Don’t Make this Mistake While Waiting in Line
Have you ever felt like things weren’t happening fast enough for you?
Have you ever wished you could speed through an experience to achieve your goal or get to your destination on your time clock?
Have you ever felt like your life was on hold until you finished something “big” like school, a divorce, or your kids growing up and moving out?
We all feel that way at different times. We all try to “push” things when we are out of patience. When you find yourself in a situation waiting for things to move along, there is something you can do to make it better.
In today’s post, I am going to tell you what that thing is.
The World’s Biggest Event Is Almost Upon Us
To illustrate my point though, we have to talk about one of the world’s biggest events that will be upon us very soon.
No. Not the Super Bowl. I’m talking about the Oscars, baby.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I am a celebrity-following addict and People magazine junkie. The pinnacle of the previous year’s arrests, pairings and break-ups is brought to the fore at the Academy Awards. Every year, I plan for the Oscars weeks in advance, and I block the household’s entire day for food, fashion and the red carpet.
Anyone who knows me knows not to mess with my Oscars.
In preparation for this year’s show, I’m currently forcing my husband, James, to accompany me to all of this year’s nominated movies whether he’s interested or not. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen “Her”, “American Hustle” and “Frozen” (this one with Paloma, of course).
As it usually happens, whenever we go somewhere and Paloma is coming, we’re late. Usually by at least half an hour. I can’t stand being late for anything, but I’m learning to accept my chronic lateness as a fact of life. It’s not that I won’t continue to try to be on time, but I just won’t freak out anymore when we aren’t.
Anyway, our lateness was no different than usual when we went to the “Frozen” movie which was playing a mere 5 minutes from home. As we pulled up to the theatre, I saw throngs of parents and kids waiting in line. Panic-struck, James got the kid out of the car, as I raced up to the window to buy tickets. With tickets in hand, James and I used the divide and conquer strategy, as he and Paloma rushed into the theatre, and I stood in line for snacks.
Waiting In Line at The Movies = Drama
I got into one of the shorter lines. I thought getting in a shorter line would mean that I would get to the counter more quickly. Wouldn’t you think the same thing?
Not the case.
All the people working the counter were teenaged kids. The guy working my line was a cutie, but was as slow as a week in jail. Good Lord!
I looked around. All the lines around mine were moving. In fact, I noticed the other workers had helped 2 or 3 customers in the time “my guy” was still helping the people who were being helped when I got in line.
I was starting to get antsy. The previews, one of my favorite things about going to the theater, were surely started by now. What the hell? Hurry up, dude.
I kept waiting in line. Everybody around kept moving. And now my line was no longer the shortest line, but it was the longest.
I considered ditching the snacks to just go sit down. That would’ve resulted in Paloma throwing a fit because we had promised her Whoppers for going to the potty before we left home. It was then I made a big decision.
I switched to a much shorter line next to the one I was in.
For sure this would help me get to where I wanted to go more quickly, right?
I found myself stalled in line, A-GAIN. The seconds felt infinitely long. My head started to pound as my blood pressure continued to rise. I had an angry knot in my stomach and wondered why I was being punished.
The girl who had been standing behind me when I was in the first line winked at me as she made her way closer to the counter. I didn’t move.
Oh. My. God.
I closed my eyes and tried to focus on breathing. And, just as I was on the verge of complete freak out mode, I heard a male voice say, “Ma’am?” I was certain he wasn’t talking to me, so I continued to fixate on my pissiness inside my own own head.
I heard the same voice again, “Ma’am…I can help you over here. Ma’am…are you okay?”
I opened my eyes. The male was talking to me! And, the male who was talking to me was the same guy manning the line I was in in the first place.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought as I approached him with a strained smile. As it turns out, he was as sweet as he was cute and very attentive. He pleasantly served up our Whoppers and water without a clue I had been cursing him just minutes before.
I went and found Paloma and James in the theater just as the movie was starting.
Lessons Learned From Waiting In Line at “Frozen”
No matter what you’re doing, life is happening right now. You can’t always control things or people. You can either go with the flow, or you can fight it. Swimming upstream is going to get you nowhere fast. The best you can do is find some good in whatever your situation is at the moment.
If you’re stuck in traffic, seize the opportunity to zone out and just think or listen to the radio. If you’ve been waiting to find the perfect mate for years, instead of focusing on the fact that s/he hasn’t appeared, embrace your singlehood and the opportunity to do what you want when you want to do it; that won’t last once you do find your soulmate. If your divorce or separation is taking longer to finish than you want, ask yourself whether there is something you can let go of (without cheating yourself) that will make things move along more quickly.
When things aren’t moving along as we’d like, there’s always a lesson in it for us. The obvious lesson is patience. There’s probably more, though. What is the lesson for you? At the very least, maybe it’s looking at the situation as a chance to slow down and enjoy the moment.
To finish this post (and in honor of the Oscars and my favorite screen actors), I want to leave you with the words of one of my heroes. Next time you are stuck in the concession line at the movies, remember Ferris Bueller’s words. They might help you remember that no matter how slowly time feels like it is passing, life is moving really fast. Don’t miss it!
Sending you my wishes for a week in which you stop, look around and enjoy your life while you’re waiting in that line.
All my best,
P.S. Do you have any strategies that you use to avoid getting yourself into a snit when you’re stuck in traffic? Share it in the comments below!