I, more often that not, am late. I was two weeks passed my due date when I was coming into this world forcing my mother into 42 weeks of pregnancy (by the way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going beyond 40 weeks so please relax ladies, induced labor is far worse than if you let things take their own course, my second daughter was born at 41.5 weeks and it was all ok). I was late both times that I found out I was having the girls, that was probably the worst kind of late. I am late to birthday parties, dinners, meetings, appointments although, I never miss a flight but have ran through more than one airport. I go to sleep late, I wake up late, I will hopefully be late to my own funeral (even though I've made specific arrangements to bypass the whole funeral thing, toss me in the trunk of an old car and push it into the canal like my grandfather wishes for himself when I'm dead).
Many people, including my own family, get annoyed by my tardiness. They call incessantly to remind me that I'm late. When plans are made they emphasize the time and raise a brow in my direction. My friends joke that they tell me a different time than others because they know I run on a my own clock.
It's a gift as much as it is a curse. No matter how early I set my alarm, re-appropriate my day, plan and organize to facilitate timeliness it just doesn't work out for me. Oddly enough, when I have to schedule or plan something like, say a wedding or social event professionally, I am able to nail it down to the second and run a tight ship while doing so (lighting schedules included) but, that is something entirely different. You see, that sort of situation is systematic work. When you do something extremely well, plan everything precisely and are ever so focused on the task at hand time runs like a machine, it obeys the needs of the user and cedes its urgency to accommodate all that must take place. Think of the chef competitions on TV, do you ever wonder, how are they able to comply with the time constraints? It's something they have perfected, that which can be done in one's sleep, second nature, if you will. Every movement already calculated to work alongside the tick of the clock, it's beautiful. Synchronized time is a thing of the gods.
And that's just it, I'm not nearly perfect.
My imperfection lies in my love of people and my time with them. I take every opportunity to listen, to be in the moment, to learn. If you know me, think if ever I've cut you off because I was in a hurry to go else where. Perhaps, I've run by you in a whirlwind looking frantic and disheveled as I rush to get one of my kids from one of their activities, trying to ensure they aren't faced with being the last one (btw, that doesn't kill them either, I've learned)to be picked up. But if I engage with you, stop and actually look you in the eyes, you have me hooked. I am at your disposal till your story is done (on some days it's a story of my own). Never once looking at the time or persisting that "I have to go". My focus at that moment is the person with whom I am sharing the time.
The drawback, of course, is that I'm so present in the moment that I become tardy for my next "moment" and people don't like that (the people waiting, that is). I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm honored that most of my family and friends wait on pins in needles to see just exactly when I will be arriving, it's as if they just can't get things going till I get there and I mention this fact when they bring up my tardiness for events which could easily go on without my presence (it's not like I'm the chef at the restaurant or the kid whose birthday is being celebrated). I am fully aware of my downfall but it isn't something I lose sleep over or stress about changing. Some people are never late, phones in hand, timers set, ready to be on time. The thing is when I show up I am fully there, present, in every sense of the word.
Over the years I've learned that in packing in so much stuff some things fall to the wayside and that has to be okay. I love squeezing in as much as I can in a day. The more there is to do the better I function. Sure, when you minimize how much you take on it's easier to keep track of time. Some might suggest that I need to learn to say no more but I don't really care to, this life is meant to be full to the brim, taking in all those opportunities, pushing time to its limits, stringing together a vast amount of moments to make up a legacy that will one day be referred to as "my life". I used to stress about perfect parties & everyone in attendance, mapping trips just so to ensure THE most amazing time all the time, being the absolute best school/team mom so teachers would vote me in the next year for the board, but then I wasn't having an amazing time. I was stressed. Worried about what was supposed to happen next. More concerned was I about the near future than the present.Today, I am committed to being fully present in the now, which means, I'm going to be late.