One Hundred Six: Bright Side of Life

“Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.”  – Evelyn Waugh

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”  – William Jennings Bryan

Wednesday, April 16th

I rescheduled my dental cleaning for Wednesday to 3 pm instead of my usual time: 4 pm. My husband asked me to be at his workplace at 2:40 pm to drop off the kids, so in my mind I assumed that my appointment must have been at 4. This set off a chain of events that landed me on a highway in the south end of town at the precise moment when I should have been settling into the hygienist’s chair on the north end.

Let me tell you…when I am late, I go full on. I took the quickest route to my husband’s work place, but when I was scarcely four or so blocks away I got stuck behind a stalled train engine. Gridlock. I was able to deek around the semi trucks and weave through a couple blocks to get there. The highway had the usual sluggish flow and if there was a red light in town, then I was hitting it. I was close to canceling my appointment, turning around, and picking the kids back up. There might be only 15 minutes left of an hour-long appointment by time I got there. I was thinking this on a major interstate highway, so why not just concentrate on my driving and see where the road took me.

I walked through the door of the dental office 30 minutes late and the hygienist sat me down immediately and got to work. Fortunately, I was able to get to a sink and do a swish and a brush to remove the seaweed snack I’d just scarfed. Sheesh. Really? Seaweed when I have to breathe near the face of a professional? The office had a new hygienist, and she was extremely plucky. I was sad to see the last hygienist leave as we had a good rapport and she had been the only one to stick out through a couple of years. I like the little creature comforts of knowing the service providers who help me with everyday things, but this new hygienist was winning me over by being so accommodating. She had the knack of starting entertaining conversations and keeping me a good mood. Then she broke the bad news to me: I’d be skipping the dental x-rays today so she could give me a complete cleaning. Sweet!

Maybe being late saved me from an uncertain fate. Who knows? But whining over traffic or stalled trains or tricky schedule changes would not change the situation. So I took full responsibility for being late. Own it, accept it, and it gets a whole lot easier to bear.

Are you perpetually punctual or tremendously tardy?


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