My family has always been late for things. For as long as I can remember punctuality was not a characteristic that people would use to describe us. It was never done in a rude fashion, but just about 5 to 10 minutes behind schedule. I say typically because it was selective. We were on time when it really mattered for things like school, dance class, weddings, etc. Things where punctuality was important and necessary. Now that my mom has MS our tendency to run late for things has taken on a new life of its own. We operate on a completely different time schedule, usually running very behind.
It’s not all my mom’s fault, I can’t completely blame her at all. Let’s take Christmas 2010 for example. I have always had a bad habit of biting my nails but I finally grew them out for my wedding…and so I could wear dark nail polish for Christmas. As we were running around trying to get out the door for Christmas Eve mass I realized I had forgotten to paint my nails. At this point my dad was running around looking for the checkbook, mom was making sure everything was in her purse and my newlywed husband just stood there in awe of this. This is because his family runs 10 minutes early to everything, but I digress. We had about 3 minutes before we were walking out the door. My sister looked at me and said we’re going to paint them, grabbed her nail polish and we did it. We put my hands on the kitchen counter and with 3 minutes to walking out the door she painted my nails. They were drying as we arrived at church.
I bring this up because it makes me laugh but also because my family is having to learn to be a little more organized to get out the door now. I also have to learn to be okay with the fact that we do run a little later now. I have a slight Type A personality when it comes to these things. I don’t mind running a little late but I have a point when I decide it’s too late. It’s a basic formula for my meltdown: Getting out the door drags on for various reasons that don’t relate to my mom (forgetting keys, forgetting garage openers, forgetting sunglasses) + my mom needs extra time = me putting stress and pressure on my mom in the situation.
The reality of the sitaution is the world is not going to end if we are late. We will get there when we get there. We are not going to be in trouble if we are late. One of my college best friends used to say “what are they going to do?” and that’s the attitude I need to have. I need to repeat these statements over and over. Over and over. I need to have them screaming in my head in these moments, drowning out whispers of stress as I begin to pass the whispers on to everyone else. Instead I need to take a mental step back in these moments. I need to help where I can but I also need to treasure the chaos, treasure these moments. Treasure that we are all together piling into our car to go somewhere the same way we have done all my life. We are all together in these moments. I need to focus on the moment and enjoy being fashionably late x 2.