“Good things come to those who wait,” they say.
But they also say:
“Stop waiting for things to happen. Go out and make them happen.”
So, which is it?
You are reading the work of an impatient person, writing furiously so I can hit “publish” and get it out there.
Like, now. Five minutes ago. Why is this taking so long? I should have written this last week / last month / last year! What am I waiting for?
I’ve always been a little too Type A, rushing to get to the next step, the person who leans on the horn when the light turns green and the car in front doesn’t move. (If this was you, I apologize, but, please, get off your phone and go!)
I’m the woman rolling her eyes when you take out your checkbook to pay for your groceries, in separate batches. But, wait, you forgot your coupons and need to start over.
(Long, exasperated) sigh….
I’ve got places to go and things to do!
If you get to the front of the long line at Dunkin’ Donuts and don’t yet know what you want, I’m the one grumbling behind you. If you then take the time to inquire about the calorie count of the donuts to determine which has the fewest, you may even hear me exclaim, “They’re DONUTS, lady!”
It just slipped out. I’m sorry.
(By the way, it’s the French crueller… light and less dense, it’s your best bet if you are counting calories).
I identify with the lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “My Shot”:
I’m past patiently waiting. I’m passionately smashing every expectation.
Every action’s an act of creation!
I’m laughing in the face of casualties and sorrow.
For the first time, I’m thinkin’ past tomorrow…
He wrote that about Alexander Hamilton. But it speaks to me.
I suppose I was impatient in those jobs that ran their course and led me to Be a Quitter and seek opportunities elsewhere.
But what’s the right amount of time to stay on the hamster wheel to wait and see what happens?
Two years? Five? Ten?
At what point does your patience run out?
When should you “Be the change you want to see?”
How do you know when it’s better to lay low, lying in wait, or to take that leap?
We laugh at millennials who enter the workforce and expect a promotion in the first sixth months and go elsewhere when they don’t get it.
But then we lament the solid worker who stayed diligently with the company – 10, 15, 20 years – only to find herself let go and replaced by… a lesser-paid millennial who will leave six months later.
What’s the perfect amount of time of patient?
What length of time is long enough but not too long you’re late?
How can you know your worth if you don’t know the value of your time?
For those who have been patiently reading for me to get to the point, here it is:
Even if you’re Behind the Times, or you’ve Missed the Opportunity, or you’re Patiently Plodding Ahead, it’s Never Too Late.
Whichever direction you’re going – On the Fast Track, Slow and Steady, Off the Beaten Path, Setting your Wings to Soar, Start with a Single Step. And then take another one.
Good things can come to those who wait.
Good things can also come to those who go out and make them happen.
The choice is yours.
Being me, I’m impatient to hear how it goes.
Valerie Gordon is a writer and presenter who helps clients capitalize on the power of their stories. She speaks about work/life balance, communication strategies and building successful Next Chapters. She’s available for keynote presentations, group workshops and individual strategizing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.