Day 53/365 - On running late
Incidentally, this blog post is late. It wasn’t on purpose, I swear. But apparently, I’m not alone- and science is beginning to discover why some people are perpetually running late. This BBC article has some ideas about the chronically (pun intended?) late people, and the author, like me suffers from the late disorder!
We all know these people; perhaps we are these people. Although it seems like late people are disrespectful of others’ time, this may not necessarily be the case. Most latecomers are hyper-aware of their flawed habits, and are constantly berating themselves (me included). We underestimate the amount of time it takes to finally leave the house, perhaps tidying up or packing lunch, or looking for an item that we just NEED to take. We also hope for public transport to run on schedule, and don’t account for extra time to allot for traffic or accidents. This is the hopeful romantic in us: everything will go according to plan and we will seamlessly arrive 5 minutes ahead of schedule because of the wonderful trains/buses/empty highways that will run super smoothly.
However, despite our best intentions to produce good quality timely work, or to show face, the linearity of time inevitably wins the battle of wills. Good faith effort and hard work put into projects, or extra thought to the day’s outfit, is marred every time we run behind the clock. Our lateness signals to other people that we don’t conform to the standards of time that everyone else is subject to. As the saying goes: time is the great equalizer. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and it’s up to us to prioritize correctly, and set the alarm for a little before strictly necessary. Life always gets in the way, and we must prodigiously account for it rather than blame the abstract limitations of the clock.