Today is the 11th Day of 2012, the 2nd year of From This Terrace.

“The high­est activ­ity a human being can attain is learn­ing for under­stand­ing because to under­stand is to be free.” — Baruch de Spin­oza (1632–1677)

So much of what we do and think about involves wait­ing. We wait to grow up and wait to get a job only to spend years in jobs wait­ing to retire. Once we are grown up many of us want to be young again and will do many expen­sive and dan­ger­ous things to look as young as we did when we were wait­ing to be older.

We wait to fall in love with the per­fect per­son, often over­look­ing the love that would have lasted. Then we wait to get a divorce or wait to find the next flawed com­pan­ion or spouse con­vinc­ing our­selves that it will be the right one, only to wait for them to make a mis­take or miss a step. So we can wait to start our lives over once again.

We wait for mir­a­cle diets or mir­a­cle cures for what is wrong with our bod­ies. We wait to have chil­dren or once we have them wait for them to grow up and leave us alone. When they do, we wait for them to call us, spend more time with us, or come back home. If they come back home, we wait for them to get a job and move out. Some of us are wait­ing to go to heaven when we die, but if we become ill will sub­ject our­selves to almost any­thing in order not to die.

A lone leaf on a branch.

It seems the human con­di­tion is about wait­ing for some­thing other than what we have or wait­ing to go or be some­where other than where we are — in life, in the age cycle, in the world, in rela­tion­ships and in our careers.

I can’t help but won­der what the cal­cu­la­tion of time lost wait­ing would tell us about the way we have spent our time allot­ted on this planet. Surely it would tell us that too often we have failed to find joy in the moments. The eter­nity of now is a con­cept much under-appreciated but one that forces me out of the wait­ing room of my life.

For 2012 I decided not to make res­o­lu­tions I’ll only break in the first month. This year I didn’t promise myself once again I would stop watch­ing very late night tele­vi­sion com­pletely. I refused to con myself into believ­ing I had eaten my last over-the-top choco­late or that I would give up car­bo­hy­drates. I’ve stopped writ­ing down exactly how many pages I will write each day or how many friends I promise to see this year.

Most impor­tantly, I’ve stopped wait­ing for the per­fect life to occur because despite all that is dif­fi­cult … maybe, just maybe, my life is per­fect, as it is. It’s all in the definition.

Here are my thoughts on Not Wait­ing for 2012:

I am not wait­ing to get well.

I am not wait­ing in fear that I’ll get sicker.

I am not wait­ing to be loved and under­stood in pre­cise and rigid ways.

I am not wait­ing to die.

I am not wait­ing to suffer.

I am not wait­ing to change oth­ers or myself for the better.

I am not wait­ing to be sur­prised by 2012’s goodness.

I am not wait­ing to be dis­ap­pointed by 2012’s events.

I am liv­ing. Just liv­ing because it is a full and com­plex job.

I am resolved to enjoy liv­ing in each moment of each new day.

Wak­ing up each morn­ing to start liv­ing over and over again each day until I say good­bye to 2012.

And won’t wait in order to begin again, begin anew.

Because I am not wait­ing I am free.

I am present.

“Eter­nity is not some­thing that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time. We are in it now.” Char­lotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)

©Alida Brill 2012



Filed under Compassion, Seasons, This Moment, Time

8 Responses to YEAR 2: DAY 11 — WELCOME TO 2012: NO WAITING REQUIRED

  1. I admit: I have been wait­ing. I’ve been wait­ing to read your writ­ing again, and I’ve been wait­ing for this very piece. I feel as if you’ve set my sail on course for 2012. Thank you so much for this inspir­ing piece.

  2. Susan

    Indeed. To begin to be… yes, just to be present in this moment, in this day.

  3. This is per­fect. I have been try­ing to live this and aching to give such a gift to oth­ers who can­not seem to under­stand it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. Pingback: Happy New Year! : – Laura Overstreet

  5. Beau­ti­ful :-) I didn’t even *think* of mak­ing any res­o­lu­tions, other than the wee ones I make daily, from moment to moment when I need to … and the one larger inten­tion, which is to be kind …

    Because I am not wait­ing I am free.” Yes! :-)

    There’s a cer­tain tone of patience that we learn, I think, when we unlearn the wait­ing *for* that you write of …

  6. I’m always happy when you write. But this piece is exquis­ite. And yes, as I smile, I want you to know that I am jeal­ous!!! You write as I wish I could. And I’m so happy for you, despite the jeal­ousy. I too should live by your code. Yes, I know how dif­fi­cult it is not to whine and winge…Florence

  7. There is a cer­tain sense of empa­thy that comes through the writ­ten word … and it ren­ders me speech­less! I’ve read this post, and your ‘Notes from the Infu­sion Room’, sev­eral times now and I’m about a third of the way into your book. All I can say, again, is *thank you* …

  8. Debbie Newman

    So very true! Years ago I found a way to take life as it comes by liv­ing each sea­son. That focus grad­u­ally allowed me to take each day as it came. A phrase that allows me to step into the full­ness each day brings reads, “Ris­ing energy of the day; ges­tat­ing power of the dark.” Step­ping into life with those two book­ends, I’ve found enough. And then it starts all over again with the ris­ing of the sun the next day.…

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