The Waiting Place

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! – Dr. Seuss

When I finished college, I was fortunate to have a job lined up. My introduction to adult life provided the chance to teach and coach students.  As the years progressed, administrative doors opened allowing me to make a career out of education.

There is much to love about education.  Investing in students’ lives can be exhausting, but it’s incredibly rewarding.

Last year, after more than a decade of working in schools, I felt it was time to explore a change of pace.  It wasn’t that I’d lost my passion, but there were other itches I wanted to scratch.  So, I stepped away from education to try my hand at something new.  What I’ve learned since then has been an education in and of itself.

In the freelance world, there are times when things make perfect sense.  Times when work is steady, and future projects are within sight.  But there are other times when work is harder to come by.  When this happens, bills seem to conspire against you, and the waters appear awfully murky.

Dr. Seuss called this The Waiting Place.  No one relishes being in The Waiting Place.  Like the waiting room in a dentist’s office, people can’t get out soon enough.  It’s like getting a tooth pulled before you actually go in to have your tooth pulled.

Americans are good at being busy.  I know from experience.

When you’re busy, it’s easy to mask the unsightly.

hoodie-man-phone-1500x1000What’s hard is a calendar that’s wide open.  Only then are you faced with the reality of quiet and slow.  And when you find yourself in this Waiting Place, you can choose to fight it or you can choose to embrace it.

Fighting just causes fatigue and irritability.  When you embrace The Waiting Place, meaningful growth can occur.

Although I’m not a perfect example of remaining teachable though this season, I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned.  Were it not for the reduced pace, I’m not sure I would have the same perspective as I now do.

The Waiting Place hasn’t been fun every step of the way, but much like a difficult subject in school, there’s often a correlation between level of difficulty and sense of accomplishment.  And for this reason, I’m altogether grateful.

Follow Tim on Twitter @Tim_G_Holland and

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