The Late Addiction

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I’m typically late. So are most of my friends.

Why is this?

Being on time is a very simple thing to do. You type your destination’s address into Google Maps, Google Maps tells you when to depart, and then you leave 10 minutes before that.

So why are we all still late? It’s not because its difficult.

It’s because being late makes us feel like what we’re doing is important.

When I’m late for something, even if it’s a casual lunch with a group of friends (the most low-risk event of all), I feel important, like I’m going to be missed, or like my friends can’t start without me. I feel like if I’m late, my friends are going to be mad at me. I feel nervous, I feel like the stakes around the event are raised, even when they’re really not. I feel like I have a ton of important things to do, and my day is just packed!

The reality was I got caught up watching YouTube on my couch and got distracted.

A few weeks ago I was driving to a concert venue and I over estimated how long it would take me to get there. I was slated to arrive about 20 minutes before my friends. If I’m early to something, I feel the opposite of everything I just described. I feel like the one who has nothing exciting going on, I feel like a creep, or a loiterer.

I think it’s our emotions that make us late.

The excitement we feel when we have to make the yellow light, and the avoidance of the quiet self-consciousness is why we’re late.

I’ve been trying to be more real with the situation. Being early doesn’t make me lame, and being late doesn’t make me important. Because honestly, spending emotional energy worrying about being late or early isn’t eve close to worth it when I could just arrive five minutes early and chat with the barista.

Joshua Reese