It has been engraved into my mind since childhood to NEVER BE LATE. Being late is irresponsible. You are perfectly capable of planning your time accordingly to make it someplace on time. Oh, and being on time means you are late. So be there early.
Even though this mentality has been stuck in my head like a song from Frozen, I have yet to live by it. I try. Oh gosh do I try, but something always comes up: the baby needs changed, fed, then changed again, the toddler took off her shoes AGAIN, then I can’t find the keys BUT THEY GO ON THE KEY RACK! I forgot deodorant—should I unlock the door, lug the kids back inside and put some on? Probably.
About a month ago, Friday, was one of those days. My cousin was waiting on me at the zoo. I was supposed to be out the door thirty minutes ago. Once I got the kids in the car it was The Fast and the Furious SUV edition. If a car went below the speed limit I rushed around them, called them names: Voldemort, Kylo Ren, Sauron, because well, with kids in the car I couldn’t use those other kinds of names.
I FINALLY made it to the zoo. The kids were in the stroller. I was on the sidewalk. I was almost there…..BAM
The family in front of me just stopped. I have no idea why. I didn’t even try to take the, point zero two seconds to look and see why they stopped. Instead I thought ARE YOU SERIOUS? And in the words of Stephanie Tanner and C-3PO,
Ahahahahaha. My stroller did not make it back onto the sidewalk. My poor kids. I kept trying. I kept slamming it against the sidewalk. Finally, an older woman in the family I was trying to pass, picked up the front of my stroller and placed it onto the sidewalk for me.
I was speechless. And yet I heard myself say, “thanks, sorry I just . . . thanks.”
I rushed passed them again but only because I wanted to get as far away as possible. I was beyond embarrassed. My cousin didn’t seem upset that I was late. Everything was fine. Why was I in such a rush? Since then, I've tried to put that morning out of my mind. I had a great day at the zoo, but that morning has been bothering me.
Why was I in such a rush? Why am I always in such a rush?
If we are running late and my toddler stops to pick a flower on our way out, I tell her to hurry. If she takes her time skipping instead of walking, I tell her to hurry. If she spots a plane in the sky and wants to just stand there in aw, I say, “yeah, wow, okay, hurry let’s go.” I should add though, that it is usually above 109 degrees Fahrenheit so I kind of have a not wanting to bake to death motivation.
I get that being late isn’t a good thing. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, you need to try to be accountable. I need to learn how to manage my time and to account for all the little things that can and will come up. I will keep tying to be on time. I will figure it out somehow, but I’m done rushing. If I don't manage my time and I realize I'm late, I'm going to hurry, but not rush. No more crazy, unnecessary stress.
Swerving around all those cars gave me two minutes. Maybe. Trying to get around that family on the sidewalk took two extra minutes. So in reality all rushing did was put us in danger and make me a total jerk. Voldemort, Kylo Ren, Sauran. Yep. I was the villain. I was the problem.
If you’re late, chill. It’s okay. If you’re ticked because this always happens and why can’t you ever just make it on time? Chill. You can. Just worry about it when you're not already hyped up on stress. Try again next time. It’s not worth getting angry. It’s not worth freaking out. Smile. You’re doing okay.
If you’re late, be late.