NEW CASTLE —
What a difference one minute makes.
A measly 60 seconds can, and has, changed the outcome of many events in my life and the world alike. As the clock ticks off those minute fragments of time, an immense group of events have taken place that have a finite and sensitive dependence on other events.
Without getting too existential or diving into the theories of chaos and butterfly effects, I must relay a story to you of how the difference of one minute adversely affected my entire evening.
I sat straight up from a dead sleep with this undeniable feeling that something was not right. I immediately reached for my cell phone to check the time. As my mind and body began to come alive, I realized that my phone battery had been exhausted and thus caused my phone to shut down.
This, in turn, caused the alarm I had set on my phone not to sound. I quickly turned my attention to the analog clock on the wall and saw that I had overslept by 20 minutes. I am to get my daughter off the bus at my parents’ house each day at exactly 4 p.m., and here I sit at 3:56, more than two miles away at my own home.
I rushed to the car while tossing on my jacket and peeled out of the driveway, all while thinking there is no way I will make it in time, but I have to try.
I raced down my road and past the school within a matter of seconds. I had just crested the hill on my parents’ road when I saw the bright yellow bus at the other end of the road. My heart sunk at this site. I glanced down at the clock in my car. It read 4:01 in glowing red letters, as if to taunt me for my tardiness.
I attempted to follow the bus and get the driver's attention, but the several cars between me and the bus thwarted my good intentions. In defeat, I returned to the end of my parents’ driveway because I knew the bus makes a loop, and on its return to the school, comes back up their road.
I waited there for a half hour while my daughter got a tour of the countryside. Eventually, the bus came rolling up the road and began flashing its lights before coming to a stop at the end of the driveway.
I was finally able to retrieve my child after my one-minute misstep turned into a half hour of aggravation. This half-hour delay, bred from my 60 seconds of poor time management, pushed everything for our evening back. Our dinner was later, homework got rushed, and bath time followed by bedtime, came quicker than expected.
Now, my experience was surely not history-changing. Fate, karma, or some other unseen force had just caused me to be in a different place at a different time. My delay was not significant enough to alter future events of mankind, possibly avoiding or causing a completely new chain of events to occur ... or was it?