Building in Some Slack. Wednesday February 21, 2018
Our flight was scheduled for 18.05. Last call for boarding was 17.40. My husband said that he had arranged to get the hire car back at 16.00 and we should therefore leave at 15.00.
I turned on my sunbed to look at him. It was ten past two and I had just reached page 177 in my Jack Reacher book. It was an exciting bit and I didn't want to move.
"It only takes fifteen minutes to get to the airport from here," I pointed out.
"But we've got to shower off the sun cream and sand and then change into going home clothes. And I have to put more petrol in the car."
I reluctantly closed my book and started to drag my sun-drugged body off the lounger; started to gather up our children and belongings. I was grumpy; I had wanted to eke out every last drop of warmth before we returned to the great grey beast of the British February.
But, he was right of course. It always takes longer than you think. It was half past four when we got the car back and gone five by the time we dropped off the baggage. Negotiating Security and the Duty Free took some time, and in the end, we were pretty much the last people to board the plane.
But – there was no panic, because he'd built in enough slack.
My eldest takes after her father. She has already drawn up her revision timetable for her GCSEs and, with sly humour, has labelled some periods, "Procrastination and messing about."
I have yet to learn to do this. My mother says that I have always tried to fit a quart into a pint pot. For years, this phrase meant nothing to me, as I didn't realise a quart is two pints!
So, I over commit. I try to fit too much in and I never leave enough time to do it all.
The result, of course, is stress. It means I am late to appointments or have to cancel at the last minute. It means that sometimes I am so stressed I forget things entirely, and I'm always in a rush.
As you know, I don't do New Year's Resolutions; but – if I did – then my resolution for 2018 would be to do less and to schedule more.
It's not lazy, it's self-preservation.
It's for the good of those who love me. Because they need to be less stressed about me being too stressed.
And if they don't have to worry about picking up the pieces of my disasters they will be less stressed and they won't get angry.
I will schedule in more time to do less.
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.