Last night I had a dentist appointment at 5:30. I love my dentist! I’ve been seeing him for a couple of years now and he’s the best dentist I’ve ever had. In the past I’ve had problems with swelling and bruising from man-handling while my face was frozen. And once I almost passed out from the excruciating agony of having a tooth pulled when I wasn’t frozen enough.

I never liked going to the dentist who rolled his eyes dismissing me as a typical hysterical woman when I screamed in pain because the freezing hadn’t taken. Give me a break Mister arrogant Dentist man! We all know which gender can handle the most pain, right? There’s a reason why only the ladies can have the children.

But a few years ago I found my dentist and put all that nasty business behind me. He’s very thorough and has a gentle hand. You nearly fall asleep in the chair while you’re getting a filling. And I’m not kidding! His assistant tells me it actually happens all the time.

I’m always well frozen and if I ever feel any discomfort I trust I can give him the signal and the procedure will stop until I’m frozen enough for him to proceed without hurting me. I think that’s important with a dentist — that you feel comfortable and trusting.

Anyway, Wally dropped me off at my appointment on his way home, which was very good of him because I think it may have been out of his way. Thanks Wally! Stacy was supposed to work a little longer and then come pick me up after. I estimated I’d be ready around 6:30. As it turned out I arrived early, got right in, things went really smoothly and I was out of there by 5:45.

I called the office to let Stacy know I finished early, but I knew she had just got back from her walk at French Fort Cove with Lisa, and there was no way she was ready to knock off work and go home yet.

The thing about around the Square in Newcastle on a Tuesday night is they roll up those sidewalks between 5 and 6pm. There was no place for me to go and kill some time, especially with a frozen face and two brand new fillings. So, I stood around and waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . for 45-50 minutes until Stacy showed up. She thought some of the stores would still be open and I’d be shopping. I think she felt bad to see me standing there waiting.

But really, there was no need. I am such a good waiter! I can wait hours and not get the slightest bit impatient. If I had a comfortable seat and some refreshments I could probably wait days. I appreciate the time to think. I’m always writing in my head, working on characters, plots, and scenes for my fiction, wondering how things work and what things are for my non-fiction. So, I love to watch people and wonder about them.

Who they are? What their lives are like? Where they got that jacket? Is that hair colour a dye? Is he wearing a wig? What’s that car she’s driving? I imagine what their lives must be like, notice the way they walk, talk, laugh, flip their hair, or whatever. After observing lots of people and inventing lots of lives, eventually some of that trickles into my writing and I think helps me to create more realistic three-dimensional characters and stories.

And that’s why I’m good at waiting, because I don’t see it as a waste of my time when I should’ve been doing something else, but rather I see it as an opportunity to invest some time reconnecting with my spirit that I might not have had otherwise.

So, here’s my advice for the day . . . the next time you find yourself in a ‘beyond your control’ situation where you have to wait don’t get impatient and waste the time being angry and cursing the people who have done this to you, instead embrace that time, accept it, and use it to work out some things in your head if you need to, make plans, meditate, sing, get creative, or just enjoy the fact that you can stop and rest for a few minutes. There’ll be plenty of time later to worry about all the things you still have to do.

Being made to wait for an appointment, a ride to work, in a long check-out line, or whatever the case may be, is really a gift. It’s the universe’s way of saying slow down and take some time for you, don’t throw it away. The only way waiting is a waste of your time is if you choose to waste that time.

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