I just finished an entry for my personal fun blog about an upcoming trip. I wrote about my nerves and anxiety as we prepare to embark on our latest adventure. At the end of it, I reflected on one of my goals this year, which is to s l o w d o w n . I have realized that, up to my own devices, I rush and rush to finish for no particular reason. I have some type of inborn urgency with no foundation. I always seem to be wondering what’s next and fear being late.
This could be just me. My personality. Also, my mother had a strict policy that you “never keep people waiting, it’s rude”. Every doctor appointment I’ve ever had, I’ve been early. Every job interview. I’m the horrible guest that is never fashionably late. However, as I am trying to slow down and figure out why, it could also be my years of informal training in the school system.
As a student, if I was late, I received a detention. Didn’t want that. Fifteen years of “don’t want that”. As a teacher, I have to be in class before students, bathroom break be damned. Eighteen years of “can’t have that.” This is the majority of my life. Bells, bells, bells. I have time urgency. When I’m expected to be somewhere, I get there.
What I need to learn is to separate this from my vacation time. I still backtrack from the final arrival time all the steps it will take to get there. Top of the page is the end time, and each line down deducts prep time. My travel companions don’t need an update of, “we have 22 more minutes to enjoy this, but then have to get back on schedule”. “Sorry, spent too much time at lunch, we have to skip this ride”.
While being punctual is important in my job and for my students, I need to relax the rules a little bit this year and realize that for once, I just don’t have to move with the bell.