This morning, a three minute delay ballooned into an hour differential.
I’m glad you asked how that happened. Funny story. I was ready for work – my dress was on my body, my hair was done – freshly straightened in fact, my shoes were at the door, my bag was packed. I was ready to go. Then out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of my brooch in the mirror and I thought, ‘nah, I don’t want to wear this’ so I set about changing it. And then, just as I put on the new brooch and thought to admire my reflection, I heard a sound. It was the sound of rain. No, not rain, an abundance of rain. Believe me, it was an abundance. I have evidence – the electricity went out.
If you live in Lagos, you know that rain is not good. People don’t know how to drive in the rain. Really, they don’t know how to drive, period. So that means more traffic than usual. And if you know anything about Lagos, you know that ‘traffic’ is her middle name. But more importantly, my hair was freshly done. That might not mean anything for most people, but every woman of color knows that in every battle of freshly done hair and rain, rain has the upper hand. Rain may not win, but everyone else would know that hair was in an ugly fight. Okay. There’s a way out. I have an umbrella. But I can’t see the umbrella. Where’s the umbrella? The umbrella is in the car.
Long story short, I had to sit and wait for the rain to slow to a drizzle before I got out.
Now, here’s the thing. Remember when I caught a glimpse of my brooch in the mirror and didn’t like it? It wasn’t raining yet. It started raining after I picked out a new brooch and put it on. In that time, I would have made it to the car and been on my way. If I had been driving when the rain started, I’d have just had to engage the windshield wipers. I would have been fine. Someone else left the house when I was fussing over the brooch and was on the way before it started raining. The three minutes I spent updating my outfit cost me an hour.
I think life is similar. There’s a rhythm to life and in order to be successful, we must catch the rhythm and move with it. There was no weather warning – not because weather.com is broken, I just didn’t check – but the fussing wasn’t necessary. And it cost me something today. Thankfully, this situation is redeemable – the roads are not going to magically close and I will still make it to work, albeit later than I planned. But some opportunities are not so easily redeemed. You miss the window and it’s gone.
May we always recognize the rhythm and dance to it, have fun with it. And may it be that the windows we’ve missed are the ones that are like the chorus in the song that get replayed over and over so that we may catch the next play. And may we not fumble it when it cycles back.