I think I had one of Oprah's 'Aha' moments this morning regarding my tendency to be late.
[I can sense my dear friends breathing a sigh of relief as they read these words in hopes that it will someday (Please, Lord!) get better. Believe me, I do too!]
When I was doing my journal work last week as to why I run late to EVERYTHING, I really thought that it was other people's fault. Every account that I could think of was because of something that came up just as I was walking out the door or someone giving me the wrong information. It couldn't possibly be MY fault.
Even when I leave in PLENTY of time, something happens. Just last Friday, I was meeting friends for dinner 15 minutes from the office. I left 30 minutes before I was supposed to be there. (I was REALLY, REALLY trying to break this 'late habit'.) Wouldn't you know it? A wreck on the bridge at Hwy. 6 and I-10. Traffic halted for 5 minutes and crawled for another 5. That's okay, still time to spare, right?
Yeah, except I had forgotten my cell phone at home that morning (now on my 'Morning Routine' list) and I couldn't remember EXACTLY where the restaurant was located. I try punching it into my GPS, but it was trying to send me to Kemah. (Uhhh, NOT 15 minutes away! More like an hour and 15 minutes!)
So there I was, no cell phone to call anyone; no GPS map to follow and I can't remember my exit. I look and I look and I vaguely remember what the exit looks like...but it is not where I think it is. I go two more exits and take the u-turn. No restaurant!
I retrace my steps but go two more exits further this time. Wouldn't you know the restaurant was one exit past where I exited the first time? I could have been on time at least. But no, I am waiting in heavy traffic at the worst light in the area...and I now walk in 10 minutes late!
So...I kind of blamed my lateness on the traffic and the lack of my cell phone. But it couldn't be MY fault. Right?
Then comes Sunday morning. I am meeting Meagan for church. I tell her the night before that if it is storming (as was predicted) I wouldn't make it. I wake early and it is pouring...so I fall back asleep...and it stops. I wake up an hour before I am to meet her (30 -35 minutes away from home). I send her a text to let her know that I will not make it, but I intend to make it for the second service.
She agrees to meet me there. (She offered; I didn't ask.) I get ready, head out the door and...I can't find my truck keys. Where are my truck keys? Five minutes later, I grab my car keys and head out. My car's service engine light is on and the emergency brake light will not go off even though I have tried several times to release it.
Do I go back home? Do I try to make it and hope my brakes don't catch on fire? What do I do?
I persevere into town. I get to the church ten minutes after I agree to meet her. Services start in five minutes, but I don't know where to go. Where is the sanctuary? I park in a near empty part of the lot. I see couples coming out of the building in front of me with kids in tow. Must be the children's building, right? I walk to the back of the property (which is under construction) and notice that even more kids are headed toward me than with me. I finally see a sign. The sanctuary is ten yards from where I parked!
I barely slide into the seat before service starts.
Here's the thing. No one lost my keys. (They were in my purse - hidden under the junk. And you can be sure that I cleaned out my purse that afternoon!) No one messed up my car. (I guess it was just too cold because the parking brake light was not on when I came out of church and it was not grabbing...just the light was on.) No one asked me to do anything before I left. (I was the only one up in the whole house.) There was no traffic. I knew how to get to the church. (Just not where to go when I got there!)
It was ME! All by myself! No one else to blame, but Me, Myself and I.
But I still didn't understand why. I hated being late. I hated feeling rushed. I hated everything about it. Yet here I was, late, AGAIN!
Then this morning, (You have been so patient to read this far for the 'Aha'!), I needed to drive Will to school. He and a few of his buddies are entered in a Chili Cook-Off at school. He had the table, the drinks, and the poster so there was no way he could carry all of that on the bus. I woke up earlier than normal so that I could still take care of MOST of my Morning Routine. I showered the night before so that all I would have to do is roll my hair and get dressed. My clothes and shoes were laid out as part of my Nightly Routine.
I had my Quiet time; folded a load of clothes; brought Jim his coffee and went into the bathroom to get dressed. I noticed that I had 15 minutes until time to leave. I flipped on the timer of my iPhone. (It was preset to 15 minutes because I use it for my "15 minute project" each evening.) I thought I had plenty of time.
I rolled my hair and clicked the timer open. Really? It took me 5 minutes just to roll my hair? I brushed my teeth and put on my make-up. Another 7 minutes? I took the rollers out. 2 more minutes? When the timer went off I was brushing my hair and hadn't even started getting dressed! Five more minutes to get out of my bedroom door.
It took me 20 minutes just to dress! No shower. No hair drying. No searching for anything. No distractions. 20 minutes! That is the LEAST amount of time I need to get out of my bathroom, much less my house!
I think I have just been without a hard and fast schedule for so long that I no longer realize how much time it actually takes me to do something. "AHA!"
Maybe it is time to set a stopwatch and find out my realistic schedule.
And I definitely need to use Mapquest more often when I am not ABSOLUTELY SURE of where I am going. (Like today, when I meet Lea Ann for lunch!)
We were about 5 minutes late arriving at school. Thankfully the boys had decided to meet there earlier than needed to have time to store all their things before classes started.
Do you struggle with being late? What have you tried to help eliminate 'habitual tardiness'?
2 years ago