Good morning, you fabulous creature! How’s your bank holiday weekend treating you so far?
Today I’d like to talk to you about something that I think worries all of us: timing. It’s the secret of good comedy, good cooking and a happy social life, and sometimes it completely eludes us.
It might surprise you to learn that I very much enjoy the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, even though Keira Knightley features quite heavily in it. (My only explanation for this anomaly is that she spends most of the film being slapped by pirates or made to walk the plank, so maybe that’s why I’m ok with it.) Anyway, despite being pretty infuriating, Jack Sparrow is an incredibly compelling character – which is probably helped by the fact that he’s portrayed by the wonderful Johnny Depp – who came out with a line that I think we could all learn from: “Wait for the opportune moment.”
I think that a lot of us live in fear of timing things badly. We hate to miss out on anything, and the idea of a lost opportunity is horrifying. In many cases we are just plain impatient. Friends as young as twenty-two talk to me about not wanting to have regrets on their death bed, which is understandable (if a little morbid at their age). That’s why we sometimes stay out longer than we mean to, or go to that party that we know we won’t enjoy. It’s why we apply for all kinds of jobs, regardless of whether they’re the right ones, and why we travel all over the world. We want to know everything, see everything and miss out on nothing. That’s a lot to ask of ourselves.
Of course we should take opportunities, but I think that we should take them out of joy and optimism rather than fear of regret. Grabbing everything that comes your way can be incredibly rewarding, but it might not leave you much time to stop and appreciate where you are.
We don’t have to do everything right now. We don’t have to achieve all of our life goals right this second, and we don’t need to have done everything we ever wanted to do by the end of the week. Watch this – Bill Bailey knows what I’m talking about.
Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely think that you should pursue your passion, go to the places you’re curious about and live life to the full, but don’t worry so much. What’s the point of rushing around taking all of life’s chances if you’re not stopping to enjoy them?
Take it from someone who has a history of rushing into doing and saying things at the wrong moment: you’ve got time. Wait for the opportune moment. If you think you’ve missed one, don’t panic. There will be another one along very soon.
Have a brilliant Saturday! Maybe treat yourself to the posh coffee today. Why not? You deserve it.