I was afflicted with a severe strain of sore eyes and had to see my doctor a number of times. Seeing the doctor takes only several minutes, but waiting to see the doctor takes hours of our precious time. I often bring reading materials so as not to waste my time, but in one particular visit, my eyes easily got tired of reading and I decided to just observe how things were going on around me.
I noticed that people waiting at the clinic were in countless sitting positions, with no two positions alike. Most of them looked bored already. Some sat near the television set where waiting seemed easy since they could watch Eat Bulaga. Those far from the television set were staring at different directions. Some were observing passersby; others were looking at the ceiling. I surmised that most of them were thinking about the doctor’s diagnoses of their respective symptoms, how much money they would spend for medicine, or whether there would still be enough money left to buy the weekly grocery. Anyway, I also thought of these things.
Fortunate were those with cell phones. At least they could minimize boredom by exchanging text messages. A few were able to strike a friendly conversation with other bored patients. But sleepy heads couldn’t manage to even close their eyes because hyperactive children were making tantrums and maddening noises.
I looked at my watch and noticed the hours that elapsed. Time is so precious, but here at the clinic, people are killing time. I just thought that if people who were waiting – not only in clinics and hospitals but also in banks and government offices – would have the habit of bringing something to read or to work on while waiting, time will not be wasted. This applies to children as well. If only their mothers would bring some books or toys, the waiting game will not be a torture for them. In fact, it can be an excellent time for learning.
After long hours of waiting, seats at the clinic slowly cleared as patients were leaving one by one. When my name was called, I stopped writing. I put back my book, pen, and notebook in my bag. I too waited long, but I felt delighted to have spent my time in profitable musing. and fortunate enough to put them in paper and ink.