On Time, Off Target

clockIf I played that game on Facebook where you answer questions to find out “Which Disney character are you?” I’d definitely be The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

The ditty he sings, “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late!” is my theme song.

I know, I know, chronic lateness is a behavioral pattern that can be overcome with conscientious effort at organization and time management. I’ve read books and articles and I do try.

One expert explained how poor time estimation causes lateness. We don’t realize how long routine tasks take and Dr. Duration suggests the punctually impaired time ourselves getting ready, driving places, etc. Dr. D also suggests allowing time for the unexpected, like a child coming into the bathroom while you’re shaving your legs for church and saying, “The kitchen is on fire.”

But let’s not go there.

I can’t blame others for my deficiencies, I must take ownership of my faults and work to improve. This was my plan for attending a writers conference in Utah County recently. My usual scenario for such events is to get up too late, get ready too long, not know where I’m going or how long it takes to get there so I end up parking a 5K away and arrive late, rattled and miss out on the prize drawings. But this time I would break the cycle and arrive in plenty of time to not win anything.

Using Dr. D’s methods, I made a plan.

The night before, I preset my phone GPS and noted travel time, allowing for traffic. I set my alarm for sufficient time, with allowance for a 911 call to the fire department if necessary. My backpack and purse were packed with necessities, so I showered—another time-saver—and went to bed ready to join the punctual popular crowd the next day.

When my alarm went off I resisted the urge to hit snooze because I’m a recovering late-aholic and committed to overcoming destructive patterns. I got dressed, slathered on lip gloss and mascara, pulled my hair back and was out the door ahead of schedule.

No speeding, tailgating or cussing was necessary on the drive. I found a parking spot near the building. I wasn’t stressed or sweaty as I entered the UCCU Events Center on the UVU campus. As I walked calmly to the registration table, I felt copacetic among my fellow punctual attendees . . . who were all dressed in overalls, coveralls and other Carhartt attire.

Hmmm.

Then I saw the sign, “Welcome Woodturning Symposium Participants!”

I thought I was going to learn how to spin a yarn, not turn wood.

Long story short, after much running around, asking woodturners for directions and calling campus information to find out where the %$#@ I was supposed to be, I found out my conference was in Provo at the UVCC (Utah Valley Convention Center), not the UCCU (Utah Community Credit Union Event Center) in Orem.

So, I arrived late.
I parked in BFE.
I missed the drawings.

But the conference was awesome and I learned lots of great stuff about writing I don’t do, but need to and will do right after I make a plan about how I’m going to improve.

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