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Why Am I Always Late?

Updated on August 29, 2014

Always late

I just can't seem to get anywhere on time, and that's been a problem all of my life. My mother said that I will be late for my own funeral, I hope she's right about that. Seriously, no matter what I do, I'm always late. I have no less than ten clocks in my home, this is no joke, I have over sixty watches, I know because I've counted them. Now get this, they are all set at different times, all except the ones that are digital, and get real time. Those darn things, I can't figure out how to trick them, I mean the ones on the cable boxes, cell phones etc. Okay now, I set them all at the wrong time, (ahead), to try to trick myself, but wouldn't you know, I know how far ahead they all are. I've even tried not changing them when daylight savings time changes. Nope didn't work.

Now, it's not that I don't want to be on time, I do. I just think I'm hard wired to be late. I've tried different tactics. Some of the things I've tried are, laying my clothes out, even down to the jewelry, getting up earlier than I need to for the event, not going to bed. Seriously, I've tried these and many others. Here's what happens sometimes. I'll get ready on time and oh, I can just see it, I'm salivating, I'm going to make it this time. Oh, I'm a little bit too early, I have plenty of time, can you see where I'm going with this. You see, when I think I have all of this time, it begins, the procrastination. I'll look around my room and maybe, I'll have to close a drawer, or closet door, take down some dishes that I have in my bedroom, straighten the bedspread or the pillows, no seriously, these are some of the things I find to do with "all of that time that I have left." Okay, so now I'm downstairs, in the kitchen, remember, with those dishes that I had to take down. Uh, oh, there's dishes on the counter, I have to stack them in the sink or dishwasher. Oh yes, and the floor needs a little sweeping. Looking at the clock on the stove or Microwave, (remember they're set ahead), I only have a little time, but that's okay I'm going on out to the car anyway.

I'm getting in the car, yeah, I'm going to be on time. Oh boy, I left my watch, you know I can't leave my watch. Getting to the door, find that elusive door key, okay I'm in now, who left this towel on the sofa, gotta take it to the bathroom. Now look at this sink, after all this is the bathroom that my guest will use if they come over, now that's done, go get the watch. I'm getting a little nervous now, but I still have a little time (about 5 mins). I got the watch, now go. I'm getting to the car and I look around and some paper or trash in on the lawn, you know that I can't leave that there. I go to the trash can and they are still at the curb, so before I can put the trash in it I have to put them all back in the yard. Now I'm late, so I just throw up my hands in disgust, and try to figure out what excuse I can give, if asked, as to why I'm late. This may sound contrived, but it's not, these are real events, not all happening at the same time, but they do happen to me. This might seem to explain things, but not to me, because I truly intend to be on time. You see, I'm not by nature a true procrastinator, no really, I'm not.


A few consequences of my bad habit, one I've passed that habit on to my daughters, and guess what, I'm always arguing with them about it. The nerve! Another thing, I lost a job for the same reason, to be honest I didn't really want to continue working there anyway. Nevertheless, I still should have been on time. Being that I was such a good worker they took it as long as they could, but as with anything, enough is enough, and I fully understood. I was fortunate enough to work for myself for a long time, so then I could call the shots, so my being on time for work was not really an issue during that time.

I've actually missed wedding ceremonies, I felt were important. I've missed more than one flight, and had to get a later one. Let me tell you how I can miss a flight. I'll start packing a week in advance, and pack and unpack the luggage numerous times. On the day of travel, I'll check and double check, and everything seems to be in order. Oh no, I forgot to pack that sweater that I might need in Miami in July. Okay, got that, I'm in the car, oops, I forgot to use the bathroom the last time, before I take that long ride to the airport. I'm ready, now, lets go. One block away, "did I turn the stove off?" Back at home, the stove's off, but I forgot to pack that 10th dressy outfit I might need for the week long trip, got that, I'm really on my way now. I'm feeling good now, because I still have "lots of time," oh, no, I forgot my neck pillow, I never travel without that, (get off the freeway and go back), got the pillow, back on the road. Now my time is running out, but I still think I can make, I'm getting real nervous, but, I press on anyway. Okay now, I'm on the freeway, and what do I see, traffic, traffic. Needless to say I missed that flight. No, honestly, this really did happen once,(maybe not the sequence of events, but similar), the reason I could go back so many times is because I was driving myself to the airport. Then there's the time we as a family held up a whole plane,(trying to say goodbye to all the relatives), I guess, because it was so many of us(seven), they waited. I could go on and on about the consequences of my penchant for being late, but believe me I don't have the time. I'M RUNNING LATE!

