I have struggled with being late my entire life! I thought I was doing better, but then it happened again this last weekend. Ugh!
For those of you who don’t have a problem in this area, please keep reading, because maybe you’ll come to understand the rest of us better and gain a little more patience (which is a good quality to possess, right?).
You see, I don’t set out to be late. I’ve heard it said that people who are late are selfish, inconsiderate of others’ time, and rude. Truthfully, I don’t set out to be these things. It just happens!
Take this weekend, for example. I was planning lunch with a friend. We had ordered lunch to go, and I was to pick it up at 11:45. I had almost all morning to work in the yard, right? Well, not exactly. 🙁
I decided that I would work until 11:00 and then get ready to go. Here’s how the time went:
11:00 Just had one thing to finish and needed to put up tools.
11:20 Was the next time I looked at the clock. Argh! (Have you ever noticed that when you have a time limit, minutes jump forward in 20-minute increments?) Ran to hurry and get ready.
11:45 Decided that makeup and clothes would have to do. I would have to get by with not doing my hair. (After all, with the way hairstyles are today, who would notice? Maybe people would think it was just windblown.)
12:00 Arrived at restaurant. Food was cold, except for the ice cream, which was about 1/3 melted.
Blah. I was pretty frustrated with myself. So, I mused, how did I mess up?
I decided that I had broken both rules that I’ve learned I have to follow in order to be on time:
- Get ready first. All of my married life, Tim has encouraged me to do this. This rule helps me because I always think I can get more done in a certain amount of time than is humanly possible. When I get ready first and it comes time to leave, I just leave. (Back to priorities: I make getting ready my top priority.) I can deal with the stuff that didn’t get done after I get back.
- Make your goal the time you need to leave, not the time you are supposed to be somewhere. If you don’t do this, you are not accounting for travel time. It gives you a false sense of security. In other words, you think you have more time than you actually do.
For you punctual people: You see, I wasn’t late because I thought my time was more important than my friend’s; I just fell back into old habits. I was really sorry I was late, but by the time I realized I was going to be late, it was too late to do anything about it!
For those like me: No, I don’t necessarily think you’re selfish when you are late. I want to encourage you that there is hope; we can get better. However, it requires discipline. It obviously doesn’t come naturally for us. It takes putting into practice those two rules I mentioned, and that means we have to think about it ahead of time.
And, maybe, if we know these things and don’t do them, we are being just a bit inconsiderate of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)