I spend a lot of my time waiting. I wait in lobbies to have meetings with customers and prospects. I wait in line to pay for my purchases. I wait in my seat for shows to begin. I wait in my chair for my wife to get ready to go. I spend a lot of time waiting.
Waiting really used to bug me. It doesn’t any more.
I used to stew about all of the things I could be getting done instead of sitting or standing around waiting. I’ve learned to enjoy the opportunity for a brief break in my usually hectic day. Now, instead of agitating myself into a frenzy with the things I could be doing, I actively participate in waiting. I’ve become a mindful waiter.
The idea behind mindfulness is to be fully present in what you’re doing. I do it with my waiting. I take in my surroundings. I wonder what others who are waiting with me are doing to fill the time. Most, I notice, are fuming about waiting like I used to do.
Not any more. I watch the people. I engage the few who haven’t gotten overly anxious about their wait or their work. Eventually, the wait ends or I decide that it’s been long enough. In any case, I leave feeling better than when the wait started.