Monday, May 12, 2014

Mama-on-days: The curse of being a "time optimist"

Did I ever tell you that I gave my son a standardized assessment once?  Just to check out his scores.  I'm happy to report that he was around 113 or so.  Not in the gifted range, just average for language skills.  There is a question on one subtest which asked what you would say to a teacher sitting at their desk when you walk in.  He responded with, "Oh, I'm sorry, we're just running a little late today."
That's the story of my life.  I'm a perpetual late arriver.  Which means I'm living in a constant state of anxiety.  I don't want to be late.  I want to be early.  But time after time, I fail.

I'm late to my strength class at the gym.
I'm late to work.
I'm late for son's Christmas pageants
I'm late for church
I'm late for my spa appointments
I'm late for dinner with friends.

Ironically, I ran for Secretary at my school in 5th grade.  My dad helped me write the speech.  I think it went something like this, "Hi, My name is Kelly ***** and I'm running for school secretary.  I am organized and punctual."

Thanks Dad for the wishful thinking.  I remember getting in trouble in 2nd or 3rd grade because I forgot to meet my parents at the ski lodge.  I grew up in the 80s with particularly permissive parents who had no problem dropping their young daughter off at the ski slopes for the day.  It wasn't as bad as when they sent me and my brother on a tour bus from San Diego to Knott's Berry Farms because they wanted to go golfing.

*Big sigh*  So now you know.  I sometimes feel like I am letting the whole profession down.  The Speech language pathologists I know are organized.  They are timely.  They write up lesson plans.  They wear fabulous outfits to work.  I'm like their embarrassing second cousin.

So I thought it was interesting when I read this article in the Experience Life Magazine called: On-Time Arrival by Jon Spayde.  He's writing about the chronically tardy and the book, Time Management from the Inside out by Julie Morgenstern.   It's the first time that I heard about time optimism vs. time realism.  So now I can tell you that I clearly suffer from time optimism.  I want things to take less time than they actually do.  I might do a google map to see how long it takes to get to a restaurant.  But I don't factor in traffic, the time it takes to get into the car, dealing with a 5 year old etc.  I want to be their earlier so I just think that it will happen.  So I'm thinking this is a book that I need to get.  And one of my summer challenges will be to get back to that little 5th grade girl who claimed that she was punctual.  The first step is to start timing yourself.  How long does it actually take to do the things that you want to do.  Are you or someone you know perpetually late?  What strategies have you used?  Thanks for stopping by to read this post.  If you liked it, please consider sharing this post by clicking on the Pinterest or Twitter buttons below.


Rose Ann said...

Oh Kelly, I can totally relate to this! I'm still trying to figure out how such an organized person such as myself can still always be running so late!! How ironic that we teach executive functioning skills yet struggle with aspects of this in our own lives--I think I need to practice what I preach more often!! I find that setting my clocks around the house 5-7 minutes fast is helpful. Just imagine how much later I would be if I didn't do this! I'm adding the book you referenced to my summer reading list!

Speech2U said...

Rose Ann-I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one. I set my clocks ahead-which helps but then my husband is always changing them. Sometimes he wants them to be fast and sometimes he wants them to be exactly on time.

Carly said...

Do not ever think you are that embarrassing second cousin. I never do my hair or wear amazing outfits. Organization- well you can forget it! I eventually put things away in my office, they all have a space it just doesn't always get done.
However, I must admit I have a punctuality problem too, it is just opposite of yours. I always over-estimate how long things will take especially if I am nervous or anxious about them. That means I am usually early to everything. I mean really early like 45 minutes too early.
What can I say, we all have our faults it is important to recognize them and do our best.

Speech2U said...

Carly-Thanks for the great advice!

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