Waiting room

I remember when my daughter was very, very new–a newborn and new to us, when I was newly in love with her– awakening each night to feed and hold her, but also to marvel in the quiet of each night, just she and I, enjoying my incredible good fortune, that I was finally a mother.  To my particular baby girl. 

In one of those early weeks, which was a hot summer as it is now, I had a medical problem that required a visit to a new doctor.  Who kept me waiting for at least 45 minutes.  Maybe an hour.  Although I was very rarely separated from my daughter in those days, except to be at work, I left her at home with my partner at the time.  I remember that wait in the waiting room well.  What would have normally exasperated and stressed me– seemed like a funny luxury.  I thought, this is interesting.  As the mother of a 6 week old (or something like that) it’s not so bad to have to just sit still, with nothing in particular to do.  I think I just sat there for awhile.  I read a People Magazine and I called the phone company about something. (I really do remember all this, though I have no idea the name or address of the doctor I saw that day…)  It was a very restful and satisfying wait as I recall.

This is the summer of waiting–but I do not feel so relaxed about it, though I am recollecting that earlier wait– perhaps to try to recreate that easy feeling I had about the whole thing.  I am waiting most of all, to find out if I or others who work closely with me are going to lose our jobs– individually and collectively.  I feel at times, as though I have been holding my breath for weeks.  It’s a peculiar thing about this classist world, that often as middle class people we feel “protected” in some way from the actual goings on of the world.  But, I think,  in more ways than we often know, we are not necessarily protected– and we are all in this boat together, sink or swim.  In it together in so many ways. 

In an odd way, as I hear the stories in the news, on NPR and elsewhere, about the economy, lay-offs, people out of work– I am both fearful and enjoying this clarity about my togetherness, unity with the rest of everyone.  

It’s been extraordinarily hot, and will reach, they say, triple digits, the next few days.  I am waiting for it to cool off.

The job uncertainty has pushed me in other ways too, and I am trying to figure out some other things that I cannot report on now, but that have involved a lot of waiting in my life.  All of this waiting and the random fears have made it markedly harder to write than I want it to be– so I am waiting too, for that to pass and for the writing to be more regular again–easier and perhaps more interesting.  I want to be less preoccupied and more enthusiastic and easy in the moment.

My Bat Mitzvah–the meaning (to me) of which I have still not written about here, is looming closer and closer and I am definitely hoping time will slow down on that one, so I can learn all I need to. 

But I am still working at taking that perspective that I had all those years ago, in that doctor’s waiting room–of enjoying the wait just as much as I enjoyed where I had come from and where I was leaving to go next.

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