Brain tumors suck. Hi, I'm Patrick btw. This is my cancer blog. My "normal" stuff is over here.
When I started the draft of this blog post, my first idea was to start with some examples of what I’m waiting for, segueing into the thought that we always wait for something.
Well, the latter is still true, but in the meantime, my second daughter was born (she was overdue for 8 days) and the wrist injury I was waiting for to heal is almost gone. Now my right deltoid hurts, but that’s another story…
The thought still holds true though: We are always waiting for something. The only question is, do we wait actively or passively?
In my opinion, this distinction can make a huge difference in perception. Waiting often makes us anxious, because we are worrying if everything will play out the way we imagine it to be. The longer we wait, the more time we have to let our imagination run free, which often leads us to go through worst-case scenarios in our mind (this is just how we humans are wired). This is what I would define as passive waiting, as we are, well, just waiting for things to happen.
On the other hand, it might be possible to do active waiting, i.e. do something to either pass the time in a useful way or even change the course of events to a more desirable outcome of the thing we are waiting for. To give the obvious example, (this is a cancer blog after all), I’m waiting to die from my brain tumor. From a current scientific standpoint, chances are very high that the tumor will eventually be the cause of my death. But instead of waiting passively, I try to make “eventually” last as long as possible by exercising, eating healthy, meditating, and generally trying not to worry too much. This at least makes the time waiting more fun, even if the outcome might be the same if I just sat in a corner and did nothing (which I don’t think is the case, by the way).
So, if you’re waiting for something, fill the time in between with something useful and if possible fun (don’t be too british). If what you are waiting for is unpleasant, check if you cannot do something to make it less so. Oh, and that doesn’t mean that you should always be doing something. If it means that you have time to relax before e.g. heading out for a difficult meeting, that also counts as useful!