Friday, August 30, 2013

Running late

We all have our quirks, and one of mine happens to be this terrible fear of being late.  I loathe lateness in myself and others.  It seems so disrespectful and wasteful.  I can't control anyone else's lateness, so I focus on being on time, if not early myself.  Of course when I'm late for something, I tend to be hard on myself.

Thursday, I was late picking the kids up.  I'd had a meeting with the former PTA president to go over some accounts, and time got away from us because we had lots to cover.  I got to the school neighborhood a little late, then couldn't find a parking spot, then parked two blocks away and walked to fetch the children.  By then, I was pretty late.  The kids had been scared, and I was beating myself up over it.  The little guy was simply relieved to see me. The other was berating me for making him worry.  Both reactions were making me feel even worse than I already did.

Of course, then I had to stop and think about that behavior.  It's not healthy, and it's a standard of perfection that is utterly unattainable for us mere mortals, especially if we have to parallel park the car.  I only was responsible for part of my lateness, as I should have known from past experience, that these things take longer than expected.  It wasn't my fault six people parked in such a way as to take up multiple spaces, and it's not my fault that traffic was heavy.  Now, I have to be nice to myself and remember that I am only capable of doing so many things in a span of time, and that occasionally, I will be late.

Holding ourselves to impossible standards is hard on our psyches.  When we are faced with these moments of failure, it's important to be realistic about what is and is not our fault.  A little forgiveness for our humanity can go a along way to lightening our negativity towards ourselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment, share or ask questions, but please, keep comments in good taste and respectful.