What Happens If You Wait?

Via Dee Greenberg
on May 10, 2012
get elephant's newsletter
Photo: Dee Greenberg

I’ve been jogging on this same path, in this same neighborhood for over two years now.

Let me explain.

In April 2010, I bought a townhouse in Delray Beach in a 55 plus community. Again, let me explain. Although technically I am 55 plus (chronologically speaking) I don’t look it, act it or feel it. I’m a yoga teacher, fitness freak, all around happy person. You get the idea.

To say I don’t fit in, in this neighborhood is putting it mildly.

So anyway, back to jogging. I run along a bike path (and I always run against the traffic as a matter of survival). Not to be mean or anything, but there are a lot of these white haired ladies (or bluish-white) who drive at about 90 mph and their cars are veering into the bike lane where I am running. It is pretty clear they do not even see me (which I find terrifying) up until they are about to run me over and then they swerve back onto the road.

This teaches me mindfulness.

I am always watching the oncoming traffic. I am especially on the look out for blue haired ladies who are barely tall enough to see over the dashboard and generally wearing the darkest, weirdest looking sunglasses, I’ve ever seen. These sunglasses are very popular down here. You know the kind that have corners that wrap around the sides of your head, but they are blocky looking—not like the suave kind of wraparounds that rock stars wear.

Well anyway, as if this was not infuriating enough, there has been something that infuriates me even more. The crosswalk! Yee-gadz this is so infuriating!

These white haired people (and I am including the men now too) do not stop for cross walks. That’s right. They could give a flying fig about pedestrians. They just speed right through the crosswalk wearing those dark, blocky looking sunglasses, as if they were blind!

Photo: Dee Greenberg

I’ve tested the theory out a few times to see if they would stop for me and they don’t! A very scary proposition, based on the fact that they are speeding. It seems I am taking my life in my hands every time I go out for a morning run. If I don’t get mowed down in the bike path, there’s still a good chance that I’ll get flattened while trying to cross at the cross walk.

But here is the worst part:

The city of Delray Beach has posted a “yield for pedestrians” sign at the crosswalk but get this—the freakin’ sign is facing in the wrong direction! That’s right, these geniuses that work for the city put the sign in backwards. The oncoming cars, the people who need to see the sign cannot see it. Therefore, they have every right to run me over!

So for the past two years, I have jogged this path approximately 302 times. And at the end of every run as I cross at the crosswalk, I have gazed at that backwards crosswalk sign and have made a mental note to send an email to the city of Delray Beach to have someone come out and turn the sign around. And I usually contemplate threatening them in my letter by saying: “Please turn the sign around soon before someone gets killed trying to cross the street!”

And for whatever reason, mainly laziness, I have neglected to contact the city and complain about the useless sign. I have allowed that backwards crosswalk sign to infuriate me beyond belief for the past 2 years.

Until today. That’s right. The sign no longer infuriates me. Today, as I began my morning run I noticed the sign had been turned around! “Oh my freakin’ God,” I thought to myself. “It’s a freakin’ miracle! And it only took the city two years!”

And then it hit me. In spite of the fact that I felt my rights as a taxpaying citizen were being violated by the wrongness of this sign, for two years I did nothing. I took absolutely no action. I blew it off entirely. I let it go. I didn’t make a stink. I sat on my hands. I was speechless for two whole years. And this is when I had the epiphany. Sometimes, if we wait long enough, things change. I’ll repeat that for emphasis, in case you didn’t get it the first time.

Sometimes, if we wait long enough, things change! In other words, contrary to popular belief, doing nothing sometimes pays off!

And so what does this have to do with relationships? Everything!

When was the last time you liked a guy (or a girl) and perhaps you started dating and things were good for awhile but then Mr. or Ms. Right stopped calling (and you had no idea why).

OK, well maybe you had some ideas why he or she stopped calling. But you couldn’t be sure. He clearly had intimacy issues. You knew that from the start. There was always the push-pull. Anytime you showed too much interest, he backed off.

He admitted he was struggling. His last relationship had left him deeply wounded. Seven years later he hadn’t yet picked up the pieces. His life was a mess in so many ways. There was some major instability there. Emotionally and physically he was a bit of a wreck.

But still you loved his boyish laughter, his creativity and that unstoppable sense of humor. You were hooked. (or so you thought).

However, in spite of the fact that your supposed heart throb had neglected to call you for six weeks straight—you decided to do nothing, to take absolutely no action, to blow it off entirely and let it go. You didn’t make a stink. You sat on your hands. You were speechless for six whole weeks and counting.

Alright, well what am I saying here? Is there a moral to this story?

Yes and no. I don’t really have an answer. Just a lot of questions.

But I do know there is a time to just back off and wait and see what happens. And as we deepen our yoga practice, this becomes easier and easier. We learn to play the waiting game. And we magically find out what happens if we wait.

If the City of Delray Beach can come out of their delirium after two years, I think anything is possible!


Like elephant love on Facebook.


Editor: Kate Bartolotta


About Dee Greenberg

Dee Greenberg is a freelance yoga instructor and spiritual warrior, residing six miles from the beach, in Delray Beach, Florida. Dee’s resume includes 13 plus years of teaching yoga, four years owning a yoga studio and 40+ years of personal yoga practice. Trained in both Kripalu and Prana Flow (Shiva Rea), Dee’s teaching style is a homogenous blend of both, with a strong sprinkling of intuitive spirituality thrown into the mix. She spends most of her free time drumming, dancing and pursuing various types of fitness, including running and lifting weights. To join Dee for Yoga Trance Dance in Delray Beach check her website. Add Dee as a friend on Facebook.


5 Responses to “What Happens If You Wait?”

  1. casbah3d says:

    Hey there… Waiting is not for me in some situations. As my soon to be X has tried to find his head from his @#$…. I will be no Penelope to her Odysseus. It is time for me to move on.

  2. yogaboca says:

    Casbah3d, yes! That was sort of the point of my ramble. By "waiting" I was really implying a lack of action and a letting go of attachment – not being invested in the outcome. Of course each situation is unique and there is no "one size fits all" formula when it comes to love.

    And by "waiting," yes I was trying to imply that we are not waiting expectantly. I suppose I really meant to say – just allow time to pass and do nothing or – – yes move on if that is appropriate. I think we are on the same page.

    I think in many relationships, if we are invested – – there might be a period of time when we wait – – and perhaps hope that the other person will come around to our way of seeing things. I think the "waiting"is the first step just before completely letting go.

    I know in my own case there has been a tendency to chase, or hold on, or literally clutch at something – – that really doesn't exist in the first place.

    I admire your mindfulness and the self talk . . . 🙂 It's all good.

  3. casbah3d says:

    Thanks so much for your mindful response and speedy!!
    Yes, I was there… holding on. I can't do that alone. I communicated that I will not be Penelope… and knit and unravel and knit and unravel. In reality he moved on… and I have let go, again, and again.
    Peace to us Dear One.

  4. yogaboca says:

    Casbah3d, thanks again for your reply. I like the metaphor – knit and unravel. A very familiar feeling.

    I firmly believe that it is never to late to embody an entirely new way to be in relationship.
    Just because we have a pattern of behavior does not mean we can't break out of that pattern
    and try a new way of being. Liberation is possible and yes it can be a very long, long process.

    I find the yoga practice (in my case) has helped me to detach to the point where I can actually watch myself
    closely and notice what presses my buttons and how I normally respond to pressed buttons.

    I'm experimenting with "not reacting" but simply observing. That's my process.

    I also understand in some situations clear action may be necessary!

    Peace to you too. 🙂