The other day I brought my car in to have the tires changed. As I was sitting in the waiting room a man who had been there for awhile came in and said out loud “If you added up all the time you spent waiting in life I wonder how much it would be”. He wasn’t talking to me, he was just announcing it to the room. He was clearly irritated and impatiently pacing.
I went back to reading the book that I brought in anticipation of having to “wait”. It was an interesting comment and it made me start thinking. I don’t think I spend much time waiting for anything. When I go to give blood or have an appointment or have to bring my car in I bring a book or make calls or use the time to sort through emails. I have a lot of things to do and pacing around the room “waiting” isn’t one of them.
It’s all about perspective. This man considered this time wasted. He knew he had this appointment and in preparation did nothing but think about the time he would be waiting. He didn’t think about what he could do in that time to better spend it. If asked, he would probably tell you that he doesn’t have enough time to read a book or that he never has enough time to get through his emails.
I have committed to reading 30 minutes per day so I saw this appointment as an opportunity to get my daily reading in. I think we could do this more in life, take situations that we perceive as negative and see how we can benefit from them or use them in a positive way. I am going to be mindful of this and when something negative or inconvenient comes up, see if I can spin it into something positive.
Not only was I productive during this time, while the man “waiting” wasn’t. I left happy and accomplished and he left agitated and in a negative mindset.