The anguish of waiting
I am, by nature, enormously impatient.
I always stop the microwave with two seconds left. I just cannot wait for those two beats before devouring my warmed food.
I often shoot off a text—or worse, an email—too early, not having the patience to give it a quick glance before pressing send. I cannot stand when people walk slowly on the sidewalk, ambling along and enjoying the view, when I want to speed-walk down the road to get to my, usually not urgent, destination.
My biggest test of patience, however, has been the last several months. My husband and I are trying to have our second child.
With my first pregnancy, I was immensely lucky. I know that. We got pregnant on the first try, I had a healthy, dare I say even semi-enjoyable, pregnancy, and, despite an unplanned c-section, a fairly routine delivery. Postpartum, I thanked the universe every single day for that.
This time around, it hasn’t been so easy. And my impatience mounts, manifests into stress, causing me to snap at my good-natured husband. Every month when I get my period, the day becomes bleak.
Then there’s the people, the usually well-meaning friends, family members, even strangers, who need to constantly ask, “When are you having another?”
“He needs a sibling,” they say. “You need a girl.”
On my good days, I manage a cheeky answer and a subject-change, often followed by a swig of rosé. On my not-so-understanding days, I fume to my husband, muttering that I should have replied, “And you need to get a new job/lose weight/fix your own life.”
As anyone who has experienced just how trying trying (for anything) can be knows, I’ve had lows. I’ll probably continue to have them. I’ve burst into tears in the middle of a restaurant at dinner with my husband when we broached the topic. My heavy pour of rosé became unappetizingly mixed with my salty tears (I still managed to drain the glass). My eyes are becoming watery just writing that sentence.
But one day, as my often-stubborn three-year-old was being extra cute, I had an epiphany: Why am I busy wanting something more and not being happy with what I do have? A tenacious, smart, healthy child who is funny like his dad and extra curious like me. My impatience for something more is taking away from my enjoyment of this moment in time.
It’s teaching me, slowly, to be more patient. With myself and with the process. It will happen. If not, I’m already fortunate beyond measure. This isn’t something that is always helpful to repeat to myself, but most days I find myself gravitating back toward this gratitude.
And today, when warming up my tea for the third time because it had gotten cold again, I let the microwave beep. Twice.
AVANI NADKARNI is a former journalist, a mother of one, and constantly trying to remember to copyedit her text messages.