"I have noticed that people who are late
are often so much jollier than the
people who have to wait for them."
~ Lucas, Edward Verrell, 365 Days and One More
I don't know how many times I've felt like the White Rabbit, scurrying past because I was late getting somewhere again. I really hate being rushed and always in a hurry, but ever since I can remember, being late has been a bugbear for me. My family can attest to that... I was often the last one scooting into the family car when I was a kid.
Now it's my sweet and patient husband who's standing in the foyer as he waits for me. We used to have a little joke that we'd heard somewhere that he had to wait so long, he almost got the garage re-painted. Except one day when I commented about him having had to paint the garage, expecting his usual cheerful retort, I recognized the response was a lot less enthusiastic and cheerful.
That's when I realized I needed to do something about this. A few years earlier I had stopped to ask myself why I had such a habit, and I did make some small progress. I was interested to uncover two re-occurring patterns in my life. Here's what I discovered:
1. Just one more thing. For as long as I can remember, I've always squeezed in extra errands or tasks to do at the last minute. It wasn't urgent before, but suddenly I think I need to sort that pile on the side of my desk as I'm preparing for a trip or getting ready for a meeting. And, the unscheduled stop at the post office on my way, which I thought would only take a minute, took 20, and suddenly I’m behind schedule.
2. Creative impulses pop out at the oddest times. I’m not sure why, but I'd often find myself trying my latest card-making idea or wrapping that neat gift I found (but don’t need until next week) in the midst of drying my hair, ironing the top I need, and gathering what I need to take along.
Knowing I tend to work this way, I now try to plan 15 to 30 minutes extra, especially on those days when I really do need to be somewhere at a specific time. So, if I need to leave the house by 9:30 (and I mean I need to be in the car driving out the garage), then I tell myself that I need to be ready by 9:00. That way I still have some leeway for the last minute drink of water and stop at the bathroom, or to grab the library book I just remembered is due today...
It's making a difference. As I say, I'm not perfect at it, but I'm getting there. And the happy result is that my days feel less stressful, less hurry-hurry, and best of all, more enjoyable because I don't experience that feeling behind.
Enjoy your weekend...