Tuesday, October 19, 2021

I am an early bird

Which I suppose means I catch the worm? Sometimes that worm is best left to other birds. I was early for my first wedding. So early that we had to drive around the block three times. As I had a horse and carriage instead of a car, that was not thirty miles an hour. I was at least thirty minutes early.

Not the first and definitely not the last time I ever had to do that to avoid being rudely early. The marriage? Well, let's say I have made many mistakes in my life, this is one I can't regret, because I have my three wonderful children and I wouldn't change that for anything. And I did learn the lessons. Yes, there was more than one lesson to learn.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't like this. If I am not early, I consider that I am late and that really stresses me out.

The problem with being early for everything is, as people get to know you, they also consider you to be late if you don't turn up at least 15 minutes before the allotted time. Worse than that, they assume you are not coming at all, if you don't arrive on time. Of course, nine times out of ten, they would be correct. That tenth time I was delayed by something totally beyond my control.

And I don't mean things like punctures and getting lost, they are taken into account as likely events when planning my departure time, hence the need to to drive around the block a number of times, or sit outside waiting because I am aware that too early can often be much more inconvenient than too late.

You might think being early is good. The more I think about it, the more downsides I see. I waste a lot of time. Before driving anywhere I calculate how long it would take to cover that distance under normal circumstances. Then I add extra time for possible traffic delays; punctures - I can change a wheel myself without trouble or help, but it takes time. Then I have to add time for getting lost, because I do that all the time. I have no sense of direction. I am so used to getting lost, I don't panic, even in the days before GPS and Google, I just went around in ever increasing circles until I found myself again. But that takes time. Then I add a cushion for just in case.

Then, if none of those delays occur, I arrive way too early. I sit and waste that time. Going to the airport, particularly if I am the one traveling, is much worse. Most flights require you to be at the airport two hours before your flight. I usually add another two hours to that; and I have Clear, so I jump the line; and I have TSA Precheck, another line jumped. Plus I have Global Entry for International flight line jumping. I could probably arrive one hour before my flight and still have time to wait. I have never missed a flight yet, I have missed connections but there is no way that I can build in safety for that - I try by allowing a really long connection time when making reservations, again wasting time, but even that is not always enough. 

I have been getting my hair done by the same hair stylist for over 20 years, so you can imagine she knows I will turn up early and she is very tolerant of this annoyance. In fact, if I am not there on time she will call me - mostly with concern for me. I was on time once (as opposed to being early) due to a meeting at work that ran over. It swallowed up my puncture, traffic and circling back time, she called as I was just pulling in. The only other time she called, I had put the appointment in my calendar on the wrong day! That was only 6 months ago and I am still recovering from that.

And before you ask, yes I know I am OCD. I have written about it before. At least six times, possibly more. I won't bore you with links to all the previous posts on this subject, feel free to search my blog for OCD if you are really interested, yes, that is something I would probably do. Here is a link to the first post I published on the subject.

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