This post on Lifehacker reminded me of my history with lateness. For a long time I had the habit of being chronically late. As a kid I spent a lot of time living with my father. He is a time optimist. No matter what the task, he would underestimate the needed time. He used to drive me crazy because he would say the we needed to go somewhere and to get into the car, then he would take twenty minutes chatting with whoever was around or gathering up everything he needed. Maybe this wouldn’t have been so bad, except my dad was a political activist in a small town. Going to the grocery store involved running into several people who my dad then spent 20+ minutes chatting with. We also spent many an evening at nuclear freeze meetings.

Does anyone remember the nuclear freeze movement? One of my earliest memories is of the terrible time I had at an Abalone Alliance protest at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. It’s amazing how boring political meetings can be when you are five. I still have trouble sitting through long meetings. I after a number of frustrating meetings in which I was prone to sudden outbursts, I learned to doodle. (I only hope that most people aren’t offended.)

I also learned how embarrassed I was to be late. Now I’m a time pessimist, at least most of the time. Occasionally I still lapse into scheduling things too close together in order to be “efficient,” but I’m learning.

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