Today I did two things I have never done before. Neither of them pleased me.
The day was busy but uneventful until the late afternoon. At that point I was getting ready to go to a Bible study with my Life Group (at State College E-Free small Bible study groups are referred to as Life Groups). On my schedule I had the date, time, location, and my food assignment posted like I always do. This week, of all weeks, the plan was to get started early.
The location I headed for was only about a mile and a quarter walk away, so I started out on foot carrying my new Rachel Ray Lasagmna Lugger which contained two 13×9 dishes filled with chicken. The walk is far from level, in fact it is uphill both ways. But I enjoy walking, so if I have the option to walk or drive I’ll probably walk (VW doesn’t want me).
As I walked I anticipated I would arrive about two minutes late so I ran approximately three quarters of a mile to make up time. This resulted in me approaching my destination three minutes early. And then I had a disturbing thought. The last meeting we had was at this location, and we normally do not meet at the same place twice in a row. A quick phone call confirmed my fear.
So at this point I was 1.18 miles from my car and the meeting was just about to get underway on the other side of town (and I was carrying a dinner entree). So I ran. Like Forrest Gump. Like Rudy. Like Homestar.
By the time I reached my car I felt like I had run several miles. The mix of wearing heavy clothes, carrying food, and two 100 yd stretches with unplowed snow proved a bit taxing. By the time I got the snow off my car and made the slow drive across town on the slushy roads (10 of the 12 traffic lights on my route were red) I arrived at my destination 41 minutes and 20 seconds late.
I was 41 minutes and 20 seconds late for something.
Then later in the evening I was trying to hide behind a coffee table and I leaned on my phone and called someone. My first inadvertent phone call. What a day.
If you don’t know me, being late to an event and making an inadvertent phone call might not sound like a big deal. But I’m a stickler for time. I’d rather be ten minutes early than one second late. I also believe poor planning is no excuse for being late or doing stupid things like making inadvertent phone calls.
For this reason I am a bit compulsive about checking directions, figuring commute times, and anticipating delays. I’m careful about how I handle my phone, making sure I don’t call someone accidentally or leave the ringer on in public. I’m not perfect by any means, but I do my best to be persistently cautious.
In the ten years I spent working at a nursery (a plant nursery, not a daycare) before I went to grad school I was never late for work. Not once. In my four years commuting to Temple I was only late for two classes, and both of those occasions involved serious traffic delays that were unavoidable. I plan to be early for my own funeral.
Despite my two-part series of unfortunate events today was actually a pretty good day.