My determination

Even though I feel hard wired to always be late, I am determined that I will work hard at changing my wiring. I'll implement new rules in my life, like not looking around for things to do at the last minute, just leave the undone things for when I get home. Maybe, I could reset my clocks, and try to forget the times that I set them. I could just try walking out the door and not looking back. Nah, who am I kidding, those things will never happen, I'll just have to be determined to get there, ("better late than never," I always say), no matter what time. I'm not being cavalier, I just know me, and I know at this stage of the game, I am not going to change. So go ahead, invite me to your affair, I'll be there, I can't say when, but at least before it's over, or not.

© 2009 Alfreta Sailor


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    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 5 years ago from Southern California

      My goodness, it's a wonder you get to work at all. Considering what you go through, they should be glad to see you at all. What country are you in? I do admire your perseverance.

    • profile image

      veronica ears 5 years ago

      Why are we like this? I mean in my office I always am scolded for being late. Not that I am bragging but I say I consider myself a hardworker in terms of the real work that needs to be done. I will never go home unless all my chores are done. I will render 4-5 hours unpaid overtime to get anything done. But getting to work on time, considering the proximity (or should I say distance? because my house is just too far away from work) of our home from our office and all the obstacles I have to get through just to go to the office and back home. I spend 4 hours a day travelling and makes me really tired. I need to get out of the house walk to the jeep terminal. During this time I am still sleepy but I can't sleep in side the jeep because I still need to get off the jeep after 20 minutes. 15 minutes and I reach the highway. Here I have to walk towards the footbridge go up and wacross the highway get down. Get a bus. Then after 10 minutes, I need to get off again to ride the train. I need to walk 2 floors up. And the journey is not finished but I am too tired to tyoe it in. I don't have time left for my personal things. But is it a valid reason to be late for work?

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Jeff for stopping and leaving that explanation.

    • profile image

      Jeff Robinson 6 years ago


      Dictionary definitions of the word “late” are invariably non-judgemental. They say the word means “after the expected or usual time,” or “delayed.” They don’t acknowledge that being late is nearly always a negative thing. It’s negative because it means you’ve missed something, you’ve kept someone waiting, or something didn’t happen when it was supposed to. The most significant characteristic of lateness, however, is that – contrary to what most people think – it’s hard work.

      Read more here:

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Oh Ha Tran, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation yesterday, but I do understand, that's been me numerous times. As you can see from the comments that we're not alone. So don't feel bad, just keep plugging away at trying to change. Since I've been "On The Road," I've neatly missed most of my trains, so you see I do understand. Thanks for stopping, and I'm glad it made you feel a little better.

    • profile image

      HaTran 6 years ago


      I feel lke I am reading my own description.I am actually mortifying right now for just missed a very important wedding ceremony yesterday. My husband is soo mad with me still. I were accused for being disrespectfull and inresponsible. I am feeling rotten inside. I did not think what he said was true but somehow I can't explain the sittuation. And you have nailed it, procrastination, That's it. I have always feel like I don't have enough time for anything so I always try to squeeze in things for any litle time and try to beat myself over the clock. Thanks for the article. It does make me feel a little better.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 6 years ago from Southern California

      Livingnvegas, you sound a lot like me except the sleeping all day, and the arthritic part. I really can't sleep but a few hours a day, and most of the awake time I can be as busy as a bee. Still nothing seems to stop the "late" habit.

      Seriously, I hope someone that can be of service to you will see this post and respond. I'll keep checking back to see if anyone else has a solution to your problem.

      Anyway thanks for stopping and sharing this with us. Hope to see you again.

    • profile image 7 years ago

      --always late too, and hate the lack-of-control self-destruction! I too have: missed planes,was over an hour late for both my weddings, important funerals, shift-duty for the Military, last person out of cafeteria constantly at 7 yrs old with another friend, 68 yrs.also who is always late too today, giving a speech at a highschool graduation, and the list goes on. I love most people, I mean no harm, hate letting people down,love my show-up apts., & am not egotistical or controlling. I'm self-confident, educated & loved with humility. I lay my clothes out in advance, skip eating, & have been ambitious all my life. What is wrong with me & my time clock inside? However, when I go fast, like time to get in the car, I can amaze folks with my multitasking with fastness. What can I do to change this rediculus behavior-it's not a habit! Do I have a form of Dyslexia? I also can stay up all night,happpy & inergetic, then sleep all day--but my arthritic pain & meds stop me from doing mornings. I can go 3-4 days without sleep with lots of energy to get everything in the world done! Someone, please advise--doctors or phychiatrists possibly? I don't believe in Dr. Phil's answer. Smiles & thankyous! Older now, I'm worse for incorporating wrists & hands arthritis, dropping everything,& opening buttons, etc.; I even have to change glasses & mirrors to put on make-up, have skipped the hair & make-up thing in general, with permanent make-up & have shown up at a funeral yesterday with my back skirt zipper still open & back of blouse tag flipped out! Before I die I must quit this!!! Carolyn (a past RN use to hearing alarms & time-watching to give pills on time, & handling interruptions. My turn for help from somebody, please.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Eiddwen, you're right, it's not exclusively my problem. Thank you for stopping, and taking the time to leave a comment.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      Hi fastfreta.

