• Andrew Schwark

Waiting and Not Going Insane

Updated: Mar 10

I experience frequent periods of time that are “in-between moments.” It’s limbo, a holding pattern, or a waiting room for some event to take place. It’s the deep breath before taking the plunge into something new.


That’s where we are right now (Viktoriya and I). There’s all these pregnant questions (not her though), just waiting to give birth to some answer:


  • How will the adoption process go? Gotta wait until we’re in Russia.

  • Will I like Russia? Waiting for that too.

  • Am I able to move around and communicate in Russia? Waiting.


See what I mean? All this waiting is a real downer. It’s purgatory. To avoid insanity I’ve come up with a few things that I’d like to share with you.



First, don’t excessively plan.


Once I made plans for things that hadn’t happened yet. Then everything became recursive like a freaky hall of mirrors and I ended up with a plan where I planned to wait. Life also likes to completely ignore you on every level and hand you a metaphorical surprise unplanned baby (another pregnancy pun, ouch). That plan you had just got tossed like a dirty diaper (AHAHAHA). I’ll end on this: plan for what you can actually plan for and leave the rest alone.


Second, return to the present.


I don’t let the future crush the present with uncertainties. Colors and foods seem less vibrant and a lethargic monotony takes over. Instead I wake up and take notice of what’s around me. Those trees are cool. Oh, a volcano. That’s neat. Whatever it is, being more appreciative of life, tethers me to the present. And that’s where I belong. Smarter people than me call this being “attentive” or “mindful.”


Third, have a universal routine.


I travel more than is probably healthy. Here is a typical day for me:


I wake up in panicked confusion. Where are the covers? I roll over to find them, and fall on the floor because oh yeah, this isn’t actually my bed. After push-ups to work out my existential frustrations, I struggle to find enough soap in the shower. Breakfast is...a slightly over-ripe avocado, which wouldn’t be terrible if we hadn’t had the same thing for three days running. Wait, what time zone am I in? Missed that call. After cooking lunch I try developing at least one coherent idea. The end.


That story is exaggerated, but by sticking to a routine that works anywhere I can bear whatever the day throws at me. That includes: a morning workout that doesn’t need a gym. That’s it. No really, that one thing keeps me more balanced than anything else; I start every day the same and I eliminate stress in the process.


Let me boil all this down and finish:


  • Don’t excessively plan

  • Do look around and appreciate

  • Do have a simple, universal routine

I’m not guaranteeing overnight success, you might still go a little crazy, but it’ll help mitigate time spent pouting in your room. Best of luck fellow thumb twiddlers.


Cheers!

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