students who are eager to learn, becoming familiar and comfortable with my new position has left me utterly exhausted and with little time for anything else.

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In spite of the busy weekdays and weekends, M. insisted that we get out to the beach for a couple of hours on a warm Sunday afternoon. It was our first visit to the Baltic Sea since we arrived in Latvia last May. We went to Saulkrasti, north of Riga. I’m glad we did.

Yet, in spite of my haste, I still wait. I wait for that moment when things will slow down, or when something so incredible will happen that I feel compelled immediately to commit it to paper (or blog). I wait for the beginning of a great narrative to formulate in my head on its own, the way it so often has in the past while running or baking, or doing the other things that I love to do. And then it occurred to me today, that that moment may not come anytime soon, that because my mind is clouded with all of the things I need to prepare for school tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, that like Godot, the brilliant ideas for which I am waiting may never materialize. Now is the time to write, even if there isn’t a lot to say.

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Another new development in my last month of waiting for inspiration: the kayak we ordered arrived, and our little Outward Hound took her first trip in it.

And so, on this chilly Wednesday evening, I am enjoying a few fleeting moments of the kind of peaceful solitude that had become my normal over the last two years, and I am writing. I have a headache and I am congested (undoubtedly from the inevitable germs that come with working at a school), but I am writing. I have at least ten things I could be doing to prepare for my day tomorrow, but I am writing.

In four days, I will be running the Vilnius Marathon in Lithuania. My lack of preparation is embarrassing, between what feels like a mere handful of miles I have run this training cycle, the aforementioned stuffy nose and headache, and a sore knee- truly, a trifecta that has disaster written all over it. At the very least, I suppose, the experience could provide some fodder for writing. And as is almost always the case with running, tissues in hand or otherwise, it just might rekindle the spark of inspiration for which I have been so desperately waiting.

Thank you for reading!

4 thoughts on “Waiting

  1. I know exactly how you feel, I do nothing but focus on school and my babies. I really don’t sleep much and with Justin in the field I am doing a lot on my own which is becoming overwhelming since reality of everything just hit me. Getting sick because of germs at school must be standard, I am keeping motivated and ahead of all my work but I know exhaustion will creep around every now and then. I hope your race goes well and I love that you posted this. Its a nice reminder that normal life can be crazy and not to wait for opportunity to strike. On that note shut eye is required. Love you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Brittany! I love you too, and I love seeing you and your babies. One thought I keep having is, I don’t know how people do it with kids! I admire you so much. Balance is so important, and I think we forget that sometimes. But, that is why I won’t give up my running… even if I am running into work one minutes before we have to be there. Thank you for your good luck wishes on the race, and for taking the time to read! 🙂

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