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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Being Late as Progress...

I was never late. Like ever. I was once in a car accident on my way to court. I called the court to tell them that I was going to be late and might not make it at all. I still arrived right on time, got my car towed and got a ride to court. The judge was impressed and I was pretty pleased with myself at the time.

Today I look back on that and remember how much stress I felt. How completely responsible I felt for everything. How I felt like I couldn’t ever be late or wrong or mistaken. I had to be perfect all the time and there was absolutely no margin for error.

I was compulsively early for parties, well, really any event. When I moved from Capitol Hill to the Navajo reservation, I would show up to meetings in my usual manner then sit waiting for the meeting to start...usually at least 30 minutes later, if it started at all. When I questioned this, they told me, “its Rez time, it will happen when it is supposed to...” I would not be lying to say that this annoyed me to no end.

So today when I woke up late and have a lot to do, I have this desire to hop into my old panic mode and begin cutting things out right and left. However, today, it is ok to be late. And somehow my ability to relax with time has given me permission to not be perfect either. Crazy.

Today I can show up late. Now, I still think it is rude to keep people waiting on you, but today if I am 5 minutes late, I apologize but on the inside I am proud of myself. This from the person who used to call her kids preschool to tell them I was going to be 2 minutes late. Seriously. I think after the third time I did this, the school secretary chided me and said to please stop calling for this. I felt silly but I also felt like I was the worst mother for not making it to pick up on time. Mind you I was not goofing off or lunching with friends, but at the base which was miles away getting groceries and the like for the family and got stuck behind a slow driver on the 33.

When I look back at that former me, I am sad for her. She was wound so tight. Some of you reading this might be thinking, “WAS??!!” But believe me when I tell you, I have made so much progress and it all started with me finding some level of comfortability with being late.

Today, I am not going to freak out or act like a jerk because my morning schedule and timetable is all screwed up. I see that acting like a nut job to get on the road to go camping to relax is counter productive. The beach will still be there whenever it is that I get there. It really isn’t going anywhere. And the boyfriend will understand and will not be upset with me if I tell him that I am running behind. He is cool like that. My daughter will not likely be happy that I wake her up earlier to help me, but she will survive. I am taking her camping at the beach after all.

Life will move on, forward like it does. And I do not have to be a jerk or all jacked up about it. I will be ok. Time is a friend not a foe and I do not have to fight it anymore. Today I trust that everything happens in God’s timing, including being late. And while sometimes lateness can be a lack of maturity, being compulsively early is very clearly a sign of hyper vigilance and trauma. So today I am grateful for the ability to be late and have that just be ok. Healing is a weird road, with lots of twists and turns and its own timing for sure. I am grateful today to see that and to allow my life to unfold one minute at a time...even when I am late.

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