The act of standing by without acting as you anticipate a future event or time is waiting. Waiting can be agonizing, especially waiting for something vitally important, like election results — or your birthday.
The word waiting is a noun used for a kind of action that's characterized by inaction or delay: "Generations of waiting produced no change in a city's discriminatory policies, so citizens planned a protest march." It's also a useful adjective, for things like waiting rooms, waiting lists, and waiting periods. In the old days the word was also used for certain servants, lords or ladies "in waiting" who waited on their employers.