I’ve had an epiphany about an ongoing battle. The battle is between myself and myself and many times it leaves me 5 minutes late.
Okay, so I know and cop to the fact that this is can be inconsiderate. I so hate to waste time that I don’t want to spend a single second being early. Surely I can just check my email before I go…
I get that this translates “I would rather have someone wait for me than for me to wait for them.” Selfish! I truly try, though, to be exactly on time for those events where I would hold up the show, or be disrespectful and rude…like funerals, the theater, and walking with my friends. I struggle, though.
And then, “Aha!” As I am sweeping the kitchen floor in preparation for dinner guests I picture a clear and definitive connection between optimism and being late.
I’ll begin at the beginning. I wake up at 6 a.m. and stretch luxuriously. I have 12 hours to do my life, clean the house, and prepare dinner for six. I breathe out gratitude for leisure time in what might have been a hectic day. My house isn’t THAT bad.
I take my walk, I write, and I have coffee on the front porch with my husband. “Cool,” I think, as I pick up a few things around the house and set the table. I have timed things out: clean greens for the salad and chop smaller veges shortly after noon; quarter cherry tomatoes at 4:00 so that bruschetta could sit for at least an hour; do floors, clean the kitchen and wash my hair in time for it to dry.
I set out the wine glasses and napkins for the hors d’oeuvres and with the vacuum still in the middle of the floor, I recline on the couch to do a sudoku. After all, if there is extra time to be had, why wait until everything is finished? Why not have a few breaks in the day? That’s what makes it feel leisurely, after all.
Time is slipping away a bit when it hits me: it is optimism that makes me late. I never expect anything to go wrong.
Cases in point: I know exactly how long it takes to get to the YMCA, go to the toilet, weigh myself and get to class. I don’t anticipate a tractor in the road or a full parking lot. I know, too, that it take 3 minutes to arrive at my walking rendezvous unless there is a really long red light. I know that it takes 8 minutes to walk to the dentist. I don’t expect my friend to be in her front yard and visit with me as I am walking to an appointment. (Well, that isn’t “going wrong.)
But you get my point.
Do I want to give up my happy, positive disposition in order to be on time for EVERYTHING? No. I’m feeling pretty good about myself now.
Oops! There’s the phone. Oh well, I can talk while I open the wine. Surely my friends won’t be on time. They all know that I would rather they be 5 minutes late than 5 minutes early!