I'm late / I'm late / For a very important date. / No time to say "Hello." / Goodbye. / I'm late, I'm late, I'm late. - WHITE RABBIT "Alice in Wonderland" Lewis Carroll
Lately I feel an awful lot like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, walking around looking at some digital device that not only tells me where I should be next, or helping me communicate with a friend without actually talking to them, while showing in glaring numbers that I probably am late or about to be.
This happens a lot at work. I am still perplexed, and to the best of my knowledge they have not yet perfected and rolled out the teleportation device from Star Trek, at how I am supposed to be in 2 places at once at work. Like many people who work these days and rely on appointment times in Outlook. For those of us who work in larger scale locations I often have meetings that end at exactly the same time the next one begins, not necessarily near one another. Since the only meeting that I can make starting exactly at the start time is the first one of the day I will of course, at breakneck speed, be running toward my next one where I will be at least 5 min late. This starts a downward spiral where all my meetings start a little later consecutively so by the 3rd or 4th meeting of the day I am pretty much almost ready to reschedule as will have missed a good chunk of it. Add in my killer dash in the middle of 42nd Street dodging cops, demonstrations, and drivers who could care less about pedestrians to get some Starbucks which will allow me to keep going at this pace and not lose that much more time. The other dilemma is that my colleagues have the same issue so even if I am on time they will usually be tardy. We work in an enviorment where time is precious, out of courtesy to one another (with some sort of commute) and usually with some sort of familial obligations (or for those single people a fun spot to drink and/or dine in post work), we try and cram these into a 9- 4 spot for the most part. Besides you need the time before 9 and after 4 to get the work done that you could not do being in meetings all day. There will be unpleasant remarks made at that invite that you send for 8am or 5pm meetings. I remember appointment books which were used by the doctors that I worked for - easy to make one appointment after the previous one since they meant one location and a person who sat in the same spot for all of them. I often hope the brilliant young minds at Microsoft/Google/Apple/etc....will create a scheduling tool that builds in 5 min that cannot be overwritten between appointments.
As soon as I wake up I already am playing beat the clock, wake up before the family, make a variety of breakfasts, make lunch for husband and for elder son (younger one will be added in Sept when he starts school full time), make shapes of said lunch for son as he is not big eater, find snack, make sure kitchen stuff is put away from night before, clean up and straighten before kids come down. Then on to wake up family, make sure the kids are dressed, I do my hair make up and make sure their teeth are brushed, make the beds and all this while making my train. This starts in reverse as soon as I run to make night time train, rush home, start dinners, make sure homework was done, play with kids, cook, serve dinner and then prep for bed time and the outfits for the boys and myself for the next day.
Lately more than ever I feel like all I do is rush and wonder if I am late or how late I am. I am pretty sure I am not alone and that this applies to many people in this day and age. Is it the right way to live? I know that too slow a lifestyle is much more stressful for me than this madness described above. I do think that it wears many out. In the end the only thing I feel I need to not be late for is deciding if this is how we want to live, to never let an opportunity go by to tell someone that mean something to me, and of course to make sure that I am present in the moment for my kids. Now I got to go because as you can imagine I am late.....