Who likes waiting? I don’t. Waiting is hard. And yet, there is so much waiting to do in life. I overheard two ten-year-olds recently:

“I’ve been to Disneyland before,” the first said.

“I haven’t. What’s it like?”

“It’s fun, but you spend most of the time waiting in lines. The lines are so long.”

Even in Disneyland there is a lot of waiting. I guess it is inescapable.

Recently, I’ve been looking back on the year and seeing how much I’ve grown. It’s nice to see that there is improvement. Day-to-day, that’s hard to see.

Waiting for visible improvement is hard. If I lost a few pounds every time I exercised, it would be a lot easier to keep up. A month of exercise without any improvement at all, on the other hand, makes patience difficult. (And exercising is much less fun than drawing or painting. This is probably why this is such a difficult habit for me to keep. Maybe if I could keep it up long enough for me to be a little better at it, I’d enjoy it more…)

A speaker at church on Sunday reminded us that we learn a lot faster with formal education. I went home and started researching art schools and programs once again. I looked at the cost and sighed and closed the windows in my browser.

Learning on my own is more difficult, and takes longer. But, I do improve. I am getting better. I just need to be patient and keep it up. Waiting is hard. It’s a good thing that art is fun. (Most of the time…)

If waiting isn’t much fun, how do we develop patience? Looking back and seeing progress helps. Remembering why I’m doing this helps. Promising myself specific rewards helps. Feeling accountable in some way helps. (For example, not wanting to miss a day in your sketchbook or on your blog, or having someone you draw with or share pictures with regularly. Finding a mentor to check in with is good too.)

I often remind myself that if I wasn’t doing any art at all, I would miss it. Time would pass either way, and not doing any art wouldn’t bring me any closer to my goals. And those times when everything goes right somehow and something I did leaves me asking, “I made that?” That’s probably the most motivating of all. It’s worth the wait.

Do you enjoy waiting? Do you have any tips for making waiting fun or at least a little easier?

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