Its all about TIMING
Not too long ago, my pastor gave everyone a little paper star on a string. Each star had a word on it. Mine was ‘timing’. Since then, I have thought of that star over and over again nearly every day.
I met the love of my life on a dating app almost two years ago. Before that I’d had one serious relationship that in the end just never ‘fit’ me. With my wife it was instant - over the two weeks of chatting through text, I just knew. We’ve been married for seven months now. It wasn’t something I could have rushed. It wasn’t something I could of forced. Had I met her two years before, or even earlier, I don’t know if who I was then would have matched with who she was. It was all about the timing.
In the previous blog post, I talked about Del’s story. Five years ago Del tore his suspensory ligament, which is a very important ligament in a horse’s leg that supports the fetlock joint and prevents hyperextension. Rehabing him at the time was nothing short of nightmarish. I was working full time and I was also in college full time. The vet had given us a strict regimen of tasks that needed to be carried out everyday. The barn we were at wasn’t set up to fulfill our needs, so I moved him to a smaller facility closer to my house. While he rehabed, the lady who owned this new barn offered to let me ‘play’ with another horse who was a percheron/thoroughbred just like Del. His name was Gandalf. Gandalf knew next to nothing. He’d had a saddle on. He’d had someone sit on him. Other than that, completely blank slate. Over the course of Del’s rehab I put more time in Gandalf. Even after Del was back in the riding game, I continued working with Gandalf. After I graduated with my first associates degree Gandalf was gifted to me. Del retired permanently and unexpectedly six months later due to being bone to bone in both of his knees. But, there was Gandalf who had unexpectedly fallen into my life right when he was needed. Once again, it had come down to timing. (In November, I’ll have been working with Gandalf for five years. He’s been a learning curve from the start but now has shown potential to be a mid-upper level horse)
Publishing Between Worlds was the biggest example of timing. The covid-19 pandemic has been nothing short of inconvenient to many, possibly most people. I didn’t work for seven months. But one thing I did do - I was able to finish the final draft and self publish. I had the time I needed, however unconventional. After ten years I finally did something I’d only dreamed of ever doing. Now I’m a third of the way through book two - and flailing around, if I’m being honest, purely because I never thought I’d actually get this far.
Timing is something that I know a lot of people - including myself - struggle with. It is so hard to be patient. It is so hard to accept that where you are right now is not a bad place to be. Over the weekend I went to a riding clinic - for non-horse people, this is where a group of people get together and pay someone much more skilled than they are to teach them for two or three days, and its honestly one of the most fun things to do - and I learned a lot. Not just about riding. Each of us was at a completely different level. One woman had a young horse just starting out, while one was working with an upper level horse doing things many of us were just dreaming of. Most of us were somewhere in the middle. Of course the conversations always come up of ‘I should be here, I wish I was here, I feel so stuck’ and I said some of these things too. My initial thought before going into the ring to introduce myself to the instructor (because I am an anxious person and I must talk myself through what I am going to say many times over before I can actually say it) and one thought that I always think is I am sorry I am not further along, I know we should be and now I stop myself. I don’t have to apologize for where I am in life because this is where I am. This is the horse I have today. This is the book I have written. And that’s okay.
Recently a quote came to me and its one that I am fully committed to living now - Fall in love with the process, and the results will come. In much of life we focus on ‘getting there’, on achieving this one goal we think will make everything perfect. ‘If I could just find the person I am meant to love for the rest of my life’, ‘if I could just find my dream job’, ‘if I could just retire and do all the things I’ve always wanted to do’… but we get so lost in getting there that we completely forget to enjoy the journey, to savor the little moments that build up to those goals. Before we know it we’re all in our 90s in a nursing home looking back. If working with older people has taught me anything its that you remember the little moments, the important moments, more than you remember all the goals you set out for yourself. We get so lost in dreaming of the future we forget to exist and enjoy the now. That's why, I think, time seems to pass so quickly.
I could go on and on about this, for much longer than a blog post, but I won’t. I only wanted to reflect on not only the incredible weekend I just had, and remind myself that I have no reason to apologize for where I’m at in life. Timing is such a huge factor in existence. Things find you when you need to be found, not the other way around.
Something any good jumping instructor will tell you, when learning to jump a horse properly, that you cannot rush yourself to the fence. You do your best to set up for success - aim yourself straight, keep a consistent rhythm - and you wait. You wait for the jump to come to you so that when you reach the take off point, the sweet spot, you clear the jump safely and correctly. You are rewarded with that incredible feeling of being in sync with the horse, with the world around you, and in that moment is the ultimate feeling of peace.
It is all about timing.