When my family and I flew to Hawaii for our vacation the airport we were going out of was 2 hours away from home. I got my family up and in the car in the wee morning hours so we were able to be at the airport, parked in long term parking, shuttled, checked in, bags checked and at the gate in plenty of time for this flight. Who wants to miss this flight right? Well, in my need for ensuring this we ended up arriving at the gate over 1 and 1/2 hours early for the flight that didn’t leave until 7AM. There was not a chance we were missing it which was good. We had arrived so early that not even the coffee shops were open yet which wasn’t so much fun. I wish I could blame it on simple excitement to go to Hawaii but this is how I am it seems.
I am the kind of person who is almost always on time. If I’m late people are aware there is a problem because that almost never happens. I don’t know where this habit came from or if it was just mere fear of being late. On top of being early and on time, I like to be setup and organized for whatever I’m going to be doing. Getting there early assures that. Early and waiting, trying not to appear awkward at being the only one there or first in line.
It used to matter a lot to be on time. Or at least that’s what I always thought and had heard. It was a positive trait that gave you an advantage at work because employers saw you as interested, prepared and ready. It ensured you didn’t miss opportunities. I didn’t want to miss any potential positive opportunity so I learned early to be on time. Perhaps it is the result of not having enough growing up and wanting to ensure those conditions didn’t persist in my adult life.
When I am running late and see that clock tick the time I should be somewhere, my heart starts racing, I start to sweat and I get short tempered quick in my rush to get where I’m supposed to be. I simply cannot imagine being like that because I was always running late to something. My stress level goes up and it takes a while for it to return to normal so I’ve adopted the practice of avoiding that. I have enough stress in my life without adding to it. Surely if I can be on time for something to avoid some stress it seems practical to me. I think this too is where a lot of people fail to see they introduce their own stress into life.
It doesn’t appear to bother some people though and this simply amazes me. The standards for being on time have loosened and yet I still hold to my own. It matters to me because it feels natural to not stress about being late. It goes against my character and what I believe are good manners to not plan ahead for how long it takes to get somewhere and being ready for it. Maybe it doesn’t matter anymore in society but I feel it should. Our attention to time creates our own organization for things in life and this simple thing about being on time makes us feel more in control of our day.
To me a big part of living naturally is following habits that promote reducing our stress in life. Being on time doesn’t even require an essential oil to support it and can be done by anyone, any time, as long as they show up on time. Time management sounds like something the farthest thing from living naturally but it is in fact one of the cornerstones that help it become part of normal life. It is the balance of taking back parts of our day where we can control the tempo, flow and do things in alignment to our own needs with the least amount of stress. Timeliness helps with all of that.
Being on time starts with a desire to improve our own stress levels in a day and making a commitment to improve how we treat ourselves and others. When we are running late, we are in chaos and we interrupt others in the process. Problems get bigger than they really are and miscommunication is entirely common all because we’re running late, thinking of the next thing we’re late for already and trying to cram it all in without giving the time and attention to where we are in this moment. Mindfulness in the present starts with being on time for it and giving it our full interest.
So the next time you catch yourself running late, stop and work through how you can realign in that situation to regain the edge of being on time. Not only will your days feel less stressed but you’ll feel calmer, more organized and even more natural.
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