      I am sure that many of us can relate to this one.

      Thank you for sharing this one.

      Take care


    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you Susanne, for the validation. I don't feel so all alone after writing this hub, because so many of the comments shows that I'm not all alone. Thanks for stopping, please stop again.

    • profile image

      Susanne 8 years ago

      I have the same trouble, as did my mom and all of my sisters. Acutally, I was one hour late for my own wedding. It wasn't my fault, honestly! But most of the time it is and it drives me crazy, along with everyone else. I agree with the comment above about taking on too much. I also have a hard time estimating how long things will take to do...a bad combination. Finally, I know sometimes it's because deep down I don't want to go wherever it is I need to be. Now that I'm divorced, I see why I was dragging my feet that day! You are a fabulous writer! All the best!

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks NamVetRich, your mother is a woman after my own heart. Thanks for stopping and leaving a comment. Hope to see you again soon.

    • NamVetRich profile image

      NamVetRich 8 years ago from Springfield Oregon

      Bravo!!! fastfreta another great hub, funny and serious. Your description fits my mom to a tee, she is always late and no matter if I call her a day in advance to pick her up she is not ready, and of course she is a nervous wreck. I try not to show that its not a big deal, my sister's just go ballistic, and I tell her to just chill mom its ok. She will say something like well Rome was not built in a day. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      I really do appreciate your input on my hubs. I value comments from writers like you. See you soon.

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 8 years ago

      Hi fastfreta -- I'm just getting to know your writing and enjoying you a lot! I can tell you without a doubt that, if you are trying hard to be on time and you're still late, you probably shouldn't put it on yourself. You might be able to blame it on the way your mind handles "Time." It's a real problem for some of us. You have hit a nerve with lots of readers over your frustrations. I think, for many of us, it truly IS beyond our natural control. For my Take on this, please check out my first two hubs. Bottom line is that we each have to recognize how we process different types of information and then figure out how to do it better. That is, if it matters enough, as it does to you. THANK YOU for the great insight. Delighted to have discovered you! I will keep reading.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Hey 2uesday, what a great thought, never thought of that before, next time I'm late I'll use it. Again thanks for stopping and reading.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 8 years ago

      Good hub -I hate being late for something I find it so stressful - but sometimes it does feel like you are being prevented by something beyond your control from getting where you are going on time does n't it! Just tell them good things are worth waiting for.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Hey Susie, thanks, I do agree, it is easier said than done. I also agree I am scattered at times. Thanks for stopping and reading. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

    • Susie Writes profile image

      Susan 8 years ago from Northern California

      Good stuff here. I'll tell you what helped me out on being on time - don't take on too much! Easier said than done. But that's at the root of my problems. People with lots of interests tend to be scattered. :-) (But we're also pretty smart!)

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you create a page, you are the greatest. I really appreciate you really reading my hubs.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 8 years ago from Maryland, USA

      fastfreta this must be the funniest hub I have ever read. You had me laughing like crazy and I was in stitches in no time. Who said we had to pay comediennes to get a good laugh? You are so amazing.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks MM. I do need to step up my efforts to change. I consider myself the world's worst offender in this respect.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Well, FF, you are a woman after my own heart! Your hub actually made me feel a little better, as it appears you are even worse at being on time than I am! Loved the going to the airport story! LOL. You've got a lot of work ahead of you, lady. Luckily, you're not in any hurry to correct the problem, right?

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks ashleyr, for stopping by, good to know that I have a comrade in this.

    • profile image

      ashleyr24 8 years ago

      I'm always late too! Good to know that I'm not alone. Great HUB fastfreta. I'm looking forward to reading more of them!

    • profile image

      ladydijay 8 years ago

      Fast Freta, Where do you get these ideas? You seem to hit the nail on the head with your writings. Got a chuckle out of this one. Describes me to a t.


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