No Time To Be On Time

If you’re on time, you’re late.

I say this often, and I really do believe it, but I just have so much trouble with it!

For many years of my life I was an extremely punctual person. Early to everything. The first one at a party or a meeting.

Then a few years ago all of that changed and now, suddenly, I’m THAT person – the one trying not to make a bunch of noise as I sneak into the meeting that has already started, only to find that all of the seats near the door are taken so I have to walk all the way around and disrupt everyone as I find a spot to sit.

Around the time I started having punctuality problems, we had recently adopted a dog so I blamed it on him for a while. He is a lot of dog. There are definitely times that one or more of my dogs have been uncooperative as I tried to get out the door. Like, they could have sniffed the entire yard all day, but now that I’m trying to get them inside so I can leave, it’s a whole new world out there and it all must be explored.

It was unfair of me to blame the dog for all of my shortcomings and although he won’t read this: I am sorry, buddy. It’s all me.

I just get wrapped up in “let me do one more thing before I leave,” and that turns into another thing and another thing and then I’m scrambling to rush out the door. Or, just as I’m getting ready to leave I remember some thing I was supposed to find and bring wherever I’m going.

Okay, sometimes that thing is my laptop, which I should have put by the door but I left it in my office.

And the best one is forgetting my car is on 1/8 of a tank of gas.

The last time I took the Metro-North to Manhattan, I got a parking ticket. How did I get a parking ticket? Because I was running late (surprise!) and parked in the pay by plate spaces, not realizing they were only available at certain times of day. My train was at 10:02 a.m. and pay by plate didn’t open until 10. I was standing at the pay station at 9:55 a.m. with the choice to miss my train or leave the car where it was and make the train.

I made the train and came back to a ticket.

Every once in a while I make it out of the house at the time I hope to. But now it happens so rarely, when I’m sitting in my car realizing that I was able to get out of the house at a reasonable time, a moment of panic sets in and I think I must have forgotten to do something, because how can I possibly be on time?

And those are the days when everything lines up, I don’t hit traffic and I don’t need to circle around eight times for a parking space. That is the story of how I was almost an hour early for a job interview last year.

The reality is that I just have to own it. I’m late to a lot of things. I’d like to think I can change but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I have a reason for every tardiness and sometimes that reason is that I was talking to my husband or petting one of our dogs.

Choices, people. Choices.

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