Plan to be early, don’t plan to be on time
In my first post of the year, I mentioned that I want to be punctual and stop being late to things and I wanted to give a bit of an update on where things are at. The first thing I had to do was straight up admit and accept the fact that I was late to events most of the time. That has actually been a tough thing to admit, because I was hiding behind endless excuses and practically in denial.
I have had a few meetups with friends or appointments since I wrote that post, obviously. One observation I made—which was just a pure coincidence—is that the one bus route that gets me to a certain town has been running several minutes early since I started actively trying to be on time to appointments. I thought, just my luck… but that’s also a bit of an excuse.
Nick and I went to the dentist last week, and they were running about fifteen minutes late, based on what the receptionist said to other patients in the waiting room. But although I had an appointment at 3:00, it was not until 3:40 that I actually finally had my teeth cleaned. I thought about how I had actually arrived a solid five minutes early, and as I was messaging Nick while he was at the shops waiting for his appointment after mine, I remember trying to keep my cool. I recognised that if someone else was late, it was out of my control.
I recall living with my parents and often rushing to get ready and rushing to be somewhere to be on time. This often resulted in us, sure, being on time, but spending the next ten minutes trying to recover from rushing while also adapting to the current scenario, which was usually conversing with other people. When I say “I’ve barely had time to think today”, and it’s usually about a work day—well, this is similar, but much worse. I think that in my efforts to be early, I appreciate that I have given myself the space to breathe before the moment I need to be present with whomever I am with or whatever appointment I have.
It has been a lot easier to plan to be early rather than on time. It generally means that there is some teeny bit of buffer time to become accustomed to my surroundings, to essentially “take my time” to be wherever I need to be, and to—above all—not be in a rush. That’s the general thing I am trying to avoid.
I remember one time in the past couple of months, leaving enough time to quickly pick up a parcel at the parcel locker before an appointment, but then my bladder doing a number on me—number one, I suppose—and me having to wrangle around that while I tried to remember where the most convenient public toilet would be located on my way to my appointment. I somehow managed to completely change my plans of travel to fit in a toilet stop, and although I was hurrying, I was not in a situation of busting my kidneys or completely rejecting my plan to pick up my parcel (it would have been inconvenient to collect it at a separate time, since it happened to be en route to my appointment).
Occasionally, being early to an appointment means I can reap the benefits of starting my appointment early, if the other person is able to accommodate. Either way, I have become OK with the notion of waiting and letting time pass, and no, not being glued to my phone.
I have also become OK with the notion of being early. Being early has no mind-blowing benefits, but it also doesn’t hurt to be early either. At least compared to being late, or being on time but in a rush. I hope to keep it up.
I’m blogging every day in January 2023. Let me know if you’ll be joining in and trying to blog every day. 😊 The hashtag you can use on social media is #blogeverydamnday.