I often wonder how other people do it. How do they pull themselves away from a fascinating pursuit, a nagging to-do list or a comfy spot on the sofa and make themselves move on to the next thing? I suppose it's all part of being a responsible adult, which, if you ask me, is entirely overrated.
I thought that when I retired, I'd miraculously start being on time for things. Nope. I have, however, begun to discover the meaning of a heretofore foreign concept.
Early is something I studiously avoided for much of my adult life. Why be early? You just sit around, wasting time you could be spending on something fascinating, necessary or relaxing. Sure, you can bring along a book or an electronic device or even another human being to while away the time…but you can also finish that one more thing instead.
But even for a one-more-thing-itis person like me, certain circumstances call for early. I am routinely early for any class I am teaching anywhere because I know I need to make sure everything is set up properly. I am consistently early for book signings because I have a bag of supplies that I use to personalize the space I am given.
The common thread? These things require preparation. Simply showing up is only the beginning. There are final details to attend to, and simply being on time or -- gasp -- late! will not work.
I'm hoping that, having begun to grasp the heretofore foreign concept of early, I will begin to transfer this new skill to social engagements, appointments and other events that do not require set up or preparation. And since I'm an optimistic person by nature, I know there is always hope.
But I'm not holding my breath. As long as there is one more thing to do, I'm not sure that early is in the cards.