World in Crisis
My New Sister


I am bad at waiting. I always have been. When I think of all the time I have spent waiting—in airports, in doctors' offices, for a bus.—it adds up to a not insignificant percentage of my life, especially when I add the time I spend on the phone, waiting for someone to answer my call that they say is important to them. I hate it when the medical assistant says, Dr. So and So will be with you in a moment. There I sit, freezing (why are physicians examining rooms always freezing?) as the minutes add up, imagining all kinds of life-threatening diseases that are about to be diagnosed. Is my doctor's time worth more than mine? I guess somebody thinks so.

Once I waited in the emergency room of our local hospital because a friend of my son Jeremy ran over Jeremy's foot (that is the wheel of his car ran over Jeremy's foot) by driving off while Jeremy's foot was still on the street and the rest of him was in the car. There was a big hole through his foot. Now that was a stressful wait.

Anyhow, I have developed some waiting strategies. I try to make medical appointments the first thing in the morning. I try to always carry a newspaper, a book or a pad of paper. But even when I am well-prepared, I eventually get frustrated and can think only of the things I could be doing with this precious time.

This is a woman who needs to learn to relax you must be thinking.

You're right.


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