I Never Have Enough Time
Part of my attempt to sloooooow down a little, to be just a little less frantic and frenetic, is due (in part) to a constant sense of impending doom.
I spend most of my time worried I won’t meet a deadline, I’ll arrive late, or that I’ll miss something.
Wow. Can we say “anxious?”
Here’s the deal…
As a kid, I was taught that to be “on-time” isn’t much different from being late. And truly being on-time means I’m at least five minutes early, but 15 minutes would be better.
My (God love them) strict, freaking-out, never had to do this with anyone but me, parents were so afraid of…what, I’m not sure yet – I’ll figure it out when Aidan turns 16, I’m sure…that when I was finally allowed out of the house, on my own, with a curfew, it was made perfectly clear that being late wasn’t going to be an option.
Of course, the only way to rebel was to be fabulously late (twice) before I graduated high school. I still don’t know if the fun I had staying out and not caring about my missed curfew was worth the inability to leave my home without an adult for several months.
Over the years, that
desire need freak-out about being on time translated into never being late for anything. Ever.
And somehow I became best friends with a woman who, for years, couldn’t arrive on time if her life depended on it. Strange how life works, isn’t it? I never condemned her for being late – although plenty of people consider being late a sign of rudeness, and in some people, I think it is due to a lack of respect.
The good thing about always being early is that you can plan – for parking, for the perfect seat, and how you’re going to make an exit. It also helps establish a very responsible persona so the one time you are late, no matter how much you’re freaking out, you’re forgiven because people in your inner circle know you’re never late.
Now that I work from home, there are only two times of day I have to (as in, required by law) care about being on time – school drop off and school pick up. And no matter how well I know the drive (and traffic) or how often we do it, I am convinced I’m going to be late. Late is a relative term of course because I have a 45 minute window both in the morning and afternoon.
But all this on-time and being early stuff also means I have a fairly strict internal timeline that is almost always running.
Must do the thing (pick a thing, any thing) at this time.
Must drive to the place (again, pick a place, any place) at this time.
In between, must do ALL OF THE THINGS or life as we know it will end.
And by end, I mean I may have to write an article while the boys are home (a torturous hell I can’t begin to describe) or work after dinner (which makes me pout a little because I enjoy my downtime) or, and here’s the worst thing…I will freak the fuck out that I never have enough time, that I won’t get it all done, and people will hate me forever because I’m not the most dependable, responsible human being alive.
Really? Anxious might not be a strong enough word to describe my issue.
So what am I? I’m always on-time, often early, and usually a hot mess of stress.
Hence, the need to slow the hell down and stop worrying quite as much. I have to trust myself, trust my process, and find balance. Which means understanding that I’ll get there when I get there – and I’ll get it all done on time – because that’s what I do. And I have to stop thinking of “on-time” as 15 minutes early. Otherwise, I’m going to make myself more anxious than I already am.
Today’s post is part of the BlogHer January daily prompt on Balance: Do you feel you’re usually on-time, running late, or too early?