Miraculous Coalescence of Ability, Circumstances, and Fate

There’s got to be a better term than the title of the post. Perhaps the German’s have a word for it. And I’m sure you all know it well: that ill-defined point in the future where your ability, your circumstances and a healthy dose of luck will conspire to enable you to complete something to a previously unachieved standard. Consider the student who believes that this time their revision, ability and luck of the exam questions will result in A-grades instead of C-grades. Consider the academic who believes that this next vacation (and aided by an appropriate productivity hashtag on twitter) will result in all of those partially conceived manuscripts lining themselves up and exiting stage left into the editors’ submission box. Consider Del-Boy Trotter standing by Rodney…this time next year we’ll be millionaires.

Unfortunately January and February are the collision of realism with dark skies for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, and compounded by assessment periods in many institutions.  The brutal truth is that these miraculous periods rarely appear and we general get or do what we always got or did. It’s often made worse by the notion that as tasks get progressively harder and we find ourselves working longer/harder/smarter, that’s often only to stand still, or worse only lose a little ground. I’m sure we’ve all shared that feeling of indignation and disappointment that comes when we feel we’ve worked harder/better/longer than ever before only to achieve roughly what we’ve always achieved. As we’re now in the summer period, this is just as relevant, except with fewer clothes, beaches and ice cream. How many of us think ‘this will be the summer of doing all the things’?


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