Do you enjoy the sensation of waiting?

waiting art

I wouldn’t think so. It can involve stress, anxiety, and boredom–things we already have enough of in the modern world.

Sometimes when I’m feeling at loose ends, I’ll write up a to-do list. This helps wrangle all the strands of ideas floating around in my head, in my planner, on my phone, on Post-It notes on my desk…well, you get the idea.

But lately I’ve noticed that the feeling of something weighing on me isn’t necessarily lightened after I’ve written out all my tasks. Lately I’ve started writing out a parallel ‘Waiting On…‘ List.

This is a list of things that I’ve worked on and pushed out, but that I am waiting on a response on, or waiting for the effort to bear fruit.

to do list pretty

For example, a fellowship application. I knew that I would hear back about whether I’d gotten a certain fellowship “in October.” Well, the days were ticking by, and I could feel the the pressure of the unknown pushing around other thoughts in my brain. Every time it came up, I would push it away. I alternated between feeling like I had a good chance and feeling like I was wasting my time worrying. At any rate, there wasn’t anything I could do to make the reply come faster.

Ah, I thought. So that’s what this is about. Feeling powerless.

Writing out the things I’m ‘Waiting On…”(submissions to literary journals, book review requests, fellowship applications, reply texts from someone *ahem*) helps me recognize and appreciate the effort I’ve already put in, and ratchets down the feeling of “I want to know this thing but I have no way to discover it and so I can’t plan around that part of my life yet.”

You ever get that feeling?

What’s on your Waiting On… list this month?


Image via Wikimedia Commons and Printable Decor