The Trouble With Time.

"You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again."– Benjamin Franklin

You know how people are always waiting for the time to be right? A lot of people (I include myself in this generalization) spend a lot of time just waiting for the time to be right. To have a family. Go [back] to school. Quit a job. Follow our hearts. Travel. Say I love you. We have all kinds of pat sayings to justify our actions, or perhaps more frequently, our inactions. We excuse ourselves from the table of our lives by passing the responsibility for our choices over to Time. That’s a lot of power to hand over to an inanimate entity, a dimension that eludes tangible definition.

IMG_0948It strikes me that waiting for the time to be right is, for lack of a better description, a complete waste of time. Time doesn’t make things happen: We do. At least, we do when we decide to treat time like the priceless and irreplaceable commodity that it is. You can’t get exchanges or refunds on how you use your time.

Waiting for the right time to do something probably means you’ll wait forever. And I hate to sound morbid, but when it comes to time, forever isn’t actually available to you (unless you know something I don't, in which case, please call me). We’ve got a fairly finite amount of time, really, and we don’t know where the Fates have snipped our strings.

So, waiting for things to tell us when to do other things is an awfully big gamble, in my humble opinion.

How many times have I heard people, myself included, say they are waiting for the time to be right? How would we know if the time was right to do something? I’m curious, because I’ve been waiting an awfully long time for the time to be just right for a lot of things and I have yet to see a sign signalling my grand go-ahead. I don’t think Time sends email reminders. You don’t get a memo and most of us can’t read tea leaves.

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I will say that waiting for the sign from above (or heck, even a street sign) indicating that the time for change has come has certainly heightened my perception, but only when it comes to finding evidence of why not to do things. Call me Sherlock. When it comes to finding proof of why I should stay put, I’m a pretty seasoned and skillful sleuth. I think a lot of people share that distinction. I, for one, am ready for a change.

I’ve only really heard people talk about the timing being just right when they are looking backwards. When they’ve already made a decision or a change. In retrospect. Hindsight. Otherwise, we’re like Goldilocks seeking the perfect porridge, waiting and hoping to be ready to fly when the time is just right.

Here's the thing: Time’s just time. It’s neither right nor wrong. We make it that way, though, by waiting and holding off with bated breath. We judge our futures by the effects of our pasts, at the expense of the present. The one and only part of time we can really affect with our choices, and we let our fears lay it to waste, turning the present (and ostensibly our futures, too) into the past without actually using it.

Now, I’m not saying patience isn’t a virtue, because of course it is, but at the same time, God helps those who help themselves, as the saying goes. Sure, you might need to wait in line at the grocery store or wait for your turn at the waterslides (please, it's the polite thing to do), but when it comes to what you want to do with your life, you get to choose when to proceed.

It’s your time. It’s your move.

What can you do today that you've been waiting for the right time to do?