Waiting

Had to wait today and yesterday, not for anything very pleasurable or unique. It was a wait for an orthopaedic doctor at a hospital. No, I am not disclosing where, because that for now, is irrelevant.

I often prize myself for being patient most times. Wiling away time at airports and doctor offices, twiddling my thumbs when waiting for visitors and officials, and waiting for my children to return from their occasional get togethers, is my forte.  Although the last one has often made me somewhat nervous, I think I have been quite cool and collected in these situations. Is that because I am inherently lazy and lackadaisical, and lack a sense of urgency? No, no. Not at all! I always bring something useful and of personal interest to me to do, as I wait. Like right now, as I wait for the ortho surgeon, I opted to pen down my thoughts on ‘waiting’ and philosophize on the art and science of waiting.

What is this phenomenon called ‘waiting’? To me, it seems to be the art of postponing the here and now, the urgent, the immediate, and the art of exercising one’s patience, fortitude, and positivity to think kindly of what is to come. Anticipation of the outcome of the’ wait’ has to be a measured response to the Tick Tock of your particular timer, whether the latter is on your wrist on a watch or on a fit bit, on your smart or un-smart phone, or on the wall in the path of your vision. A number of emotional variables are at play here. The more one has to wait, one must be able to attribute the delay to extraneous factors rather than to carelessness or letharginess of the person or thing you are waiting for.

It all boils down to your understanding of the extenuating conditions of the thing or person responsible for the thing you are waiting for.  You may wait for your printer to start, your flight to arrive, your doctor to show up after their rounds, your spouse to finally be ready, or for your fracture to start healing (grrr)!

Emotional intelligence! Yes, understanding of your emotional state and monitoring it, and understanding the emotions and circumstances of others, is crucial. You need to be able to empathize with the situations and internal dispositions of others, and thus, use all this to be good at maintaining relationships.

So, who are the ones that find it tough to wait? Personality type A, for sure. Folks that have a Type A personality have this keen sense of time urgency, are very particular about getting things done on time and tend to get somewhat angry, impatient and hostile with people who don’t do things right and on time. ‘Waiting’ is absolutely not in the preferred vocabulary of type A individuals.  Words and expressions such as ‘hang fire’ , ‘mark time’ , ‘kill time’ , ‘cool one’s heels’, and the like are not favored by any means.  No wonder some folks get explosive of they are asked to wait.

All in all, however, depending on where you reside, you get used to the ways of the surroundings. Highly productive cultures and high performance establishments cannot afford to sit quietly waiting for things to happen. Individuals there have to be proactive and go-getters. They do not thrive if asked to linger and delay. On the other hand, those who can master the art of patience and can relax and tarry while the world tries to figure out what needs to go on next, thrive in conditions where people are laid back and calm.

It’s all a matter of wait and see, I suppose! Normally, I ‘enjoy’ waiting because it gives me a chance to get away from the rat race of doing this and that and keeping scores on time, and rushing hither and thither. I get immense pleasure of just winding down and being creative any time I have to wait. Previously, I used to take my work like my marking, my laptop, my lesson plans or a text book and kill the wait time that way. Now, I take a book to read, a note book to write my thoughts in, or my smart phone to call people and be creative with relationships. As I said elsewhere, it’s good to be able to adjust one’s expectations and go with the flow. To wait and how to wait. Not, to wait or not to wait!

For the first time

Yes, it was the first time.  The first time in many respects. It was the first time that I turned (?) years old (not disclosing) and closer to that date, I proclaimed to my kids that for another 10 years, I want to do things I have never done before.  Things I probably would not have even thought of doing many years ago.  Time flies when you are having fun, right?  And time has flown for me, slogging with work, burning the midnight oil, and caring, loving, scolding, cooking for, yelling at, but definitely cherishing all these times I spent with my kids.  Hence I wished to kick it up a notch and collect some exhilarating memories as I grow wiser.

So, to come to the ‘firsts’. I do have a list of ideas in my bucket, of which some were conceived by my daughter.  So, I went for an exciting photo-shoot, to visiting a couple of clubs in the city, to having massage from a professional well-trained masseur, which were all fun firsts and arranged by my illustrious daughter. Then, was the highlight of falling to a fracture of the mid-shaft of the fifth metatarsal on my right foot with displacement of about 3 mm! If that is not the most paradoxical first, even though it is not exactly pleasurable, then I don’t know what is!   Aside from setting me back a few months already and not wanting to budge from it’s very stubborn state of non-healing, my fracture is quite painless.  That makes it that much more odd!  I just wanted to get this out there so that you don’t start feeling toooo sorry for me.

