I have a very bad habit of being late. I don’t want to be late and I usually believe I’m trying really hard to not be. Other people’s time is just as if not more important than mine and I’m aware of how rude it is to take precious moments from someone else’s day because they are waiting on me. My tardiness isn’t routed in a lack of awareness for time and the lives of others, it’s a habit I lean on because it fulfills what I refer to as my never-ending need to do one more thing.
The alarm rang at 4:45 this morning and instantly I was on. I’m on from the time I open my eyes until the moment I go to sleep at night. My brain is usually in over-drive, cataloguing things I feel need done to keep order in my life, to accomplish what I want to accomplish, to stay ahead. I just feel better when I leave for work and the plants, workout done, laundry folded, house picked up, that picture frame that broke a few months back glued back together, a hole from a nail in the wall patched and painted, and the bags ready to go to Goodwill loaded in to my trunk, which I will drop off on the way to the office.
Most of my life, I have believed that by living like this, I was being efficient. I was allowing myself the organization and determination to accomplish more, be more. Last week, though, when I walked out of work an hour and twenty-five minutes later than I had planned on leaving in order to meet Matt and friends for dinner, instead of feeling satisfied that I had gotten everything done, I felt guilty and worn-down. And believe me, this was not a new feeling. It’s becoming increasingly hard to shake the feelings of disappointment and remorse as I show up late again, because I was finishing up something else.
Because I’m a half-glass-full, if it’s broke, I can fix it, and if it’s not broke, it probably still needs fixed kind of woman, that feeling that despite everything I am able to get done in a day, I’m still losing has become undeniable. So, here I am, amidst a pile of to-do-lists and best intentions, an anxious, often-late, albeit, fairly polished mess. What now?
I used to contemplate ways to become more efficient in order to get more done and legitimately, there still are plenty of things I can do to become more efficient and manage my time better. But what I realize now is there’s really no sense in honing those efficiency skills if I’m just going to fill the space I create with more things to do–making myself, as usual, just a little late for the next thing.
In no way am I advocating leaving the things that need done completely undone. I’m reflecting–or better yet, trying to remind myself–that perfection is a silent killer of many things, timeliness being one of them. My obsessive need to find the perfect picture for a blog-post before I allow myself to post, to not walk out of the bathroom without wrapping up the curling iron, even though I’m already in a rush, to fret about the page on the station’s website that needs updating, even though no one has noticed and it’s been months–these are all things I obsess over because if they are on my list, and I’m working towards them, then I can control them. I create an illusion of control for myself by creating more lists and doing one more thing with each spare moment that I have, and coming full-circle, making myself late for nearly everything, which leaves me spinning.
Here goes–one foot in front of the other. Today, I’ll allow myself to do what I can, to do things in spite of them not being perfect or maybe even complete, to give up control and keep moving forward. Today, I’ll be a little more on-time.