RT @CharlieDaniels: Being late is your way of telling somebody their time is not worth as much as your's
My nephew re-tweeted this months ago and it bugs me. (And not just because of that extra apostrophe. What is that?)
Mostly I hate thinking that punctual people are thinking this about me. I try to be on time. I really do. I do not succeed. I can never decide if this failing is:
- worth doing something about.
- within my power to change.
Here are some reasons for this.
- Kids. I remember going to Anna's first doctor's appointment (late) and thinking "Surely they build in extra time for baby's first appointment. Could they possibly expect anyone to get to the baby's VERY FIRST APPOINTMENT on time? I suppose, though, if I had a better handle on time, I would start getting everyone ready sooner, and then maybe we would be on time to things. It's not all their fault, but they do make it harder.
- Orientation in Space and Time. I don't orient myself well. I don't know where I am in a town, or in a building, or how much time has passed. I don't mean for this to be an excuse, it just seems to me to be a part of my brain. I am good with languages and words. I am not good with spatial concepts. I do not know if that spaghetti will fit into that tupperware. Just because something is harder, doesn't mean I don't need to figure out how to do it, but maybe I just want punctual people to know that it doesn't come naturally, knowing how much time something will take or how much time has passed, and I don't mean it as an insult.
- Fitting in too much. I was thinking of this yesterday, as I tried to get to my doctor's appointment on time. The kiddos were already at the farm, so I had no kid excuse. I was ready, and I thought "It takes 20 minutes to get to town, so I need to leave at 9:40. At 9:36 I was in the kitchen, ready. I thought "I can unload the dishwasher!" I did that, and it was 9:39. I thought "I can reload the dishwasher!" (Only breakfast dishes). Then it was 9:40 and I left the house feeling all happy and proud. But then it was 10:03 when I got to the doctor's office and I felt completely confused. How could this possibly have gone wrong? Are punctual people just better at leaving a cushion? I always want to fill the cushion with activity, so that I don't waste any time. Is the key to being punctual not caring about wasting time?
- Time is flexible. In my mind, "around 3" means "hopefully the clock will still say 3, or at least before 4:30". I think that punctual people have an entirely different idea of time. For example, I have learned that when my friend Sara says that they will be here around 3, she could actually mean 2:45! It's stunning. I am completely in awe of that. And that's after a long long drive. It just seems absolutely out of the realm of possibility.