Saturday 2 March 2024

Planner Prompt 2024 Week 9: Time Buffers

This week's planner prompt, which I've just now read, is to give yourself a time buffer to minimize stress: give yourself an extra 10 minutes to get to all your appointments.

This week has been exceedingly blah. Maybe because it was the last week I could go to the gym, or maybe it was because I'm fighting off whatever Spawn2 has right now. I thankfully didn't have many appointments this week. But I did make it on time to the one I did have despite the horrendous road conditions.

As a child I remember my mom drilling in to me that you always left the house a half hour before any appointment, which as a kid always feels super early. We were never late for anything. 
What I didn't connect at the time is that we lived a good 15-20 minutes out of town, so the half hour was necessary. And parking downtown wasn't as big a deal back then. I think.

We had family friends who were consistently an hour late for everything. One time Mom planned having them over for dinner, told them it was for 5pm, and planned it for 6pm so that the food wasn't ruined. Family friend was so mad. 

In my twenties I had a friend who was late for everything. I experienced so much anxiety when I was with her and we had somewhere to be.

Then I had kids. Sometimes lateness just happens when you have kids. And it still gives me huge anxiety to this day.

I've gotten better at planning exit strategies. If we need to be downtown at 4pm, it's 10-20 minutes to get there depending on time of day and weather, then 10-30 minutes to find parking, then 1-10 minutes to walk to where you need to go, so we need to leave either an hour ahead of time, or at 3:45 and drive like a mad woman.

And then if you're on time for the appointment and it's for the doctor or chiropractor, you could be waiting for another 10-120 minutes, so bring a book. And I feel like my chiropractor sees patients in the order that they arrive regardless of appointment time, so if I'm on my lunch and plan accordingly and arrive right on time but the guy whose appointment is after mine arrived first he goes first and so then my lunch hour is over and I'm still waiting. 

It is so much more relaxing to get somewhere on time, with a few minutes to breath. Or read. Or nap. Sometimes I even close my eyes for five minutes when I get to work.

Next year both my kids go to the same school, and I can drop them off early enough that I would start work at 8am like a normal person (vs. 9am due to current drop-offs), meaning my work day would end at 5pm vs 6pm. 
Walking it backwards, though, means leaving the house a good ten minutes earlier than we do, and I think that that puts us in a heavier traffic pattern, so more like fifteen minutes earlier, so then I have to weigh the anxiety of trying to get out the door so early vs. maybe starting at 8:15.

How early, or late, are you?

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