I've got this real problem. I refer to it as "lateness anxiety" and I've only recently come to grips with the reality of this madness.
When I am going to be attending an event with friends, I calculate the travel time, the time meandering to the car, parking, etc. I usually give a five-minute grace period so we arrive to our seats with five minutes to spare. People's time is valuable and I don't want them to waste much more than five minutes of it, right?
What I can't account for is the fact that my friends are always late. I can never know if they will be five minutes late or twenty-five minutes late.
What do I do? I don't want to just sit here and accept the fact that, despite my on-time-or-else policy I impose upon myself, I am always going to be late to anything that involves anyone other than me.
Here's the thing - I sit back and try to convince myself:
- Being late doesn't matter
- Shows usually start five to ten minutes after the designated start-time
- The world will not end if I miss ten minutes
- My relationships with people are much more important than time
- Obeying traffic laws is important (I never actually violate this one, but I contemplate it)
- My friends I am supporting in the show don't care if I'm late, as long as I make it
- (if not a time-constrained event ) I can reschedule my after-plans
- Don't get upset with that person for making you leave your last location - if you had known they would be twenty minutes late, you could have stayed at the gym/work/a friend's house twenty minutes longer, but you probably wouldn't have
- The individual is not trying to be rude or inconsiderate of your time
But you know what? No matter how hard I try, my pulse quickens, my thoughts start to blur, my body temperature starts to rise, I can't concentrate on conversations. Why? Because I'm late. Goodness gracious, just writing about it is making my heart pound. Serious.
The only things I have found that alleviate this condition are when I am not the one in charge of the activity, am not driving, don't care about the event, am really trying to charm my date, or am having a bout of extreme self-control.
Lately I have taken to warning my friends that I suffer from "lateness anxiety" and they should be prepared for adverse side effects if they run late. This serves no motivation at all. In fact, I think some of them quite enjoy watching my body and mind rebel.
If you ever hear me say, "Take your time," or, "We are in no rush," either I am lying or you are having a very lucky day.