Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: I Can't Make it On Time

This opinion piece was in our local paper yesterday.  It really resonated with me.  Maybe too much.

I'm also a late person.  I hate to think of myself that way- people are usually quietly exasperated with the late people in their lives.  We're rude, clueless, disorganized.  Not terribly flattering.  'I'm fashionably late!' I'll grin at my husband.  I'll get a head shake in response.  As if he's never late of his own accord.  I'm so sure that it's always my fault.

I used to blame my kids.  Of course I'd be on time if I didn't have to get them dressed, or fed, or just plain nag them to get out the door.  The problem is, before I had kids, I used to get to work late.  In my defense, the start time at our office was pretty loose.  As long as you kept appointments, made it to our Tuesday morning staff meetings, and got all of your work done, chances are not too many people would notice if you weren't there at 9 sharp.  There were several of us who made sure we were there before 9:30.  It was totally fine.

Both of my parents are always punctual.  My mother actually prefers to be early.  Sometimes I wonder if my perpetual lateness is some kind of subconscious reaction to being raised by people who are never, ever late.  More likely though, I'm just easily distracted.  Like the author, if you tell me that you're running late, I might not watch a movie, but it's very, very likely that I will answer a few emails.  Or read a 'quick' article online.

Maybe I'm just a poor judge of time.  Or rather, a poor judge of real time.  I know that it takes me about fifteen minutes to get downtown on a Sunday afternoon.  But what about on a Thursday at rush hour?  What if I have to stop for gas?  What happens when I have to park far away from the venue and don't factor in walking time?  Why do these things seem to make me so, so late?  I never think anything ever needs more than a five minute cushion.  When will I ever learn?

Or maybe I won't.  I think it's time that I just own it.  This is who I am.  I like the author's ideas that us perpetually late people are optimists.  That we're gracious and happy.  I'm sure that these are the exact reasons why the early people in our lives keep us around.

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