That’s the line I use to say after my son Jake was born. I created that explanation when I was living in the ‘newborn fog’ and I always seemed to be running late to meet people. “This is the earliest that I’ve been late” is what I was thinking last month when I called yet another friend to tell her I was running late to our lunch.
As I drove to the restaurant, I remembered the days before Jake. I was rarely late like this unless there was something beyond my control like traffic. I was always the first to get to a meeting or the first to get to the restaurant. Most days I brought something with me to work on because I knew I would be waiting for everyone else.
Thankfully my working mom friend was patient with me as I arrived late to our lunch. We had a great time sharing kid stories, work updates and a good laugh about my latest blog post but it bothered me a bit that I had cut into our support group time. As I drove back to my office, I was wondering what was going on with me and what happened to my usual on-time behavior.
Jake will be turning 9 next month so I’m no longer able to use the excuse of having a baby for why I’m late. I’ve had numerous conversations about this with Boyfriend Ben and the only thing I can think of is that I over schedule myself. I think I have time to reply to that one more email, make that one more phone call, finish one more paragraph on this blog post. The next thing I know, my 30 minutes left before I needed to leave turned into five.
Suddenly I turn into a crazy person. I’m throwing clothes everywhere to get dressed, trying to take the dog out (and you know those fur faces just never pee when you want them to!), grabbing my stuff only to look at the clock … damnit late again. Then the question, do I drive like a bat out of hell or make that ‘I’m late again’ phone call? Most days I try to outdrive the time. Sometimes it works and other days, a text that says ‘be there in 5’ works even when I know I’m at least 15 minutes away.
I’m quite aware of the fact that I’ve been running pretty hard for the last few months. Last week was the first week I didn’t have a deadline, an event or back-to-back meetings scheduled. I went into the week thinking about how I was going to get caught up on work and I would finally start writing all those blog posts churning around in my head.
Strange thing happened – instead of this wonderful ‘I’m so happy with this free time’ attitude, I hit a brick wall. I just lost steam and somewhere in there went my motivation. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. I didn’t have the energy to write, start new projects or anything I knew I needed to do to keep moving everything forward.
I struggled with my questions about my zombie-like state of mind but it took Jimmy Buffett to get my answer. To my regular readers going ‘yeah, like THAT’S a surprise!’ – just skip over this part. To my new readers, I’m a total Parrothead in every sense of the word and have been one for over 25 years. I realized I needed a Buffett concert to energize my batteries but with no concert date in sight until 2013, a live CD would have to do.
And then I got my message from a song called Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season. For those of you unfamiliar with the lyrics, here is the chorus and quite honestly, the part that hit home with me:
And now I must confess,
I could use some rest.
I can’t run at this pace very long.
Yes, it’s quite insane,
I think it hurts my brain.
But it cleans me out and then I can go on.
They say things happen for a reason. I probably wouldn’t have listened to anyone who would have told me to slow down. My live Buffett CD concert reminded I need to find room for some downtime for me to be more productive. So to my therapist Buffett I say, keep on singing and helping me get through this crazy life. Thanks for the life lesson Jimmy!
Photo credit: Eternal Clock