NEVER will you hear me utter the words “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date” – NEVER.
I am a time freak. It’s my thing. I don’t just mean that I am conscious of time, I mean I am the sort of person who, if i ever get married, will be super early to their own wedding and possibly have to be told a different time as to not be ridiculously early. I am so early to events that I often have to awkwardly lap the block a few times or hang out in the nearest toilet pretending I am doing my make up, just so that I am not that person who is always early. I don’t understand how people can be late. Plan ahead, ready the timetables, take into consideration all possible factors. I will only ever be late if something has happened far beyond my control and usually I have allowed some back up time that I can eat into to avoid being late. Either that, or I am dead.
I was thinking about this in some detail the other day as I casually heard a man on the phone say “no one cares if you are super late to events these days” . Yes they do. They really do. That comment really bothered me. I have worked so hard over the years to let it go, tell myself I am responsible for my own actions not others, just because others are tardy and late doesn’t mean I have to drop my standards etc and had never really analysed the real reason as to where this anxiety and obsession with time came from.
I am pondering if my early Disney days of watching ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (which as a young child I thought it was about a girl called Alison Wonderland ) and the white rabbit are responsible for establishing, imprinting or perhaps planting the anxiety seed within me. (I would also like to point out that this is one thing my parents did well – introducing me to Disney at an early age. Sure I went on to also love the actual literature work of Lewis Carroll but i lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvved this Disney version )
I watched this video every day. My mum says I watched it so much that I wore out the heads of our video player. With the white rabbit repeating phrases such as ” I’m late I’m late for a very important date – no time to say hello, goodbye. I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” – I think this message was reinforced very clearly and firmly within me.
My parents tell me that I was always the first to birthday parties as a child. I always insisted and in fact, started lying about the start date of parties. That tactic didn’t always work as my parents often had access to the party invite too.
Oddly enough I don’t own a watch and have become a master at reading time upside down on people who do wear watches, locating all clocks all over Sydney and just having an innate sixth sense with all things that relate to time.
I think people who are close to me may struggle with my issues around time, planning and organisation. Everyone except my boss. I am an assistant and those traits are the core values of my job – so at least there is an environment where they are positive and I can really flourish. The only problem is that my boss doesn’t really understand that a meeting starting at 2 pm means just that – you need to be in the meeting room ready to go for a 2 pm start. I have learnt to accept that it often means at 2 pm he will leave his office, maybe get a water, maybe visit the bathroom, maybe remember that he needs something printed out and then he is ready to join the meeting by which time it is now 2:10 or later. I can but try!
I also wonder the mental effects this whole scene had on me in regards to my time anxiety.
Continuing on my quest for answers and discovering the root cause of this time anxiety, I ended up finding this insightful article
I relate to the idea of an internal clock that it simply does not allow you to be late. Even if I forget to set my alarm I wake up on or near the designated time.
In my past I would get near hysterical and cry if I was late and more importantly if people were running late and we had something planned. I have become better equipped these days and realised that time anxiety produces ugly crying and nobody likes that. I have now (for the most part) established reasonable ideas about what is socially acceptable as on time, late, fashionably late and then just plain rude (seriously – send a text or contact me SOMEHOW if you are running that late so that I don’t start catastrophising about what has happened to you)
Perhaps this is all propelling me to realise my true talents – that I can harness my time anxiety and when I do, it will reveal that I actually can time travel or manipulate time.
Until then, don’t wind me up by being late!