I hate waiting. There is very little I dislike more than waiting. So why is it such a big, important part of my life right now?
Today is the five-week anniversary of “the day I turned in my short story submission.” That means, today is the day of the posted average response time. I have waited patiently for five weeks. Isn’t that long enough?
Turns out, no. Maybe it is good – my story wasn’t thrown out immediately. Maybe it is bad, and my story hasn’t even been read yet. If 5 weeks is the average response time, by definition I could have another 5 weeks to go. How awful!
Work is a waiting game right now as well. Baby season is right around the corner. My coworkers and I spent all winter getting ready for “the season” to start, and now, we’re so close I can almost taste it! In a week and a half, we start “summer” hours. Our seasonal employees start work, and we bring back our third shift of summer volunteers.
We’re waiting for the first sign of the season – baby squirrels. And they are late! We already have cottontail rabbit babies, but they don’t really count. I’m waiting for squirrels. Because when the first squirrel babies come in, I’ll know spring is here.
It won’t be long before the best part of my job starts. Our center will be buried in dozens of baby squirrels, and before you know it, opossums and raccoons and deer and baby birds and seals and and and… And my long, long days will again be filled with activity. I’ll come home and pass out from the exhaustion. Instead of winter computer work, research, and cleaning, I’ll be feeding babies, helping volunteers, and running around like a complete nutcase. I can’t wait!
But I have to wait. It is a part of everyone’s life and everyone’s job. I need to make peace with it, because a great deal of the writer’s life that involves waiting. Wait to get feedback, wait to get rejected or accepted, wait to start a new story until the current one is complete – and that is only the start! I’ve heard stories about the hundreds of things you must wait for after you have a contract.
Maybe tomorrow will be the day the squirrels come. Maybe the next day I’ll get my rejection. In the meantime… I’ll be waiting.