The other day I took a train ride into the city. I was on my way to a meeting when our train met with a half-hour delay. I was fine, continuing to read on my tablet, but I noticed the other passengers were not. They began to fidget. Yes, fidget. If you had to wait for anything for a long period, you’d know what I mean.
As strange a topic as this is, I want to talk about the all-important fidget. I do it, and I’m sure you do it, too. What would Freedom Friday be like if I didn’t write about off-the-wall issues that affects everyone?
Back to my train story. We were already traveling for an hour when the announcement came that we needed to divert from our track in order to avoid a derailment that had taken place in the early morning hours.
That’s when the first wave began.
Not necessarily in this order, but it started with one of the passengers sitting and looking out the window of our coach, drumming his fingers on his leg. He was not listening to music. Within minutes, I peered over my reader and saw another passenger checking the time on her device. It continued. Another was tapping his feet while another kept squirming in her seat.
Between watching others yawn, scratch, and stretch, I was getting a kick from noting how quickly people get restless when their patience leaves them.
Here’s the dictionary definition of a fidget according to Google:
Verb: make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience
“The audience had begun to fidget on their chairs”
Noun: a quick, small movement, typically a repeated one, caused by nervousness or impatience
“He disturbed other people with convulsive fidgets.”
I fidget. I do. When I’m waiting in line and the person in front of me has completed their business but instead of leaving stays and exchanges pleasantries—you best be sure I’m fidgeting. I suppose I do it because if I have errands to finish I don’t want to wait in line listening to folks chat about their new color nail polish. That happened. I also don’t want to hear about the sad state of traffic while driving to the store. I know it was bad. Had it been light, I wouldn’t have had to wait behind a long line at checkout. That happened, too.
This is random—I wonder what constitutes a fidget. I mean, is it the nervous facial tick one expresses when someone is driving them crazy? Is it the shaking of the leg under the table when a guy sees a pretty girl who he wants to ask out? Is it the wringing of the hands from a girl ready to punch a guy for making a pass at her?
Not all fidgets are bad. Nope. For instance, did you know therapists train ADHD patients coping skills that involve fidgeting? You heard me right. As a means to remain focused, ADHD patients take to tapping, chewing gum and even listening to music. Their concentration increases and they overcome the need to keep moving. How great is that?
Well, I’m not a psychologist, by any means. Perhaps fidgeting is the body’s way of coping in tight situations. Or maybe it’s just a way for us to serve each other a quick ticket to the insane asylum. Whatever it is, I find it fascinating to watch the effects of the almighty fidget when a person’s expectations implode after a minor delay.
I’m going to go stand in line now. I may find something else as mundane as a fidget to write about.
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Have you noticed what prompts your fidgets?