Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Timing Is Everything

I'm kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner. One of my favorite bands was in town over the weekend. Staind, along with some other bands, performed at a free concert on the Detroit waterfront on Sunday afternoon. We found out about it just before the concert started. Since we live about an hour from Detroit, there was no way we were going to be able to get there in time to park and get seated before they took the stage (it's an outdoor venue and you have to bring your own seats). I can console myself with the fact that it was only in the 40's on Sunday and the wind coming off the Detroit River probably held the windchill around 30. Still....Staind would have been worth risking a little frostbite. If we had know about it an hour earlier we would have gone.

It proves, once again, that timing can make all the difference. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Think about how many times you've passed an accident scene on the road and wondered what would have happened if you had left the house a minute earlier, or hadn't had to sit at a red light. Would you have been involved in the accident? On the flip side, have you ever missed a flight or stood in line for something only to find that they "just ran out" or sold the last one? Would a few minutes have made any difference?

Here's a good example of time being in our favor. Years ago my husband and I had dinner at a suburban neighborhood restaurant. It was early winter and it was cold when we walked out into the parking lot. As we approached our car, we noticed that there was a man asleep in the car parked next to ours. He had his window down and we were concerned that he might be sick or may have passed out. We were going to ask him if he was okay, but all of a sudden my husband whispered "Get in the car, now!". I was a little confused, but I got in our car and shut the door. "He's got a gun on his lap" he said.

We drove out of the parking lot and went to a convenience store to call the police from the pay phone (pre-cell phone era). We told them what we saw and then parked in a spot where we could watch for the squad cars to see what was going on. They surrounded his car, pointed their weapons at him and told him to get out with his hands on his head. He complied. They removed a shotgun from the front seat of his car after he got out. Then they opened the trunk and removed at least five or six more guns. It was surreal. What had he been planning and what would have happened if we had come out a few minutes later?

Time works against us, too, and sometimes it's more serious than a missed concert. A few years ago while we were on vacation, we were rear ended in our rental car while pulling out of a store parking lot. If we had pulled out a minute later or not stopped at the store in the first place, we may have avoided some minor injuries and the damper the whole situation put on our vacation.

I'm probably dating myself here, but do you remember the show 21 Jump Street? There was an episode where Tommy Hanson's (Johnny Depp) girlfriend is killed and he calculates that the murder took 3.3 seconds. He becomes obsessed with all the things you can do in that time. It may be a little over dramatic, but it does make you think.

You need to forward to about 6:00 to hear the things he can do in 3.3 seconds. If you want to see the whole episode, start here, it's in 3 parts.

Timing is everything. Change just a minute or two and your life could be completely different. Would you have met your spouse, followed the same career path, or moved to the same city? Maybe we should wish one another "good time" instead of "good luck". Okay, it sounds a little cheesy, but it's better than "May the force be with you"!


Purple Flowers said...

Hi - Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I love meeting people.
I was reading your story about the man with a gun like it was a movie. My goodness, I'm glad he was sleeping or passed out (probably the later)for everyone's sake, but especially yours and your husbands'. You were too close for comfort. Luckily, he was apprehended before any damage was done. Sometimes, I just don't get it.
I'm going to continue dropping by your blog, and you're more than welocme to stop by my blogsite.
Take Care.

PurpleHoodieChick said...

I told you, you could have made it atleast to the Staind portion of the concert! lol. Oh well, maybe they'll come back!

Heidi said...

I know about the timing thing. Today I went to the bathroom for less than 30 seconds and my son stuck a piece of raw carrot up his nose. If I would have went to the bathroom 1 minute later I would have saw what he was up to and stopped it and not had to pay the $25 co-pay to have it removed!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Yeah, timing/time really takes on a whole new meaning when you have kids...a few seconds can be all the difference in the world.

Lissaloo said...

That really gets you thinking. What a crazy/scary situation. I'm glad it ended ok. Sometimes it only takes a second for your life to change. :)

abby jenkins said...

When you see a fork in the road...grab a piece of cake!
Every choice we make is important, leading us down a new path. Happy Good Friday, make is a great one :)