Some people have great timing. Whether it is good luck or good planning or a bit of both, it seems like for some people, everything in their lives falls into place with seamless timing. They are always in the right place at the right time.
I am not one of those people.
Time management has never been one of my strong points. I can never really get my timing right.
As a perennially disorganised person, I always strive to be on time for appointments and meet-ups. This anxious effort to be punctual almost always means I misjudge departure and journey times, and arrive significantly earlier than necessary. When I was flat-hunting in London, I spent many a bleak hour wandering about on cold nights in unfamiliar areas, fingers and toes numb, as I waited for my allotted viewing time to arrive.
I’m no stranger to the tyranny of last-minute living: getting the worst seats at shows or missing out entirely because of waiting too long to book tickets, or failing to apply for jobs in time because I spent too long on a stupid cover letter. During my uni years, no matter how hard I worked on researching, planning and drafting essays in the weeks leading up to a deadline, I would still always find myself toiling away in the wee small hours on the final copy, desperate to form the disjointed ramblings into a coherent whole. I developed a love-hate relationship with deadlines, hating the unbearable stress they caused, loving the way my best writing would develop in those final fraught hours.
Even when I plan, my timing tends to be off. When I moved to London, I planned my arrival for early spring, imagining temperate weather and a gentle introduction to life in Britain. Instead, I arrived amidst snowfall at the tail end of a long and bitter winter, and could barely feel my face for the first few weeks. And I skilfully managed to plan my dreaded departure for the day before a dear friend finally moved there.
As I get a little bit older I also feel like there just isn’t enough time, and what little time there is ebbs away much too quickly. My nephews and niece are growing up too fast, birthdays arrive in a flash, milestones pass unexpectedly quickly.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of worrying that I’m falling too far behind in achieving the normal attributes of adulthood: buying a home, establishing a successful career, finding someone to share my life with.
But there’s a lot to be said for slowing down, and just taking time. Time to appreciate the little things, time to enjoy what I have and where I am now.
Life is short, but there’s little joy in rushing. Besides, quirks of timing lead to the unexpected opportunities and chance encounters that make life fun.
I’ll keep ambling along at my own disjointed pace, and maybe one day, everything will fall into perfect synch.
Or maybe it won’t.
Maybe that’s okay.
(Photo by Sonja Langford)