I believe that in life and relationships, as in baseball, timing is everything. This is not a belief that I would hold up on a banner or proclaim from a rooftop – in fact, it is a belief that comes into play more often as a consolation for failure than as an explanation for success. This is most common in sports; athletes often cite poor timing when analyzing a loss, but rarely when discussing a victory. Timing, serendipitous or unfortunate, is often a key element in the plots of films and novels, yet it is usually tacitly acknowledged rather than explicitly named. That is possible precisely because the importance of timing is so widely understood and accepted that only implicit reference is required to appreciate its impact on the page or the screen.
The belief that timing can be the determining factor in all aspects of life has not helped me navigate through life more successfully, although it has enhanced my gratitude for those occasions when good timing has prevailed. A belief in the power of timing is not fatalistic – in fact, this belief encourages perseverance. I first met my husband as a naive nineteen year old college student when he, seven years my senior, had no patience for my teenage foibles. Ten years later, as a graduate student returning to the same university, we renewed our acquaintance and the timing was right – we’ve been married for more than twenty years now. I have found in my work as a speech pathologist that understanding the importance of timing allows me to continually seek solutions for my clients, because the technique that is not successful in one therapy session may permit a breakthrough in another.
Although I do not use poor timing as an excuse for failure (my own or those of others), it does provide some comfort to realize that, in some cases, no amount of diligence could have achieved the desired outcome, because the timing was not right.
Accepting the role that timing has played in many facets of my life has lessened recriminations and expanded my explorations of options – to be pursued when the time is right.
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