Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

How Is Your Timing?

Rich Kelly, a wonderful man, good friend for years and an inadvertent philosopher, commented ruefully the other day, “If my timing was only ten percent better my life would be completely different.”  Rich, that was profound and has kept me thinking about the idea ever since!

Rich is well-respected and has achieved a great deal in his life, so I know he has been in the right place at the right time on many occasions. However, there have almost certainly been situations when things would have turned out much differently if his timing about a decision or an action had been even slightly different. What about you?

In 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow starred in a romantic comedy-drama called, Sliding Doors. We see two versions of her life simultaneously. In one she catches the subway and goes home and in the other the subway doors slide shut just before she can get to them, so she has to wait for the next train. It’s a very interesting movie, (although more likely to appeal to women than to men).

What aspects of your life were the result of arriving or leaving just when you did? What might have been different if you had done one thing instead of another? Have you ever made a decision that seemed insignificant at the time but proved to be colossal in its results? 

Several come to mind for me:

*Buying the Rocky Mountain News to look for a used sewing machine and seeing a classified ad that said, “Denver Police Department now hiring policewomen.”

*Walking down a hallway and meeting someone who later came to know someone who knew someone who knew someone else who became a much-needed resource.

*Calling a high school friend on a whim, which resulted in a newspaper story and unexpected contacts that enriched my life tremendously.

Most of the results of timing in our lives are never known–we simply live with them. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to track back and consider pivotal moments, especially when you realize one of them could happen today.

June 18th, 2011 Posted by | Life and Work | 8 comments


  1. Hi Tina! In 1998 I left my watch at home and had to turn around and go back to get it before I went to work at Target. The phone rang just as I was leaving again and I thought about letting it ring but I turned around and started up the garage steps, tripped and fell. I thought I broke my ankle (turned out to be a torn ligament.) My sister called 911 (which I DIDN’T want her to do) and the EMTs came out. I wouldn’t go to the hospital but I talked to them about their work while they checked me out and it sounded a lot more interesting than Target. I decided to become a 911 dispatcher and on my first day at work I met Denise and we were married in 2002. Timing. 🙂

    Comment by Mike | June 19, 2011

  2. I’ve had many sliding doors in my life and as I look back I can picture God’s hand pushing them shut or holding them open and saying, “I have something planned for you, Don.”

    We refer to our timing and God smiles.

    Blessings on you this week, Tina. You’re in our prayers as you travel. Our clan will meet in August. How about a visit to the Seattle area? DR

    Comment by Don R. | June 19, 2011

  3. Tina, I’ve heard about Mike leaving his watch at home, etc. a bunch of times and I never get tired of hearing it! I tell him we ought to thank his sister and the first responders every year. I loved this post because it’s so real about life!!

    Comment by denisek | June 19, 2011

  4. I once was bored at a party and left early, which wasn’t like me. I saw a car drive up and park but I kept going and didn’t pay attention to it. The young man in the car was just out of the military and was meeting friends. He also met one of my friends there and they were later married. From the time she introduced me to him until now, I wish I had met him first…and that happened in August of 1951. You’re the first to hear the story, but I’ve always thought about the timing of that night.

    Comment by Stardust | June 20, 2011

  5. Good thoughts. I have several timing stories and I agree with your friend that they have made a big difference in my life. I think about the misses more than the hits, because I guess we always wonder what might have been instead of appreciating what turned out good.

    Comment by R.D.R. | June 20, 2011

  6. Everything is a set of circumstances that if any one component changed, it all would. If anything about the people we know changed, our lives might change too. It can give you a headache to think about it. And if you get a headache and don’t go to work you might not get the phone call, etc…..

    Comment by Mr.B. | June 20, 2011

  7. Tina says: Great comments from all of you. I have to write a special note to Stardust: WOW! What a story about timing. And since I know who you are, it’s particularly fascinating! We’ll talk about it soon!

    Comment by TLR | June 20, 2011

  8. Tina says: This post stirred a lot of thoughts for readers! I received more emails than usual–funny, sad, poignant, dramatic. I appreciated all of them.

    One younger adult who is just getting started with his life and career wrote, “What this did was remind me that nothing happens without having an effect on my life, so I should be careful about how I spend my time and who I spend it with.”

    I’d say he’s going to do well if he keeps that in mind!

    Comment by TLR | June 26, 2011

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