|It's a big problem that often makes me feel very small.|
"I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"
The White Rabbit in Walt Disney’s 1951 animated film, “Alice In Wonderland,” had nothing on me. Some critics say he was normally punctual, and that’s why he was so upset, and that ultimately he arrived at his appointment on time to announce the king and queen. Unlike the rabbit, I’m rarely punctual, and probably would be late meeting the queen herself! Although I wouldn’t have to worry about her taking off my head, as the rabbit did, I’m sure some of my friends have wanted to do that for her at times.
Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, professional meeting, church or an interview, I rarely arrive on time. I don’t know why, except that I don’t like to be early and have to sit and wait. Never mind that I keep others waiting due to my being late. Country singer Lefty Frizzell had a hit with a song called, “Always Late,” referring to his girlfriend’s kisses. If I had a boyfriend, I’d probably be late with those too.
I used to be as much as half an hour late, but I have whittled that down to five or ten minutes. In fact, it’s almost always five or ten minutes. Why, I don’t know, nor do I know why I can’t shave off another five or ten minutes.
I have always been like this. As a teen, I would keep friends waiting in front of department stores or movie theaters. I’d be late for dates, keeping the guy waiting while I took the curlers out of my hair. In college, I was often late with term papers and other assignments, and that habit cost me grade points several times. You’d think once would have taught me a lesson, especially when an English professor said I would have gotten that rare “A” on a freshman term paper had I not turned it in two days late. Even today, I’m sometimes late with a writing assignment.
My husband used to say that I had no concept of time. I believe he was right. I’ve tried plotting my schedule, working backward from my appointment time. I’ll allow a certain amount of time to get there, which is almost always wrong, because no matter how many times I travel a route, I can’t recall exactly how long it takes. So I’ll plan to leave home at 9 a.m. That means I need to have my shower and start dressing at 8 or 8:15. So I need to eat breakfast at 7:30. It takes me several minutes to wake up, so I have to allow half an hour to drink my coffee. So, I’d need to get up round 7. Oops, almost forgot, I need to feed my horses, llamas, goat and barn cats, so let’s back that arise-and-shine time to 6:30.
Sounds like a good plan, right? Problem is, I can’t seem to stick to it. I’ll watch the morning news while drinking my coffee, then it’s 7:45. After my coffee, I have to have my morning date with the porcelain throne. I keep magazines in my throne room, so there goes another half hour. Then I rush out to feed my critters, rush back in to shower, and decide to check my email. Big mistake. Before I know it, I’ve spent an hour at the computer. And so it goes.
I have come to the conclusion that the primary culprits are procrastination, too much on my plate and the fact that I‘m easily distracted. But knowing the causes and effecting a cure are two different matters.
Enough about my tardiness. I’ve got to pick up my grandson in a couple of hours. I’m sure I won’t be late for that. All I have to do is finish this post, work out at the gym, come home and shower, dress and put on makeup, stop by Publix on the way....hmmm, I’m seeing a pattern here.