February 3, 2009

Chronos

Posted in Guilt, The How, The OCD, The WTF at 11:15 am by Dagny Taggart

I want to know what time things are going to happen.   I want things scheduled.  

For a number of people close to me, this is either incomprehensible, impossible, or both.  I have friends who operate on a completely different time system than the rest of the population (and each other), to the point where events have been “scheduled” fifteen or thirty minutes early, to ensure an actual timely arrival for everyone.

I have a problem committing to things that aren’t definite.  Give me a time and a place and I will show up, ninety percent of the time.  Leave it vague, and my extreme (you really have NO idea) shyness and/or seasonal depression and/or PMS and/or tiredness and/or random crankiness will step into the ring and pin me down on my couch without so much as a by-your-leave.

(not that by-your-leaves happen with frequency in the wrestling world, or couches for that matter, so perhaps that wasn’t the best metaphor.  Whatever.)

Also, I have things that I do every week.  Some of which are scheduled, some of which just need to happen at some point during the week.   If I know what my fun!  surprise!  social! plans are at least a day or two in advance, I can be more efficient.  If I don’t, I start to stress about Getting Things Done.  And party people, I am a freaking savant when it comes to stressing myself out.  I can render myself a complete mess in under two minutes if I focus enough on what I’m not getting done.

But what I really like about things that are scheduled?  It’s a way of saying, “I want to see you, and am therefore willing to set aside a specific time to make sure that happens”.  It’s not taking each others’ time for granted.  It’s courtesy and appreciation and doing something more than just haphazardly shoving people into whatever schedule holes need filling.

It doesn’t have to be that way all the time.  Friends can recognize when someone just can’t schedule, and then it’s a kindness to say, “I know you’re busy, we’ll figure it out at some point.” 

But it’s also a kindness, and a compliment, to say, “I want to spend time with you enough to make definite plans for that to happen.”

I should say that to some people more often, in fact.  Is it too late for a resolution?

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9 Comments »

  1. I-66 said,

    Rar. Lack of planning is my kryptonite, and so is tardiness. And people who don’t value their time in a way that it affects mine? Forget it.

  2. Lisa said,

    I understand what you are saying, even though I come from the non-scheduling side of the spectrum. (But in the last 3-4 years I have gotten a lot better.) So, back pre-preg when I was a normal person, here is how I mostly functioned. Late spring and summer – great time to make plans, to commit, to actually have the energy and enthusiasm to follow through. Early fall – harder, but still good. Winter, early spring – bad, very bad. Huge reluctance to commit, because liklihood is high that when the time comes I will be blue, tired, other things you mentioned above. For me, it has nothing to do with how much I like you and everything to do with how much I am able to struggle against my nature/the season at any given time.

  3. Jo said,

    I’m big on the schedule with certain things too. It’s either happening or not, there’s no maybe! I also HATE people who are always late. I make such an effort to be on time only to sit and stew in my anger while I wait.

  4. Alias Faux said,

    The flip side to this is that some of us feel that we live our lives according to somebody elses schedule. Wake up at 6:30 to be at work by 9. Work till 5:30. Then it’s class from 7 to 9:30, and then metro home, to be in bed by a reasonable hour.

    Work in homework, housework, and whatever needs one must fill to get through the month, and when Saturday evening rolls around, some of us aren’t exactly in the mood to “be there at 6:30 sharp for cocktails”.

    Some of us HATE being on a schedule, because every time you schedule something definitively, you have the opportunity cost of if tickets to the caps game become available. If you zero in on one bar at one time, what if you discover a cooler bar, that the two of you can meet at. Or, most of all, what if you’re just damn sick and tired of watching the clock at all times, and just want to go with the flow?

  5. I-66: It’s the lack of consideration that gets me, too. Rar, indeed.

    Lisa: I have a very similar pattern, but I’m starting to think that for me, preemptive scheduling so I don’t have as much of a choice about not doing something helps keep me active, and therefore slightly more myself, during the tired/depressed/blue times.

    Jo: I feel awful when I’m late for something, and try really hard not to be. And I just function better when I have an idea of what to expect.

    Alias Faux: I can definitely understand how you feel. When I was teaching four nights a week on top of working a full-time job and trying to maintain my other regular commitments, I didn’t make any plans for a while. I was overplanned. I get that.

    I’m not ignoring the existence of a flip side, I’m just presenting my current point of view.

  6. Spontaneity is often the crutch of the commitment-phobic. I am a planner, and I like it that way, which is not to suggest that I will reject an unplanned invitation, just that I like to have plans in my life. Make a plan.

  7. restaurantrefugee: Exactly. Not everything needs to be planned out, every second of every day, but it’s nice to have a substantial framework, isn’t it?

  8. Jen said,

    I found this post very interesting. It’s like you’ve created a test to gauge how much people like you. Which is fine, I guess, as long as they know the rules. And it needs to go both ways – you don’t say here, but presumably you frequently initiate plans with the people you want to spend time with and don’t always (or even usually) leave it up to others to set things up for you?

  9. Jen: You know, that wasn’t how I meant for this to come across, at all. It’s not so much that it’s a test – I was just trying to figure out the reason(s) why I have such a strong preference for planned events.

    Once I figured that out, I realized that I had likely been inadvertently sending the wrong message to some people, thus my inquiry about tardy resolutions.


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