Yes, it is painless.  It did not swell up like a ball that others have complained about their fractures, neither does it nor did it pain.  So, is it really a fracture?  This is what others have asked me.  Yes, four X-rays in a span of 2 months have confirmed the broken state.  3 mm displacement- you got that, right?

Anyway, because of it, I had been mostly house bound in Calgary for two months after the fracture day, other than the occasional outing for a doctor’s appointment or restaurant for dinner or coffee.  The third appointment with the hospital surgeon was a disaster just as the previous two times had been.  In the second appointment I was told to refrain from using my crutches– as if that was easy to do.  You see, because I was hopping all around the house making my tea and toasting a slice of bread and getting peanut butter to spread on toast and then stretching my hardest to sit down comfortably, and so on, I was actually burning a lot of calories and was very proud of the fact that I was losing weight.  But I paid heed to the advice of my surgeon. In the third appointment, since I had no pain, I was urged to wean away from the Aircast within a week. There was no evidence of even the start of healing, hence no soft callous and consequently not even the hint of hard callous forming. My foot was a little swollen but had come some ways from blue black bruising to weakening of that color.   I was asked to return in 7 weeks because the healing had not budged.  We were buying time…. But what the jeepers! Almost 2 months more of waiting?

This was it!  I knew it was time to let my wings get me to India; I could not wait any longer.  So, I booked my flights and decided that it was time to hop in the car and drive somewhere even with my fractured foot to do some last minute shopping.  Now, that was first too with a fractured foot, for me at any rate!

At the Vancouver airport, I had the utmost fun and glee riding on a wheel chair and then an airport buggy (like a golf cart). That was a first too.  Sitting with a friendly driver of this cart, Michael, with a couple at the back, off we went speeding through the lanes of Vancouver airport to my gate to get me to Hong Kong.  The little girl in me popped out as I sat in excitement devouring the scenes of the airport.  At Hong Kong airport, I was shown into a wheel chair and the friendly Lam took me to gate 503.  I even took pictures of these two happy people.

There’s quite a lot to be said about sitting in a wheel chair and everything being taken care of.  I was in and out of lines in a jiffy, security check was taken care of partially by the wheel chair attendants, and I was among the first to board and about the last to deplane. Anyone seeing me with the austere cast made way for me, asked if they can accompany me to wherever I had ventured to walk up to, or asked if they could get something for me.

But I have one thing to say.  I had to swallow an ego-reducing pill to be able to do this.  My children had severely instructed me not to be foolhardy to try to walk and carry my bags on my own, but to take help in the airport and aircraft as needed.  The second point I want to make is stemming from what I have heard about wheelchair access.  I am appalled that some people may be just lazy and thus ask to be wheeled between gates at an airport. I had taken my hospital reports with me in case authorities at the departing airport wanted to see evidence of my fracture and need for a wheel chair!  Needless to say, that was not needed.

Well, I should end here on some of my firsts in the past few months.  Enjoy!

Perhaps you can write about your firsts and start posting on your blogs…. Cheers!

-Jagjit

Been a long time again

To the blogsite and my reader friends-

Wish you a very happy new year and I really mean ‘happy’.  Its not just a cliche.

Phew! Its been a long time, but I am back!

I think I got too busy and engrossed in things (work mostly :)), then just fell off the wagon, and struggled a bit to stand up, straighten myself, and run along the tracks to get on to the sturdy train. It happens; what d’ ya say?

So, much has happened since I posted my last blog.  From big set backs to some small ones derailed me.  I was devoid of time and inspiration to blog for more than a year.  I have taken a U-turn now and will post some of my thoughts and experiences in recent months.

Much has transpired in the world – from Canadian elections with young Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister, US elections with Donald Trump waiting to take on Presidency, to demonetization in India by Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi, to climate calamities and war disasters around the world, and more.  We take everything in our stride with smiles or frowns and move on.  Some of us do nothing while others become activists…We go through hard times but bounce back; there IS no other way.  Many rejoice…. there is much to be thankful about; yes?

Nevertheless, life is beautiful.  It is a pleasure and gratifying to be alive and kicking.  With that in mind and spirit, I welcome you all!