Ok, let’s go back to our talk on timeliness, because that is something I know I’m not the only one out there struggling with…and, have for, basically, my entire adult life. And, I say that because I can’t remember back before I was adult, but my assumption is that it was an issue as an adolescent, as well.
After my life-altering conversation with Ben last week about how I need to leave a 30 minute buffer every time I have somewhere to be, things got better. I got better! For real, I’m not going to lie or anything and say I was early for everything and that there wasn’t some spastic running around…like, literally running…to try and stop being late for things…but, I got better. I, for the most part, was at least getting to places at the time I was supposed to be there. Which translates into me “pulling into” The Tobin School parking lot at 8:00 am for 8:00 am drop-off, instead of 8:05 am.
The first problem with that is that we all know 5 minutes early for something is “on time”, so being there at 8 means I’m already 5 minutes late.
The next problem is that I started to realize that me pulling into the parking lot, even if it was 5 minutes early, still isn’t “on time” because I’m not, technically, in the classroom dropping Bode off at 7:55. What I started realizing is that it being “on time” only counts when Bode is walking into his classroom at 7:55, not when my car gets there.
It was at about this point in the timeline that I ended up spending the afternoon with my girlfriends at The Nashoba Winery.
We got to talking about this very topic and 3 out of 4 of us had all of the same issues: we admitted that we were always running late because we are neat and clean freaks. We all have trouble walking out of our house unless the sink is empty and clean, the living room is spotless with all blankets folded and toys put away, every bed in the house is made, etc. We have great intentions of walking out of the door at the time we calculate out to be the “must leave by” time, but we spend an additional 15 minutes making sure the house is spotless.
The 1 golden child in the group, Lynsey, is the exact opposite of us…and, her husband (apparently, he is on our party wagon). Lynsey is neurotic about being on time. She will leave anything and everything if she needs to to make sure she’s on time for all appointments, whether they’re with friends, co-workers, or doctors.
She just refuses to be late for anything.
I don’t know why, but this stopped me dead in my tracks.
That was the point when I chimed in to share what Ben has told me before: when you’re late for something, you’re being selfish. You’re, basically, telling the party you’re supposed to be meeting that your time is more important than theirs.
And, as frustrating as it is for me to admit this, Ben is right.
For some reason, the combination of those two arguments has been blowing around in my brain and shoving the timeliness issue to the forefront of my urgent to-do list.
I hate the idea of being selfish. I’ve spent the majority of my 41 years of life being what I would consider a very, very selfish person. Unfortunately, I can only imagine how my ex-husband is sitting there reading this right now fist-pumping the air in celebration of me admitting to this. And, I don’t blame him.
But, it’s a quality that I try to improve upon every day and while I’m certainly not awesome at it, I’m a lot better than I used to be.
So, when I heard Ben put it that way, and heard Lynsey talk about how possible it is to leave things imperfect and still be a kick-ass mom and person, in general, I started to feel like that was the sort of life I want to live.
I don’t want it to be the sort of thing I talk about all the time and just keep laughing with other friends in the same boat.
I WANT TO GET BETTER.
This week, I did it. Actually, today I did it.
Without yelling, without running around our house, and without reversing out of the driveway like a complete maniac, I pulled into The Tobin School parking lot at 7:50 and walked calmly into Bode’s classroom with the kids at 7:55.
We were “on time” for the first time all year.