No whine before its time

12-26-2010

Last week I watched and photographed part of the full lunar eclipse. The eclipse started around 11:30 PM and lasted about 3 1/2 hours. The photo above was taken during the “totality” phase, when the moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow. The sun’s rays bend a little as they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, slightly illuminating the moon with a reddish tint. While a normal moon exposure is the same as midday sun (remember the “Sunny 16 Rule?”) this exposure was much lower, about 12 stops lower than daylight.

Occasionally a cloud bank would pass overhead, blocking out the view and giving no indication about how long it would obscure the eclipse. It was cold. And yet, I noticed an unusual “calm” as I watched and waited.

It was unusual that I felt so patient. In other situations, like stop-and-go traffic or standing in a long line at Costco, I would find myself getting antsy and gripe about the long wait. I would scan other lanes to see if they were moving faster and even take a chance and move over, usually to learn that there is no gain to be made. (“Price check on Register 4.”) But during the eclipse I noticed that I was content to wait patiently. This is kind of funny because there was nothing I could have done to make it move along faster! It was going to take as long as an eclipse takes. Period.

I was calm because I had no expectation that it could be different.

I need to apply this to other situations…like traffic, and grocery lines, and life in general. Some things will take as long as they take. No amount of griping or whining or lane-jumping will make a significant difference. And there is some research that suggests that lane-jumping actually slows down the traffic for everyone. I think I need to change my expectations about how long things (should) take.

My photo business will grow when it grows. My golf game will improve at its own pace…if at all. I will finish projects at the exact time they need to be finished.

Or as I used to say often to others….”let it go and let it grow.”

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