When you think of a waiting room, what image comes to mind? Does it bring to mind something unsettling or something peaceful? A sterile and bland space or a place filled with warmth and hospitality?
My knee-jerk response is to imagine a hospital waiting room. A place that is neither warm nor inviting.
But what about the waiting rooms of our lives where we wait for something exciting to happen? Like a mother waiting for the birth of her baby, or a spouse waiting for a military deployment to end.
These are waiting rooms of a different sort. We adorn these waiting rooms in our hearts with color and they hum with the buzz of hopeful expectation. Our toes tap with an upbeat melody and our cheeks ache from smiling. These waiting rooms of anticipation are blessings and times to be cherished.
That’s where I find myself right now. Counting down the days until my first novel steps out of its cocoon, sprouts wings, and takes flight. In two months, my dream of becoming a published author will be a reality. Every day, I want to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
However, like a child waiting for Christmas day, I get impatient. I want to run ahead and turn to the last page. I find my mind circling the what-ifs while I watch the clock. Am I ready for this? Did I do enough research? Have done everything to prepare?
Insecurity, if I let it, can creep into my anticipation and become an anchor, dragging me away from the joy of the moment. Because of this, I risk becoming unproductive while I wait. Unfocused. My active mind needs something to keep it occupied.
I don’t want to miss this time of hopeful expectations.
I want to appreciate it.
I want to remember it.
While I’m in this happy season of waiting, there are a few things I do to help me remain focused and keep a productive mindset.
This time of waiting is packed full of emotions and I want to record all of them. Journaling is a great way to organize my thoughts, but it also gives me something to look back on when I need encouragement.
Encourage Others on the Same Journey
While I see my dream coming into the light, I think of others who are striving for the same thing. Whatever life experience I’ve gathered, there is someone who is just beginning their own journey. I hope while I’m in this waiting period, I can cheer someone on and give them the encouragement that others have given me.
Plot New Goals
Once I meet a goal, I love plotting a new one. It doesn’t mean I rush ahead and skip past the enjoyment of the moment, it simply means I sketch out an idea or two I can aim for in the future. For me, that might be simply developing characters for a new story, researching a setting, or brainstorming story ideas. I want to use the momentum of a dream realized to keep going. After all, if you’re walking uphill, it’s easier to keep moving than it is to stop and attempt to start again.
Try Something New
Joyful expectation has a way of causing your mind to spring to life. It’s a great time to step out and try something new. While I’m waiting for the launch day of my debut novel, I might try a new recipe, or attend a webinar I’ve earmarked for a later date. For me, exploration and learning feed my creative flow and bring fresh ideas out into the open.
And finally, while I wait on the edge of my seat,
I’ll Take Time to Rest
It’s good to rest. Resting is restorative. Resting for me means enjoying a good book, taking a walk, or adding something new to my flower garden. Resting will ensure I take the time to enjoy this moment as well.
After all, how many times in life will I experience the birth of my debut novel?
And this waiting room of anticipation is a beautiful space.
When was the last time you found yourself in a waiting room of hopeful expectation? Did you find it easy to wait, or did you need to refocus your energy in order to remain productive?