Timing is Everything

NL Oct 10 AE 400 Sometimes timing is everything. How many times do we receive corrections about timing in dance class? (“Faster!” “Slower!” “You’re behind the beat!”) At least a couple dozen times per class on a good day...

In my photo this month, I’m standing in the empty foyer of the Civic Opera House on Lyric Opera of Chicago's opening night, all dressed up for the performance of Macbeth I’d looked forward to from the moment I ordered season tickets, along with the gala after-party.

Why did I have the chance to enjoy that beautiful foyer without a crowd of other opera-goers? Well, after getting dressed and ready in plenty of time for this glamorous evening, I had been delayed by a car accident on Lake Shore Drive. Needless to say, the Lyric Opera doesn’t allow late seating.

In many situations, being just one minute late makes a big difference. It could mean negotiating a later flight or, in this case, watching the first act of a much-anticipated performance from the lobby TV. In these situations, just like in music or dance, timing is essential.

But, do we always have to be on time with actions, decisions and implementation of ideas and goals? What does timing really mean in our lives? As my Harvard professors always said, “It depends...” (By the end of the first week of classes we learned how to answer any of their questions with that same phrase!)

I believe that the universe conspires to time certain things in our lives to bring about the most harmonious and dynamic developments. Perhaps, sometimes, what seems like a missed opportunity could just be destiny giving us more time. Maybe a better opportunity is just around the corner.

In 2002, when I still lived in Michigan and Russian Pointe was only a few years old, I planned a move to Chicago for graduate school. A number of changes made me cancel those plans, which was disappointing at the time.

However, when I look back, I realize that nurturing my company would have been incredibly difficult to balance with graduate studies. (What was I thinking?) As it is, I did move to Chicago, but several years later, when Russian Pointe was stronger and the move would bring many benefits and improvements. Also, by the time I did attend graduate school, I had a wonderful, experienced staff to take care of business in the weeks I was away from the office. I believe now that I was destined to be here in Chicago, but that destiny held me back until the timing was right.

There are so many times in our lives when we have to seize an opportunity before it passes us by. Still, there are other situations when it’s better to take some time, to wait until “the stars are aligned” before making a change or starting something new.

Plus, don’t forget that sometimes missing what we were aiming for leads to a totally different opportunity. After all, much as I regretted missing the first act of the opera, it was a rare treat to sip pink champagne in that gorgeous setting!