There is a saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I don’t know who said it. I know, I could google it, but that really isn’t the point here, so I’m going to just move on.
Here’s the deal: I SUCK at getting out the door on time.
It isn’t the fact that I fail to plan – I plan my brains out. You should seriously see my lists! My problem is I fail at execution – and it ALWAYS surprises me. I always assume everything is going to go – as planned. I am actually surprised every single time I’m late. I’m surprised a lot. Ha! I tell people I’m “time-challenged”.
I honestly think I can do everything much quicker than I actually can, and I always underestimate how long it will take me to get somewhere, find parking, and get inside. Yes, in LA, finding parking is often a huge part of the problem. That and our crazy traffic make being on time especially difficult – a double whammy for peeps like me. I mean, really?? I am so done in before I even begin.
Even so, I continue my quest to be an on time person. I want so badly to be THAT person. To be that organized, to be that punctual…oh it just makes me a little bit giddy to think of being her. Every once in a while, I nail it, and it feels amazing!
Note to all of you on-timers: I want to be like you! This is apparently just NOT something that comes naturally to me, but I am trying. I admire you. I am not trying to be disrespectful. I am not a flake. I am not unaware that your time is valuable. This is solely an area where I seem to be a little bit deficient. We all have those, right? Areas where we struggle? This may seem an easy fix to you, but to me it has been a source of constant stress and frustration, because I really do want to be better.
[Enter moment of epiphany] I read an article that talked about finding your “load time”. This was mind-blowing to me. Often, I get derailed at the actual – exiting our home – stage of getting out the door. This is usually when the wheels fall off. I think, “Okay, we need to leave at 7:30.” So, I am ready, gathered, kids in tow, heading for the door at 7:30. But, by the time we get to the car, get kids strapped in, and pull out, it is more like 7:45 – and now we are running 15 minutes late.
Because the baby puked all over my shirt and I had to quickly put on a fresh one. Then, on the way to the car we have to pass the pool and my son decided to throw his favorite car in the water to see if it could swim and I had to fetch it out. I then re-loaded my arms with half the contents of our home, corralled my son away from the pool, and enticed him to join me on my great adventure to the car with promises of fun to be had once we get to our destination. Fun ceases of course when now-running-late-cranky-mommy finally gets us onto the freeway only to come to a complete stop. Now, I am just WISHING I was only 15 minutes late…sigh…beat my hands on the steering wheel…apologize to my son for being grumpy…vow to do better next time and get out the door earlier.
What time do you need to be loaded into the car by? This shocking revelation rocked my late status world. Why didn’t I think of that on my own? I’m a pretty smart girl – but this – THIS – never dawned on me. Whatever your load time is, the article said to give yourself an additional 20 minutes. (If I could remember where I read this I would source it accordingly. It was months ago, and I was at my sister’s house perusing her magazines.) So, now, with “load time” mentality I am determined more than ever to get off the late list and become that girl who is there on time. The bonus to that, living in LA, is if I can manage to get there on time – I’ll be “early”. Lateness is contagious and runs rampant in Los Angeles like a crazy disease. I want to be cured.
Do you struggle with punctuality? What have you found that works for you?