I was running late when I pulled into the gas station. Heaving a sigh of relief, I noticed that the traffic was light and, with any luck, I would be on time for my appointment.
Tank filled, and minutes ticking away, my relief was short lived. In nothing flat, a long line of cars heading east materialized; consequently, making a left hand turn onto Main Road was near impossible. I muttered: “Timers!”
Momentarily forgetting the traffic and my tardiness, images of my dad floated pleasantly into my awareness. Dad was an upbeat, genuine, fun guy. He had a knack for bringing passion and joy into the most mundane things of life. Dad did seem unflappable, but one thing got his goat: Timers—his term for bad timing.
Dad and I shared similar philosophies—and, although I use his phrase “timers”, (perhaps it was ingrained in me), there is parting of the ways when it comes to the timing thing. I believe there is no such thing as bad or good timing; things happen solely for a reason.
Granted, the day-to-day calamities we all experience are maddening. But this is not the kind of timing I am debating.
For sure, I’ve had my share of memorable mishaps that got on my last nerve for instance:
– With a house full of company, the dishwasher gave up the ghost on Thanksgiving. Oy!
-Someone knocked against me at a party, spilling red wine on my new cream cashmere sweater.
-Missing a connecting flight is one of life’s major irritations. And, yes, in this circumstance, I often bellyache about “timers.”
– I was recently writing a proposal when the phone rang. When I reached over to answer it, I inadvertently hit the delete button. Poof! Hours of work gone. And to add to my misery, it was a wrong number!
We have all heard good timing statements like: He was at the right place at the right time; his pitch was timed perfectly; the job fell into her lap. Conversely, bad timing statements abound: He was at the wrong place at the wrong time; we tried to time the stock market and it tanked.
On a more serious note, my brother-in-law narrowly escaped the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center collapse. He missed his usual train and caught a later one. Good timing?
Yet, many of his coworkers perished. Bad timing? This viewpoint puzzles me.
Many of us have been in a relationship where the timing seemed off: Right person, wrong time or wrong person, right time. Instead of blaming timing, it’s more likely where we were in consciousness.
I’ve heard about folks, who many years later, hooked-up with their childhood sweethearts. There is a myriad of reasons why they didn’t hook- up the first time around. Some folks feel the timing was off; I believe that some things are just meant to be.
I had a conversation with a young friend who is in love with a lovely gal. He was obsessing about the right time to share his feelings. I suggested a “bottle of wine and thou” evening on the beach. Turns out the mosquitoes were so vicious that his plans were foiled— before he could pop the cork or the question. After the beach fiasco, he asked for more ideas. A romantic at heart, I gladly obliged. I counseled him to allow his feelings to surface, and when they did, to share them immediately—even if they were stopped at a red light.
Folks can become stuck in “never-ever land” when they will not move their feet. They are waiting for the right time to: have a baby, end a relationship, take a vacation, change jobs, buy a house, or like my young friend, simply to declare his love.
And let’s face it: Life’s major decisions are never easy. However, if we want something badly enough, it is not always prudent to wait until we think the timing is right.
Sometimes the time never arrives or slips silently away. Consequently, many dreams, ideas, and relationships become lost in Never-ever land. And trust me; I’ve resided in that dark place more times than I care to admit. But, then is then and it is now. After surviving a couple of volcanic eruptions that reduced my life to ashes, I learned to move my feet.
Human consciousness tends to focus on the fear of consequences—and I get it. When we are stuck in in the shilly- shally mindset of right time/wrong time, we become vulnerable to very thing we fear. Sure, thinking things through is prudent, but overthinking can keep us stuck. We can, however, nurture a new mindset: If it works out it’s wonderful. If it falls apart, it’s experience.
Many folks want more passion in their lives. (I hear this all the time.) Seek it out! And don’t let the word frighten you. According to tabloids or movies, passion means abandonment of reason, or a reckless pursuit of pleasure. Not true! Passion, in reality, is authentic living. And gals don’t wait for your knight in shining armor to deliver the goods; dig deep and unearth it yourself. Anything less, may find you serving time in a self-imposed prison of regret.
Marcus Aurelius, second century emperor writes: “Remember that life lies all within the present, as it were a hairs breath of time; as for the rest, the past is gone, and the future may never be. Short therefore is life and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein it dwells”. The last line of this quote touched the very essence of me.
Life is short, indeed. We are the authors of our own stories, and the final chapter is not yet written—and who’s to say it will not end well? Let’s take an ambitious leap of faith. I don’t know where we will land; but, I do know for certain, we will not be stuck in Never-ever-land.
Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in ‘retirement’ — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.
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