Recently the issue of punctuality comes up very often in my life and sets up emotional challenges.
I would say of myself that I am close to always on time. This might me due to my parents, who are almost never on time. When I was a child and they would have to pick me up from guitar class or a friend’s place, they would hardly ever arrive on time. The emotions I experienced ranged (depending on the situation) from bored and irritated to ashamed and frustrated. Of course I know my parents were and are busy people trying to get as much stuff done as possible during a day but then: don’t we all? And please don’t get me wrong, my parents are amazing and supported me every way they could. Still I never managed to forget this flaw.
Punctuality is the politeness of princes.
I like that saying and try to keep it in mind. It shows respect to the other person, if you’re on time. It means you are cherishing that they offer you their time and that you don’t want to waste this precious, rare thing we all seem to have so little of. I am still having a hard time when close friends haven’t been on time for at least one meeting in a whole year. Might have to write a whole different blog on that though 😉
On Mondays I have an active meditation class scheduled at 7:45 in the yoga studio I usually go to. I try to attend it regularly. Very often I am there before the instructor arrives simply because I leave the house 15 minutes earlier than I would have to be “normally” on time, just to make sure I am REALLY on time. I have a hard time with people being unpunctual in meditation or yoga classes you see. I don’t want to be the person interrupting the beginning of the class where everyone is trying to settle their minds. Because anything unforeseen might happen. That’s why I leave super early. I might have to go back into the flat and get something, the public transport might be delayed or whatsoever life may throw at you on monday mornings. I realize I do this not only on Mondays but on most of my appointments. Yes, I have considered it to be neurotic and a waste of time, because on the bottom line I spend a lot of time waiting for doors to open or people to arrive.
And then this…
This morning I told myself I would leave later, so I don’t have to wait until the instructor arrives and guess what: This one time that I actively decide NOT to leave earlier and calculate all possible delays, all possible delays happen. When I finally was at the subway station the speakers told me: “We are very sorry to inform you that due to passenger illness the U1 can only run in irregular intervals. Thank you for your understanding.” My mind: “Being so bold as to assume people are understanding that ONE person delays hundreds of people on a monday morning…You stupid Vienna public transport people… grrrrrr.” On the platform, I thought about taking different subways or trams but always returning to my anger towards the anonymous ill person which of course neither got me anywhere nor offered reasonable solutions, when I suddenly realized that I am delaying my natural state of happiness with my personal ill passenger on my body board: Mrs. Monkey Mind of Vera. She is not me but living somewhere inside my head. Why would I worry? Was anything serious going to happen? Would my health be damaged by being late? My pride and reputation maybe but so what? Why didn’t I take the moments on the platform to center myself and focus? Worst-case scenario: I would be super delayed and wouldn’t want to go to the class anymore because I missed half of it already. Then I would still be in the city at 8:15 and could do whatever the hell I want. Coming to this conclusion gave me a moment of sweet peace and the subway arrived. I was so relieved to be able to let go of my anger. I acknowledged the outer circumstances I couldn’t change while doing the best I could.
Try to not let your monkey mind take over your inner stillness, try not to let your passenger illness bring your inner peace out of balance, which is always there if you want to connect to it.
PS: I was one minute late 😉