I was manic this morning. Wednesdays are my crunch day. Today I had a networking meeting from 7:15-8:45, writer's group from 9-11:40, Toastmasters from Noon - 1, met with 2 fabulous women I'm mentoring from 1:30-2:30, and then home to clean up for my writers critique group (Potter's Plotters?) meeting here tonight.
So I flew out the door at 6:20 am, 5 minutes later than I planned on leaving, plus I had to let my windshield defrost. Morning traffic into Greensboro can back up so I wanted to give myself time, especially as this is the Networking group I was late for the one time and must now never, ever be late for again. So I'm haulin' butt through traffic, going faster than I should, cutting in lanes, and just feeling harried to get there on time (which to me, means early).
I make it to my meeting with 10 minutes to spare. But we let out late, so I again found myself zooming through traffic, scowling at people going a mile or two under the speed limit and just not practicing safe driving skills.
I pull into the parking lot across from the Green Bean at 9:03 and rejoice--the first slot is empty. Lucky me. So I turn my car in and hear a scrapping sound. Crap. I misjudged the distance and hit the bumper of the green Volvo station wagon beside me.
I get out and look at the bumper. I can't find a mark. Yippee! Then I look at my front bumper. It's not bad, but I obviously scraped something, so I take a closer look at the Volvo's bumper. Yes, there it is. Some scratches along the lower portion. I grab a piece of paper and write my name, number, e-mail, put the date and time and place it on the windshield asking them to please call me. I haven't heard yet, but it's only 4 pm so they may just not be home yet.
I take that whole episode as a warning from the Universe to SLOW DOWN. I got lucky I just bumped an empty car versus something more serious happening on the road at 55 mph. I was pushing the clock to get to my 1:30 meeting but made myself SLOW DOWN and flow with traffic. A five-minute lateness would not kill me. And I ended up pulling in right at 1:30, anyway.
Interestingly, the speaker I evaluated at my Toastmasters meeting today gave a speech on how she finally overcame her habit of always being tardy. She gave the real life example of how when she was young, she actually got locked in the K-Mart where she worked not once but three times because she didn't make it outside in time and no one realized she was still there.
At one point she asked us, "Who here is the person who is always early and finds it unthinkable to be late?" About 6 of us raised our hands. I may have imagined it, but I swear tshe looked right at me as she said, "I could have guessed those."
So my challenge is to learn not necessarily not to be prompt (perish the thought) but more not to have a cow if circumstances dictate that I be a few minutes late. Better late and uninjured than on-time with a criminal record. Right?