Why Am I Always Late?
I hope everyone had a great week-end on your respective sides of the blogosphere. We sure did on this side, with family gatherings and parties galore, and now it’s Monday again, and yours truly is facing my usual daily challenge: being on time! Yes, being chronically late is one of my biggest downfalls, and if you were born and raised on my side of the global village, namely Senegal, West Africa, you may definitely be able to relate…Punctuality is not a characteristic of many African cultures, not because its importance is purposely minimized by its people, but rather because there was never much of a strong cultural emphasis on it. In traditional cultures where quality of life, cultural rites and natural cycles are prevalent, you may find that the tic-toc of the modern clock does not exactly rule people’s days…This is why around here in our Cape-Verdean community, we even have a phrase for it, called “CV Time”, or Cape-Verdean time”…Translation: if you’re not at least 1 hour late, you’re reasonably on time…just sayin’…
Being of Senegalese and Cape-Verdean ancestry now, this late tendency is finding double roots in me, and is not helping my otherwise very modern obligations…like showing up to work “reasonably on time” 15 minutes late is not cutting it, neither is dropping off my daughter at dance class at 11:20am when the class was supposed to start at 11:00 am…And I’m not even talking about the cultural stereotypes associated with mine and many others’ chronic lateness, or the strikingly negative example I am offering to my kids, let alone the constant state of stress I place myself in, which turns out to be very detrimental for both my safety atop those 7 -inch heels and everyone else around (and after thirty, all this adrenaline rush is frankly not doing any good for my fine lines or hair static, just sayin’)..So why in the world am I always late, despite my attempts at waking up early or preparing ahead of time? Hmmmm….
- I DO enjoy those adrenaline rushes: Yes, whether it’s due to the force of old habits, or the simple fact that I’m secretly addicted to stress, it ain’t a real morning unless I’m rushing out the door with my shirt half-unbuttoned, make-up case and heels in tow, talking about “I’m ok, I’m ok, I can still make it in 5 minutes to work…” And of course, there is always the little vicious fire-red angel sitting on my left shoulder whispering in my ear: “Of course you can make it, granted you can drive 100 miles an hour while applying your make-up, buttoning your shirt and downing your coffee, sure you’ll be aiight…”
- I just think the Universe will work with me: Now this is the beauty of faith, blind, crazy, hopeful faith in circumstances and the Universe…As I am desperately puffing my ‘fro 5 minutes before a scheduled appointment, all of this while I still have to change the baby’s diapers, tie my daughter’s hair, and find the doggone car keys, I am silently praying for intercession from all the saints and angels of the Universe to make sure that all the lights on my way are green, that I magically find parking right upon arrival, and that somehow, some way, the kids behave like little angels and do not spill their lunch on their clothes (or mine) before we actually make it to the appointment…And this is what the Universe is answering to me (never fails): ” I’ve been telling you and your mother for about thirty-something years to stop pumping so much adrenaline and car gas emissions in my ozone layer, you never listened and now you need a favor? Looks to me like someone is gonna be late again…” Aaaaahhhh….
- I’ve just got to make sure the bed is made before I leave the house…and the dishes washed, and that piece of itty-bitty static dust removed from that invisible corner on the couch…Because, really there is not better time to tidy up the house, try a new hairstyle, or teach your toddler about patience, than those last 5 minutes you actually have before you’re irreparably late…Because many of us are just procrastinators, and find that leaving things until the very last minute somehow gets them done faster and better…And since we know that we’ll be late anyways (and really, what would be a day without speeding down the highway and using your best choice words to start the morning), we keep doing it day after day…until that day when the sound of your innocent toddler’s voice in the back of the car makes you consider reaching out for psychological help “Mommy, the teacher said we need to buy a new watch because we are always late…”
She really said that?
Are you chronically late? Did you ever wonder why?