If there is an award out there for having the worst timing of all the people, I’m in the running. Strike that. Maybe top five percent. May as well be the top five in something, right?
Wrong. Having bad timing is the worst. I’ve written about this before, but the frequency with which my timing has proved bad is mind-boggling, you guys. Seriously. My mind is boggling. It’s so… boggly.
Because I am a stay-at-home mom, the cosmos considers me to be more flexible than an obstetrician on Christmas Day or a plumber on Sunday morning, and I regularly find myself being interrupted at the most inopportune times by everything that I don’t plan to do.
That's what I tell myself, anyway.
Occasionally, I will waste an entire day away doing nothing – we’re talking TV and YouTube and reading magazines between naps level of nothing here – and the minute I step into the shower, fetch the mail, or decide that now would be a good time to use the bathroom, the phone rings, the only time all day. And there are two children and another adult in the house and all these people are yelling to me that the phone is ringing, and there I am considering if I should shave something or stretch it another day, the only person including my neighbors within 50 yards unable to answer the phone.
I shut my eyes against the indignity of knowing that the person on the other line just clearly heard me yell DON’T COME IN I’M NAKED because here is my son standing in the doorway with the phone in his hand. It could be my mother, my doctor, my pastor. None of whom need to know my current state of undress.
Writing ideas only come to me when I’ve got dinner going and my husband’s coming home, and he knows I’ve sat at the computer today since 9 am doing who-knows-what, he doesn’t ask, bless his heart. What I know is that he is most certainly not going to be happy-facing it if I write before and after dinner and during our quality
family time all evening and well past bedtime , when all the magic happens. “Bad timing, honey,” he would never say,
because he rarely says anything mean on purpose.
When I was in graduate school I prided myself on managing my time efficiently so that I worked/attended classes during a ten-hour day five days a week, leaving my weekends free so that I could smugly visit my boyfriend in a city five hours away, while my colleagues were reading journals, grading papers, and cramming for tests on the weekends because they spent all their daylight hours reading bridal magazines or playing Sims on the computer.
Today that boyfriend’s the one getting annoyed at me for writing in the evening when I had all day to do it. Yet even back then I had students at my office door after hours or when I was in the bathroom in a semi-emergency situation.
Today, in middle-adulthood, my timing is getting worse by the day. I’m still caught in the bathroom during important times, still missing the well-timed good times because inspiration hits me at the wrong times.
Can good timing be taught? I don’t know. But if it can be, sign me up.
Though I’m sure I missed the deadline. I was probably in the bathroom.