Dare I be offended by the recent viral blog post about people who are late?
Yes, being consistently late is rude, and yes, you should strive to respect other people’s time but what bothers me about this post is that it doesn’t address the root of the problem. Lateness is not about a lack of respect for other people’s time but a lack of respect for oneself. When your plate is full with work, kids, appointments, marriage, house care, heck the excruciating minute by minute planning of getting everyone where they are supposed to be each day – most people are just plain overcommitted.
I’ve done it. I’ve overcommitted to the point that when I’m late for something – I pretend I don’t care, because I can’t care. I can’t care about one more person’s feelings when my own are so frazzled from trying to remember a parent teacher interview, sandwiched between teaching bootcamp and picking up a piece of bristol board for a science project THAT’S NOT MINE, I come to the end of my rope – and it will appear to you that I am rude and I am disrespectful – but the truth is, I’m barely holding it together.
Whether you have kids or don’t, run your own business, or work outside of the home, whether you are a stay-at-home domestic manager, or a busy volunteer – you have probably overcommitted to being somewhere you don’t want to be; you’ve committed to doing something you don’t really have any interest in doing and you’ve talked yourself into trying to fit this task in and around all the other million things you do in your day. And while you convince yourself you haven’t compromised much by adding another item to your agenda, your primal brain, the one that controls your fight or flight reactions, responds immediately by screaming at you, “STOP SAYING YES TO EVERY DAMN THING.”
Being on time is not only about respecting others – it’s about respecting yourself and knowing you have limits; knowing that saying “no” to attending, helping, participating, in whatever invite or appointment you feel you ‘should’ be at, is infinitely better than saying yes to something that doesn’t at least tickle your soul enough to get there on time.
Happy Slice Everyone.