Friday, July 30, 2010

Mastering Time

Have you ever struggled with one thing?  Every day? Your whole life? 

I struggle with time. 

Time has mastered me.  I, however, have not mastered time. 

This has been a constant source of disgruntlement for me.  And, since I married the man who is late if he's on time... well...  you get the picture. 

It's a character flaw.  My dear sweet hubby pointed this out to me.  Wow.  I'm already known for being hard on myself, and having a "flaw" pointed out by the man who knows and loves me most...  Well, it hurt.  Like spikes through the heart, poking out your designer t-shirt, hurt.  What miffed me more was, it was true. Its been chafing at me since.

Growing up, my parents were very lax with disciplines, boundaries, expectations and most everything else.  They vacillated between being too lax or too stringent.  Once I remember getting "grounded till Jesus comes" and my prior non existent curfew was set for 7:30 pm (on a Friday no less). I was 16 - this was excruciating.  There weren't very many consistent rules in my home.  As I got older, I vowed that I wouldn't make the "mistakes" that my parents did, or parent in the same way.  I was determined that I wouldn't be a product of my environment.

I'm a grown up now - I must take responsibility for my actions.

Fast forward to today and I am a parent myself.  A young parent no less.  I have been striving to raise my kids in a climate that would be opposite of what I was raised in.  In some areas I've excelled and others... well, lets just say I'm breaking habits.  And God is bringing a lot of residue to the surface that needs to be dealt with.  One of these areas is my lack of discipline with time management. 

I'm smart enough to know being late for work is a no-no.  And my kids weren't late to school one time last year (no kidding!).  So, I got those down...  But... anything else?  I can be counted on to be exactly 5-7 minutes late.  Fashionable? Maybe.  Rude? YES!  And the worst part - I KNOW it.  Ugh.

Example: Sunday mornings I will go through the list of what I need to do to get ready as I lay there hitting my snooze.  As I pound the snooze every 10 minutes, I cross something off that list.  5:55 am - Well, I won't curl my hair today.  6:05 am - Ok, I'll wear the shirt that doesn't need to be ironed. 6:15 am - I'll just throw my hair back in a pony tail.  6:25 am - CRAP!   Rush Rush Rush - fly out the door to my family waiting in the car as they watch me hobble with one shoe on, carrying the other shoe in my hand that is clasping a bracelet on my wrist, and buttoning my shirt, all at the same time. It's a bad example.

When I get in the car, 6.45 minutes behind schedule, I enter into the realm of silence.  Nate gives me one disparaging look that says, "You're killing me Smalls. Really."

Want to hear a funny story?  Well, it's funny now.  At the moment it was anything but.

Enter the fairly newly married couple with a newborn baby boy. 

One Sunday morning, as the Wife is racing around to get ready, (after hitting said snooze button multiple times) the Husband decides that he is tired of waiting, and doesn't want to be as late as the Wife is going to make him.  So he hollers up the stairs.  "I'm leaving... see you there!"  The Wife, in her panic to hurry, is in her walk in closet when the Husband says this, and doesn't hear him leave.  True to form, about 7 minutes later, the Wife appears, frantic and harried, but clothed and semi decent, to discover an empty house.  The Wife immediately starts muttering under her breath and stomping around.  Tucking the baby boy into his car seat and nestling his car seat in the back seat of the Expedition, the Wife slams the door, still muttering. 

Now, the fairly newly married couple lived quite a ways from their church, and had to travel a relatively long distance via the highway.  As the Wife guns the gas and merges onto the highway, she notices that in her haste to leave, she left her cell phone at home.  Nice.  The ride is uneventful for a few miles.  That is, until the car started to shudder and quake.  The Wife looks down at her gas gauge as the car gives one final quiver and shuts off.  Out of gas.  On the Highway. Late for Church.  This is the exact moment that precious baby boy wakes up and begins to wail.  At this point, the Wife is snarling mutiny at the Husband (even though she knows she is the one who was late). 

The Wife sits on the side of the highway as cars go zipping down the lanes for about 30 minutes, when she sees flashing lights behind her.  The Wife promptly bursts into tears, rolls down her window and pours her tardy story out to the officer who comes to her rescue.  AAA is called and 45 minutes from start to finish, the Wife gets back on the road and continues her trek. 

While this is going on, unbeknownst to the Husband, he is sitting on the platform, scanning the congregation for the Wife.  He begins to get nervous and slightly worried.  The double doors in the back of the sanctuary burst wide open.  The Wife, hauling a carseat on her hip, diaper bag on her shoulder, hair askew, and eyes swollen, walks in extreme vexation to a seat nearest the back.  The Husband, who knows by now, something bad happened when he left the Wife, feels a storm cloud coming on.  He fervently starts praying...

HA!  Did I learn my lesson?  No... unfortunately, I have made my family late many times since that day.  You'd think I'd get it together.  I'm smart, creative, funny (have I mentioned funny?), polite (mostly) and know better. 

One of my desires is to wake up early.  Church days and non church days.  I need that time alone, house quiet, Word in hand, mind clear, before the bedlam of the day begins.  You know that scripture "The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."? 

I am a weaksauce snooze button hitting lady

It's time for change. 

So, let this stand as my accountability post. 

I, Janelle Hyatt, a chronically late, hurried, rushed, and stressed mother of two, wife to a prompt man, hereby do solemnly declare that I am going to manage my time better.  I will do my best to get my booty out of bed when the alarm goes off WITHOUT a snooze respite.  I will be a master of my time.  I choose this day to respect the time of those around me.  I will set an example to my children that they can be proud to follow. I will conquer this.

I'm going to try anyways... 

Who's with me?


  1. I loved your post. My mother always struggled with tardiness (still does) and I would have loved to see her change her ways while I was still young. Your comment that being late is rude reminded me of a professor I had freshman year who would stop class to recite Jonathan Smith, "I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning." every time a student disrupted the class by arriving late (He also stapled applications for employment at McDonald's to student's failing tests). Not a very subtle man, but I think he had it right. Good luck in your quest to terminate your relationship with the snooze button, I know just how difficult that can be!

  2. I totally understand Janelle! And surprisingly, I overcame the snooze button...well on most days I do. I decided back in the Spring that I needed to be up an hour before everyone else, so I set my alarm clock away from my bed. It has worked for me. That and setting the alarm on the coffee pot. It's so nice to wake up to already made coffee and a nice quiet house! Good luck!

  3. I totally get this, it's like I wrote the post myself! Growing up in a very large family, you got used to being late whether you liked it or not! Even if you were ready to go, the chance of one of the other 10 or so people all being ready to go on time as well was slim to none. I didn't like being late growing up, but I got used to it. Now, I don't like being late but I cut things too close. I always feel like I have too many balls I'm trying to juggle and I hate the idea of sitting somewhere EARLY with nothing to do (when the reality is, I'd probably just make it on time)... My husband is of the mindset that you must be a minimum of 15 minutes early to things, most of the time 15 minutes is yeah, we've had to compromise a bit!

  4. Hi there Janelle.
    I am finally getting to catch up on your posts and as always - enjoying them immensely.
    So have you mastered the "Time Demon" yet?
    Take care and may I selfishly say: keeping blogging!