on-timer in progress

Douglas Adams deadline quote

Recently I realized that I have a problem, I admitted it, and I’ve been working to change.

Hi, my name is James, and I’m a late-oholic.

I’m working on it for two reasons. First, being on time is something you learn in Adulting 101. Also first, I got married, and punctuality is very important to my wife, Stephanie. Out of respect for her, I want to arrive sooner than later. But sometimes it’s not that easy.

Stephanie and I have a very different concept of timing, of lateness, of all adverbs of time and frequency. The other day while driving, I said, “I want to take classical guitar lessons one day.” I imagined how great it would be, when I’m a boring, old 30-something, to learn to read music and play beautiful Spanish serenades, to master Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” or “Bourrée in E minor,” songs that require precise timing.

Stephanie replied, “Yeah, but when you’re starting grad school probably isn’t the best time.” Judging from her matter-of-fact tone, you’d think I wanted to sign up this week or stop at the music store and purchase a guitar with nylon strings on the way home. I intend to start taking lessons ten years from now and ten minutes after the scheduled appointment.

Being a late-oholic, though, grows more embarrassing the older you get. Too many times I walked into college classrooms with everyone else seated. A recurring nightmare involves missing the first day or week of classes entirely. So my New Years resolution, anticipating grad school, was to be on time. But I still select which events require an on-time arrival. Doctor’s appointment? Yes. Article interviews? Yes. Birthday party? Nah. Work? Yes, with a sort of ten-minute grace period. There’s no official list. Not yet.

Last year, I signed up for a blogging group called Think Kit. Employees at Indianapolis marketing company SmallBox send a prompt once a month. The prompts fortunately don’t have deadlines. By the end of June, I finished my Think Kit blog for May. Now, in the middle of July, I’m finally completing my Think Kit post for June.

Neil Gaiman once said writers could find work if they had two of three qualities, the qualities being: really good at their work, extremely likable, or always on time. Well, I must suffice on the first two, because there’s no way the third is true. I subscribe more to the Douglas Adams’s philosophy: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

The first step is admitting. I’m still James, still a late-oholic, but I’m working to be more than that. I’m an on-timer in progress.


This post is a part of Think Kit, a labor of love by SmallBox marketing that provides a blogging prompt once a month. This prompt was called “More than _______”

Is there a word, role, or name that often defines you? Time to break free – redefine yourself, building your case out of words, thoughts, or images.

Photo via quotefancy.

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