I read a blog post by my friend Jan (SimplyJan) called Time-ish. I commented on her post and realized I was writing enough for a new blog post. I believe that is what happens when we read a post that has an impact on us. I try to comment on posts, but sometimes have to really work for it. That was not the case today.
The post talks about being late and time being an inflexible task master. She shares her thoughts on time and how it plays out in her life. I wanted to write this post because I have learned so much from my friend about time. I was taught to be early to everything. I was taught to plan every minute and being on time meant being early; even better was being first. It was all about appearances. It showed how devoted and dedicated you were. I believe it might have been more about being first so you could see who was coming and what they were doing. Didn’t want to miss anything. Church and Church functions were where this most important.
I also grew up with a very rigid time schedule. Dinner was at 5:00pm sharp-always. Bedtime was set with no deviations. We did certain things on certain days and at certain times. We arrived at Sunday School before the Pastor or any of the teachers. We were the first in the sanctuary before service. I was also always one of the first kids at school.
I carried some of this over into my adult life. I am one of those people who leave the house 30 minutes before I need to arrive, when it only takes 10 minutes. I then find myself sitting in the car and “killing” time. I have been known to drive around the block a few times so that I don’t walk into an empty room. In order to do this I have to start getting ready early. I dress 30 minutes before I need to leave the house. I find myself stressed because I might not be 15 minutes early.
During my adventures with my friend and her family, I have learned to chill a bit. When I started tagging along, we would decide to go to lunch and a movie. We would still be at their house with only two hours until movie time, and I would begin to panic. How were we ever going to get to get to the restaurant, order food, eat, pay the bill, get to the theater, get tickets, get drinks, find out seats….OMG…..with less than two hours to do it? And yet somehow, we managed to do it all. Rarely have we been late to anything. What did I almost miss while worrying about all of this? Laughs with friends, antics by kids, and watching an adorable dog with a very playful cat. Doesn’t seem to be a fair exchange.
In her post Jan talked about a visit we made to a small garden with a couple of unusual shops. After walking through and observing unusual tree art, an oversize rope swing, a Volkswagen used as a flower bed, and unique art, it was time to head to our next destination. In the past I would have suggested we leave right away and begin to worry about traffic or a natural disaster making us late. This day we walked the long way around back to car. We spotted some beautiful butterflies and stopped to watch them and take pictures. We made it to our next stop with time to spare.
I have lived more than 60 years now and wonder how many butterfly moments I have missed by making sure I arrived first and sitting in my car “killing” time. I don’t want to lose any more special moments like those. And if once in a while, I run a few minutes late, I will turn and smile at those who arrived early knowing that perhaps they missed the butterflies, laughter, and a few special moments in life.