As I sit here writing, I am squirming with internal angst.  You might say I’m in a bad mood.  A funk, perhaps.  Whatever you call it, it’s not pretty.  It’s ugly.

What’s going on?  I’m waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Wait-ING.

We signed a lease back in February for our new store.  We were full of hope and sweet optimism, geared up and ready to get down to the work of transitioning into our new space.  Heck, we even had a detailed timeline mapped out.  Oh, sweet naiveté.

I love Fort Worth with all my heart, but right now our fair city is making a mockery of our precious timeline, and in my head it sounds something like this: “Oh, silly small business owner, did you really think permitting would move according to your schedule?  Aren’t you cute!” 

The plans for our new store have disappeared into the abyss that is the city permitting department, never to be heard from again, or at least not in a timely enough manner for yours truly.  Our plans are somewhere, I’m told, “in process.”  I picture them tied up in red tape, maybe even trapped under a huge stack of papers, trying to cry for help: “Approve me!  Approve me!”

As if the unknown nature of the permitting department wasn’t enough, and just to add a bit of extra fun to the mix, there is absolutely nothing I nor anyone else can do to speed up the approval process.  

And so, I wait.

The really disappointing part is we have now crossed over the threshold of reaching our desired opening date and have had to kiss that dream goodbye.  Now, we are up against a deadline with our current lease, wondering if we are going to be forced to start paying for a space before we even occupy it.  

So what are my options?

The way I see it, there are two choices.  I can choose to continue in my current pathetic pattern (throwing a not-so-quiet tantrum each time I have to shimmy around the teetering tower of boxes in our garage full of supplies and equipment for the store, trying to reach the paper towels, wishing I was actually able to use the items inside the boxes instead of reaching around them), or I can choose to believe that waiting, like most hard things, can bring with it treasures and gifts not found in any other setting. 

For example, patience.  Can we all agree patience is a virtue?  I want to be patient.  Truly.  What I don’t want to do is have to be in situations that force me to be patient.  No one minds being patient when the line at the grocery store is short or when the reply to a request comes quickly.  But throw me into something that challenges my patience (say, for example, a government office controlling my ability to move forward on my business’s desired move-in date), and suddenly I have the patience of a two-year-old.  At best.

The virtues I want to posses, including patience, seem to require me to walk through circumstances I would rather avoid.  So, I get to choose.  I can choose for waiting to be a breeding ground for anger, cynicism, and bitterness.  Or, I can choose for this season of waiting to become a practice ring for patience, contentment, gratitude, trust, and long-suffering.  I am, in truth, the only one that can make this choice.  No one else can learn these lessons for me.  

This isn’t me telling you how it’s done.  This is me telling you I am miffed that I’m not getting what I want when I want it, yet trying my best to embrace this difficult process with honesty and grit.  

The bottom line?

I had hoped by now to be announcing an opening date.

I had hoped by now to be nearing the end of construction.

I had hoped by now to be showing you sneak peak photos of the space.

But instead, I am busy working on some weak spots in my character, which isn’t near as excitingas setting up a store and certainly doesn’t get as many Instagram likes.  

In the mean time, if you or someone you know works in the permitting department for the city of Fort Worth, would you be a lamb and tell them there are some very important plans that require immediate attention?

I’ll be waiting.