I remember a time not so long ago when technology processes took much longer. Booting up the PC as deep as it was wide and tall, loudly connecting to dial-up, and experiencing a web search filled with other activities around the house.
Oh how I love the increased speed of information input and output. And the instantaneousness of communication.
So I forget human interaction doesn’t move that fast.
I find myself finishing the other person’s statements both verbally and non-verbally. I make assumptions of intentions, and I feel impatience when an email is not answered immediately.
Recently I have had to wait in several areas of my life that aren’t under my control. I get caught up in the chain of what will be possible once one component comes through: I can do this, pay for this, go here, upgrade this, pursue this. I hinge all my responsibilities and possible futures on when one issue is resolved. I create a perfect future based on a contingency. I get frustrated and feel that my life is on hold.
Is it really? What is stopping me from continuing my life? Myself.
As always, I think about how this looks as a creative. I am in control of a specific world during the creation process. If I don’t know, I find out. If I discover a dead-end, I make another road. I constantly revise and rework.
So while this waiting drives me crazy and I cannot access a specific future instantaneously, I realize it is my creativity itself that makes a new path. This should not be just a “what I do while I wait” activity but a path I open up next to this one. Instead of walking one road, why not walk many?
Here are a a few things that have helped me get my head when I am overwhelmed in this place of waiting:
1. Get into a new setting. Go to a coffee shop or antique dive. You know I am a forever proponent of travel. This is local travel. Being around a group of strangers offers a splendid accountability for reawakening to life.
2. Investigate previous thoughts. Pick up old projects. Revamp new ones. What was that idea you had two years ago that you thought would be genius? What does it look like for you now?
3. Experiment. Try something out. It does not have to be drastic or extreme or permanent.
Finally, do not rely on crutches. In your down time – and this entire experience may be technically “down time” – find other outlets than sedentary activities, like eating, television, or false productivity. Moderation or other outlets like exercise with get you moving allow your mind to come up with solutions while you participate in something else. This will develop positive patterns and stress relief for life. You will always be waiting on something. Like me, you may realize that waiting is the best reboot for your creativity and energy.