Monday, September 13, 2010

Hope for the Chronologically Challenged?

I have a looong history of being "always late, but worth the wait". In fact, I even remember arriving to elementary school late on a somewhat regular basis. It's really something that's basically ingrained into my being. I've been late to every kind of event you can imagine.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well, I want to stop. I thought when my son came along over three years ago, that I would "magically" morph into this punctual individual that would never inconvenience anyone by arriving 10 or 15 minutes late. Hmph! I was so disappointed when my son's first doctor's appointment rolled around, and there I was, on the freeway when I should have been filling out paperwork! Surely, I would stop being tardy for the sake of teaching my son good habits...right?!

I actually had a span of probably six months to a year when I did really well with arriving on time to work and other commitments. This was before marriage and children. I don't know what happened after that. I just drifted out of the habit of being punctual. I really believe that at the time, I must have been tapping into the grace of God, mainly because it wasn't really difficult to be on time during that time period. There was a "character building" series being taught at church, and suddenly I was convicted of the importance of punctuality. It worked for a little while. It was pretty rewarding too. At the time, I worked at a job where they actually kept track of your tardies and absences and you would get penalized for both. It would affect our bonusing potential if we were tardy or absent. I stayed at that job for a couple of years and left not due to being fired on account of tardiness, but because I was offered a better which I was repeatedly reprimanded for my tardiness. Go figure. By the way, prior to that, I had held a plethora of other jobs where I was habitually late. Most of those employers didn't really care.

So, anyway, here I am now, a wife and mother of two...chronically late to most every appointment, church service, volunteer commitment, birthday party...whatever. Now more than ever I feel the need to stop this horrible habit...but I just feel like I don't know how! I can get things ready the night before, get up extra early, and so forth, but I just haven't discovered the (lasting) key to breaking this awful habit. It's so bad, that just recently I told someone (quite matter-of-factly, I might add) that I realize full well when I'm late; I am fully aware of what time it is. But then I completely disregard whatever information I receive from the clock on the wall...and go about my business only to get to my destination "when I get there".

I know it's irritating to other people. Even I get irritated when people are late on my clock. You would think I would be forgiving of this fault in others, right?

Anyway, hopefully someone can come along and offer some tips or something to help me get over this annoying character flaw. I'm really going to start making a diligent effort to be on time. I will probably post about my attempts in the upcoming days and weeks. Let me know if you know of anything that helps, or if you've overcome this thing in the past. Thanks in advance!


  1. Okay - I think I can help! I used to be late to everything because no one ever taught me how to be on time. Then someone taught me (as a 29 year old!)

    Here's the key: you have to start wrapping up whatever you're doing and get ready for the next thing 10-15 minutes before the next thing. So if you need to leave the house at 9:45, you have to start getting ready to leave at 9:30. Sounds simple,right?

    I thought I could magically and instantly switch from one thing to another. Not possible. Also? It seemed lazy to spend time WRAPPING THINGS UP and GETTING READY FOR WHAT'S NEXT. It's not!

    Let me know how it goes!

  2. Oh, thank you for offering some wisdom in this area! I think part of my problem is that I seriously underestimate how long it will take me to do something. Like getting ready, or how long it will take me to get someplace. Often, if I need to be somewhere at 10, and it's 8, I think "oh, I still have two hours before I need to be there," and hence, two hours before I have to leave, and then sometime in between, it's like "OMG, I have to go!" I just don't figure in the transition time. I do think the "wrapping things up" part trips me up too. I'm just not realistic about how long stuff takes. Like actually getting out the door and into the vehicle with the children probably takes a good 5-10 minutes, and I fail to include that in my time.

    I totally get what you're saying. Hopefully I will begin successfully implementing your suggestion in the near future! Thanks again!

  3. Hi, Becky,
    I agree with Holyoke Home. First thing though..I'd get everything done on me, shower, hair, makeup, clothing and then do anything necessary before leaving the home. After me, do the children. You should leave enough time to do all of you to walk out the door plus driving time, then add in the 15 min to 1/2 hour. You'll be on time, every time if you follow this routine.
    I'd think I could do a dash for getting myself just before we had to leave and it was always a disaster. Now I'm ready first and walking around getting everything else and cat included!

    BTW, you stopped by my blog and left a comment about a 'godly blog' for the Blogs of Note. Your blog does not disappoint in being just that!

    Did you Subscribe by Email to my blog to get the free download of music with illustrations DVD? And I don't know if you have children old enough to color, but there are free coloring pages too of the books characters.

  4. Thanks for the sweet comment, Donna. It really means a lot. I gotta say, I haven't improved much since I wrote this...I guess it's just a process.

    My son is old enough to color, but not a huge fan at this point. He loves to do worksheets though. I think the day I tried to subscribe to your blog via email, it was acting funny...or it was my computer- I don't remember. I will check it out again. :)