When I feel am running late… I’ll just take my time…


Hello world,

Happy mid week. I wonder how I hadn’t gotten to this point all along. Ha, maybe because punctuality and anxiety over punctuality are so wired in my brain. Just the thought of me being even a second late could ruin my sleep. I prefer to be an hour early than a minute late. I have blogged about my obsession with punctuality over and again.

The paradox is that I have met and keep meeting people who are in love with what is fondly known as BMT or Blackman main time. You know that deal where you say the event starts at 5 pm whereas it actually kicks off at 9 pm, and well because you know no one keeps to time anyway. I have fallen several times for this and been there at 5 pm and waited my patience over hahaha

Anyway,  I started getting rather sick with my obsession with punctuality and decides last year to seriously start work on that. Especially with three musketeers gracefully occupying 70% of my time, how can I still be rigid with time keeping expectations?

So gradually but slowly I started finding a way to deal with such obsessive and compulsive attitudes.

Last Monday it hit me like BAM… I had got up at 4 am, hit my workout at 4.45 am and planned to be ready to get out at sharp 6 am. By 5.30 am, I hadn’t had my shower oh no…I’ll be so late… Big panic yellow lights waiting to turn red… But then I remembered in a flash how late and miserable and erratic I had got the last time I lost it for fear of being late. I decided to try it out a different way. I went into my room, took a deep breathe, had my shower and got ready without letting any panic thoughts ruin my consciousness. At sharp 6 am, I was ready and although I had to forego packing my lunch bag ( my fault now cause if I had done that the night before… Shush such thoughts now…) And big bonus, I wasn’t late to my 6.50 am appointment after all…

I know some people don’t worry about such things, but I know some do. I am thus sharing this with you to inspire you and to motivate you to keep working on yourselves.

Any other tips to share on how to take this anxiety trigger and their obsessive compulsive cousins?

Today being international women’s day, may I wish all the women who hop by a happy day


12 thoughts on “When I feel am running late… I’ll just take my time…”

  1. Ah, Marie, i dunno whether we are hardwired for punctuality and/or lateness or whether our upbringings somehow combine with genetic structures to bring out these traits in us, but surely it has to be some combination. My twin sister, though raised with the father of us four children a tyrant of punctuality himself, and of pre-punctuality, if you get my drift, my twin is nonetheless always late! Why? I think because she spends a lot of time before the mirror primping, is my belief…and cannot plan to primp on time or early-primp, no, but panic-primps and beautifies her fine self at the very last minute, and alas, for too many minutes to ever be on time for anything, thus making everyone else late!

    Me? I frankly could not care what i look like, much to her dismay, probably, if she is ever to be associated with me again…which looks unlikely at this point in our relationship.

    All i care about is that i have some modicum of clothing on, clean or dirty it scarcely matters, and what i need for going out to wherever i am due. Being prepared for the meeting or appointment matters a lot more than my appearance, though, so if there was any deadline, you can be sure i met it well in advance! Even though it is likely no one else has even started the assignment. So i completely understand your frustration and your situation!

    Oh, your talk of BMT amused me. Supposedly here, especially up north, there is real time, and then there is Vermont time. Real time might start at, say, 7pm or whenever a meeting is scheduled. But Vermont time is “whenever enough people mosey on in and we decide it might be time, yep, to start the meeting about now!” I should think that Africans living on BMT would fit right in with Vermonters living in Vermont time! Of course, you and i, being punctual deadline-meeters, might go stark raving mad. But then again, i know i always bring drawing materials with me, because i have learned to relax and enjoy the waiting times too. It has been a good lesson.



    1. Yes Pammy I remember you telling me about Vermont time when I was there and marvelled at how things took time. Hahaha, I have my kindle at all times too. I have also learnt to be real with the Serenity prayer. What I can’t change, courage to change what I can… And my perception and reaction is surely something I can change or work on slowly. I am taking it easier on myself for a while now and even trying to test if I too can be late. The most so far is 4 mins late and I was sweating though no one cares lol. But then you are right about upbringing and all being causes. My dad was a time freak himself. At 2 mins to departure he started the engine and at the sharp he drove off. You could see people running to catch up with the car and finish their makeup etc inside. I learnt early not to worry about makeup, clothes etc as long as I was neat and dressed for the ocassion.

      1. But Pammy when those others are oh my so late? I think it’s just about your principle and taking yourself and life so seriously and hoping people treat you with that same degree of punctuality. Seriously I am giving being just a little late a try… But amuses me most of those late comers wouldn’t dare be late for a flight lol

  2. My wife is just like you when it comes to punctuality. I believe in respecting people’s time, but must admit to being about 5-7 minutes late on many occasions. My problem is my desire to COMPLETE my tasks and often do so just outside the time frame needed to be on time. Although being late is wrong, balancing the inconvenience caused to others vs. completing the task at hand is worth it. I have NEVER had anyone complain about this 5-7 minute window. This, however, reduces my stress by not having to go back to the task to complete it.

    1. Ah Doc thanks for your comment. Am not alone then. I haven’t really had your kind of problem maybe because I plan too much and so ahead of time I start off often pre ahead and finish shortly before dateline hahaha. But yes if not finishing (and to our satisfaction especially for perfectionist like myself sometimes) will add the stress, then I’ll rather be 5-7 mins late. And I have equally never had anyone complain about my being late cause they are really very often very late anyway lol

  3. I totally understand these feelings as well. Good for you for choosing to be intentional about your thoughts in order to overcome the anxiety that wanted to take over!! We can all learn from this lesson!

    1. Hi Talasi, I knew you sure would. Look how long it’s taken me to be intentional as you say. And yep even then, I am no so there yet… At least am more relaxed now when I think of the time for any event. Sharing for me is with that aim, to inspire and motivate both myself and us all… And above all to hold myself accountable to keep trying. Have a nice evening

    1. Hahaha Gail. I have indeed given up trying to go to social functions or organize them myself. When I do imperatively have to attend, I literally make sure my kindle, smart phone and even tablet are fully charged. Thanks for your comment, I see this BMT is cross global lol

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