We are less than a month away from becoming a family of four! Chasing a toddler and dealing with so many unexpected twists and turns that we have called 2020 so far has made the time go by pretty fast.
So much of what is ahead is unknown for us. The big picture yes, is clear. We will have a baby boy and will spend the summer adjusting to a new life with him in it. But that is all.
We cannot control when he will come into this word or how. We do not know his personality yet or how our son Z will adjust to being a big brother. We do not know what our routine: what recovery and rest will look like. And so much more.
We feel the anticipation, excitement, a little anxiety, but mostly we just have to wait and see. I have learned a lot about waiting in the past few years.
If I fill up my calendar and to-do list then yes I am sufficiently distracted and busy. Sometimes this helps to pass the time but I am left tired and maybe frayed. If I allow myself too much empty waiting with time to spare to wonder and worry. I may be “rested” but I can easily get discourage by current circumstances or anxious: caught up in what “could” happen ahead.
Fortunately I have learned there is third option: active waiting.
Active waiting requires focusing on your life as it is, right now in front of you. Not the life you see on social media, you hear about from friends, you see on the TV or read in the newspaper: your personal life. This waiting is about acceptance and gratitude for the way things are right now; focusing on the beautiful details in your everyday life and those in it.
Active waiting is allowing yourself to see, hear, and be aware of yourself, your family, your little world right here and now. Meanwhile you are hopeful for the future: not fixated on it, not trying to change it, not trying to ignore it, just letting it be. You are waiting and seeing what will happen; trusting that you can and will handle it like you are the present-one moment and day at a time.
With weeks to go before our little guy enters the world I am choosing to actively wait. I’m not filling up my plate full of random to-dos or activities that just have to get done before baby arrives. I’m not sitting on my hands anxiously considering all birth scenarios and how we would handle them or discouraged by the difficult adjustment time we may have ahead. I am choosing to be present; to do the little things left with plenty of breaks. I am soaking in the time I have right now with my toddler and husband in the everyday routine that we have known in this season. I am trusting that no matter what changes are ahead for us-we can handle it together-one moment at a time.
I think we are all in a season of waiting now.
As other concerns and issues come up in our country; it is clear we are feeling the angst, the anger of what we have lost and are scared by the uncertainty of the future.
It’s hard to admit we do not have control, we do not know how all that has occurred in the past four months will affect our lives personally and a nation as we all try to move forward.
What we can choose is how we wait.
We can keep ourselves thoroughly busy and distracted to pass the time but walk away tired and frayed-with little energy to invest in the challenges ahead. We can “give up” and sit and wait, letting time drag on until we see change or hope, but that could leave us stuck in our minds, discouraged by the present or anxious about the future.
I am going to try to choose active waiting instead.
I know it is very hard to hold the future with such open hands and with such an empty calendar.Past the birth of my son I do not know what is next. We have no plans, no expectations for the rest of what 2020 will look like. But I am trying to see that as a good thing-a blank page.
A chance to be present and actively wait and see what is ahead.