Friday, February 26, 2010

I'm Late, I'm Late

"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... 


  1. being early is less stressful and doing less.

  2. Oh, I do identify with both what you had to say --just doing one more thing quickly. Regarding the creative juices coming at odd times and not being able to quit on a project but just changing the font one more time or the picture would look better centered and the project that should have taken 15 minutes is suddenly at an hour.

    Still I am ususally not late if my hubby is also going to . . . well, wherever. My hubby needs or at least perceives the need to be everywhere early--before-the-doors-open-early. I on the other hand just like to be there on time. Another case in proof that opposites attract.

  3. Lin, You are totally right on that!

    Brenda, I was just thinking about your hubby being the kind of fella that needs to be 'before-the-door-is-open' kind of early.

    My parents were both like that, and my hubby, turns out, is the same. Hence, I am working on being more in keeping with his style (but I admit it takes effort for me)

    So, where did my 'later' genes come from, I wonder?????

  4. Wow, what a great post. How wonderful that you are really making an effort to place less stress on your hubby. I am a "just one more thing" person, too. And like you, I decided several years ago to try to get my act together. I have found, more often than not these days, that I am now waiting on my hubby. Hehe. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.



To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

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Brenda xo