Running a Bit Late

lateThis has been a super busy week and for the first time since we started this website we missed a couple of days of posts.

That, plus the experience of waiting for someone to show up for coaching, made me think back on when I used to always be late for events and appointments.

I was an absolutely incurable late arriver. In fact, I spent almost a full month of therapy sessions (which were pretty unpleasant) talking about “why are you late again.” And it still didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop myself.

All of this finally culminated in a heroic dash across Pittsburgh airport to try to make a flight to Philadelphia where I was scheduled to give a presentation to a large audience of psychiatrists.

I almost died. Probably would die if I tried to do it now.

I literally made it to the gate as they were closing the flight. Ten seconds and I would have looked like a complete fool in front of 100’s of my peers.

That kind of experience gets you thinking.

For the first time I tried to really figure out why I was doing this. It didn’t have to do with latent aggression against male authority figures (as my therapist of the time thought).

No, it was because I always felt that what I was doing was inadequate, so I could never stop doing it and leave until it was almost impossible to make my next engagement. That plus a mind that was quite willing to come up with ever more unrealistic estimates of how long it takes to get from point A to point B. In fact, some frankly magical thinking took place.

Realizing that that was my motivation allowed me to (1) see what was happening clearly in real time and (2) tell myself that it would be easier to finish the work when I arrived, not as stressed, where I was supposed to go. I have never been late like that again.

My life is a lot calmer now. And honestly I think I get just as much stuff done.