Did you know that I have never needed to use an alarm clock? It might even be considered a superpower of mine, although I would be disappointed if you are only allotted one superpower and this was it. Well, it’s true and it has been this way my entire life regardless of the circumstance.
How about when I was in high school? Nope, didn’t need it.
Changing time zones? Piece of cake.
What if you went to bed at 3:00 am and needed to be up at 5:30 am? Consider it done.
It’s very odd and I’m sure that there are people out there that study various aspects of social behavior who could chime in with an opinion on this but the reason I believe I have this particular superpower is due to the fact that I really hate being late … any sort of late to any sort of activity – even it’s to my own scheduled activity and I am the only person “scheduled to arrive”. I am never late if it’s left up to me and my own devices.
Why am I like this? No idea really. I have combed through my memory to see if I could identify some childhood life-event that traumatized me to this level of somewhat irrational (at times) clock-watching, but I’ve come up empty-handed. I’ve done some “research” online but most of what I’ve found is from other people who don’t need alarm clocks and they are full of self-congratulatory reasons like “I have a very focused and disciplined mind…” Ugh. That definitely does not apply to me, but it also doesn’t explain why I feel as strongly as I do about being punctual.
One of the things I learned a long time ago when I was on one of my internet rabbit-hole searches was from U.S. President George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation – did you know that by age sixteen, George Washington had copied out by hand, 110 rules that were based on a rules composed by French Jesuits as early as 1595. Though many of the rules deal with matters of etiquette, several of these rules touch on Washington’s personal philosophies about judgment, honor, success, and conscience. The rules are fairly entertaining reading (there are rules in there on how to remove fleas, ticks, and lice off of yourself and others – rule #13) but there is a rule in there about being on time:
Undertake not what you cannot perform but be careful to keep your promise.
For Washington, being on time was one of the ways you would show respect to others, and in turn, he expected to be shown the same courtesy and respect. George and I are on the same page in that regard. Part of my reason for being so time-conscious is that I feel that it is disrespectful to others when I am late and I’m quite sure that my tardiness wouldn’t go unnoticed … because I know that I make a mental note about others that are constantly late to any of our mutually scheduled activities. Yes, I’m aware that this is not in line with the friendly vibe I try to throw out there.
There are certain attributes one could extend to people who are routinely punctual – the first and foremost for me it is akin to keeping a promise. I wrote a blog post a long time ago about advice and in it, I wrote that the best advice I could give was to what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it. You are making a promise and promises are meant to be honored.
I also believe that punctuality is an indication of humility – not normally a word I believe that anyone would generally associate with me. However, I don’t believe that my time is any more valuable than someone else’s and as a result, I endeavor to avoid keeping people waiting on me.
Lastly, before I climb (or get pushed) off my soapbox for the day, I’d just like to point out that time is valuable. It’s a finite resource and you won’t be getting any of it back once it’s gone. To that end, does anybody want to spend their time waiting for you to show up? You and I both know the answer to that …
Cheers for now – I’ve got somewhere I’m supposed to be.