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You’re Only Late for One Moment

Recently I was on my way to a lunch appointment with a client and didn’t realize until it was too late that a major route that I usually take was shut down.  Being average at best with directions (although I do ask!), my initial thought was “oh great – now I’m going to be late.”  And for those of you who know me, you know that being late is not my normal practice. In fact, it was something that in the past would cause me great anxiety.

Then all of the sudden it came to me – an epiphany, if you will.  I realized that I could only truly be late for one moment in time, the moment when I actually arrived.

What this means is that I was not late before I got there and I was no longer late after I met the client and apologized for my delay.  I was only late the moment I arrived.

This is significant, because once I came to this “late for only one moment” realization, I became more relaxed and much less anxious about being late.  This state of relaxation or detachment from the outcome of being on time seemed to help me catch most of the green lights and make the correct directional choices.  Believe it or not, the clock in my car seemed to slow down – as if this new-found freedom was now conspiring with me to make my appointment on time.

Now, this reframe or new perspective is not an invitation for you to become habitually late – or even an excuse, for that matter.  It is a reminder to each of us to be in the present moment.  Worrying about being late before we get there anchors us in the future and feeling guilty about it after we arrive keeps us arrested in the past.

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