Something I am forever trying to get better about is this: being on time.
I’ve written about this before, but when I feel like it’s time for me to start reminding myself about something, I assume that I’m not alone.
The biggest part for me is remembering that my lateness is more a statement of selfishness than anything else. When I am late for something, I’m basically telling the people I’m late for that my time is more important than theirs. It’s an awful thing to think about yourself and the way you subconsciously view the world, but it’s the harsh reality behind why you’re running late.
It took me a while before I could really accept that this was the root cause of my lateness. I was so fixated on “defending myself” in that it wasn’t like I was just sitting around doing nothing. I was cleaning the kitchen counters, tidying up the kids toys in the living room, getting the laundry started, packing food for the morning, etc.
The hardest thing for me to come to terms with was that none of those things “had” to get done; they were things that I “like” to have done before I leave, but they are certainly not essential. They are also things that, if I do really want them to get done before I leave every morning, I need to prioritize over other things like replying to text messages, checking Instagram, and catching up on email.
If the goal is to be on time, there needs to be a very defined list of priorities that I stay on track with. And, I have to know that not everything can get done before I leave; some things will have to wait until later. I know on a weekday that we all need to eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, pack food for the day, and get bags in the car. Beyond that, I then need to have an order to my list of things I want to do like put some make up on, make beds and tidy up rooms, clean counters and empty the sink, have all toys put away, empty the dishwasher, etc. Those are all things I really want to happen before I leave, but they only get to happen if I am efficient enough with the rest of my morning.
Because what is more important: that the house is spotless or that I risk someone feeling like I care more about myself than I care about them?
When I think of it like that, the decision to leave a house slightly less than perfect is easy.