It could be argued that life is more about the time spent waiting for something to happen than it is about something happening. What this means is that the big events in our lives are preceded by many days and nights of dreaming, planning, organizing, and waiting. The times of waiting in between the big events actually constitute the majority of our lives. These in-between times are anything but uneventful. In fact, they are rich with possibility and filled with opportunities for reflection and preparation. Like a pregnant woman awaiting the birth of her child, we have a finite period of time in which to prepare internally and externally for the upcoming event that will define a new chapter in our lives.
When we find ourselves in an in-between time, we often can’t help but feel impatient for the impending event. We just want to get to the future and have the new baby, the new job, or the new house. And yet, there is a reason a pregnancy takes nine months to fulfill itself. Nature provides the expectant parents with this time so that they can prepare the nest. This preparation plays out on many levels. Materially, a space must be created in the home and resources must be set aside for the baby’s future; psychologically, a shift must occur in which the psyches of both parents agree to be responsible for a new life in the world; and emotionally, the heart must open wider to embrace and fulfill a new love.
Whenever you find yourself in such a time of waiting, you might want to spend time exploring your material, psychological, and emotional readiness. For example, if you are preparing to move to a new city, you could make a list of things you’d like to do in the city you will be leaving behind, and go to your favorite places and spend time with old friends. This way, you will remain fully engaged in the present as you await your future, savoring the in-between time as a vital experience in itself.