the waiting game at nautilus teachings

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we sit
and we wait…
in doctor’s offices
check out lines
at traffic lights
at the deli counter
or the ATM…
we watch
as people
sing along to music
talk on their phones
check emails
filling up every moment
of their life
with busy…
unending lists
too many
activities
long work hours
cramming
36 hours of play
into each 24 hour
weekend day…
then one day
as we begin to age
we notice
them-
the “old folks”
and elderly
who walk slowly
some with canes
others in walkers
still more in wheelchairs
they gather in grocery stores
and churches
having long conversations
about nothing really
just glad to see
someone their own age…
we walk past them
avoid them
maybe even think
they are in our way,
but there they are
and one day
we too
may be lucky enough
to be one of them
but right now
we feel impatient
like no-one is listening,
as if the whole world
is against us
and we can’t do anything right…

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the car breaks down
the AC goes out
we hate our job
even food
doesn’t taste as good…
it’s then
at this very moment
we see her
sitting patiently
smiling
waiting on????
nothing…
just for life to pass by
for the next meal
to be served
another bathroom break
or for a loved one
to visit…
she has already
moved on
from the rush rush rush
of what was her life,
to silence…
sure she wishes
she could walk again
pull up her own pants
just stand
all on her own
but she has accepted age…
so she reads
watches tv
does crosswords
chats with the other residents
jokes with the nurses
but inside her head
she is young,
running
walking
baking
dancing
loving…
she snoozes
on and off all day long
she waits
she prays
she asks God to let her die…
not wanting to be a burden
upon her family
financially, physically
or emotionally…
electronics are foreign
to most of the elderly
they have no idea
what online shopping is
let alone an email
facetime
facebook
or dating websites…
most can’t focus long enough
to even play a game any more…

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each day as we rush
from one place to the next
checking our to do lists
knowing it’s impossible to
get it all done
while our laundry sits
beckoning for a quick wash
the dogs have their legs crossed
because they need to go out
dinner will be leftovers
and how are we going to
squeeze in time
for the gym
let alone
their yearly doctor
and dentist visits…
she watches them
from afar
marveling at their youth
energy, stamina
organizations skills
and as they zip in and out
nearly tripping over
their own self
she giggles
rolls her eyes
and says,
“hey, i love you…”
at that moment they stop
sit down
kiss her cheek
hold her hand
and whisper
“i love you too,
more than you
will ever know…”
it’s time
it’s just really time
for each one of us
to love ourselves
by giving ourself
the gift of stillness…
10 minutes a day
be alone
quiet
no electronics
just be
amazing you…
because one day soon
they will be looking at you
sitting alone
book in hand
waiting for your next meal,
diaper change
and for one person
to stop what they’re doing
and come visit you
for just 10 minutes
of their life…

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