Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Getting Out The Door...

It's 10:30 in the morning.  I'm gathering my essentials and shoving Fern's breakfast at her.  She slept super late and needed it, so John went ahead to church with Burl, and I stayed back with Fern.  Daniel walks downstairs, emerging from his deep sleep.  After a few greetings were exchanged, this is how the conversation went...

Daniel: "What time does church start?" 
Me: "It starts now.  We're late.  But I'm leaving now."
Daniel: "Crap. I was going to go to church with yall today.  Dang it."
"You've got 5 minutes.  I'll get you a cup of coffee and meet you in the car."
"Awesome.  Thanks."

And off Daniel goes to get ready in record time and we make it to church just as the sermon begins.  He showered and everything.

I thought about this incident today as a friend and I were bemoaning the chore of getting out the door.  I'm not that great at being on time, so I can be caught acting like a crazy lady when we're trying to go somewhere.  There are simple things that we can do to help us out the door (set expectations low, pack the bag the night before, wake up early, prep clothes, etc.), but he did some even simpler things that are good to remember. I boiled down Daniel's crazyfastgettingready and gathered some pointers as to how it can help me (us).  These are to help and encourage, not create more anxiety:

1. Move quickly. This is the easy part. Duh.  
2. Only do what's necessary.  He had no time to check email, read that article, lay around.  He only did the things that had to be done to get him out the door.  How many times have I got involved in something that I really didn't have time for?  Do I really have time to clean the commode?  Do I really have time to sweep the kitchen or should I do that when I return?  Do I really have time to lay around and drink that second cup of coffee?  Usually the answer is no.  Usually when I'm late, I think that I could have been on time if I wouldn't have done ____ or if I would have gotten up earlier (which is usually the problem).
3. Stay focused. This is somewhat  linked to #2, but it has a little more power.  Things work best  if I stay focused on one thing at a time.  I'll get dressed-then dress the kids-then brush my teeth-then get my phone-then get shoes on-then pack diapers.  No.  That doesn't work.  It works best if I do one thing at at time, in its entirety.  Get me completely ready.  Pack the bag.  Get the kids completely ready.  Load. 
4. Do a few things in the car (optional).  Not like texting or brushing my teeth or anything.  This isn't college.  However, there are a few things that I can do while I drive that I consider ok.  I can not answer that call that happens to come every time that I'm trying to lock the door with the kids in my arms.  I can wait until I'm driving to return that phone call.  Or, I can drink my coffee in the car instead of at home while I gaze at those freaky squirrels out the window.  
5. Keep grooming to a minimum.  I'm not in the stage of life where I'm going to be able to paint my nails everyday (don't think I'll ever do this), switch out my purse to match my outfit, or even match my shoes to my outfit.  While Daniel is a boy with short hair and doesn't wear makeup, his grooming will always be less than mine.  However, I try to set my expectations realistically lower at this point in my life without looking like a a crazy lady-no offense crazy ladies.  (Hello washing my hair every other day.) 

Ok, there is a nerdy little list that I thought about today.  It's totally inspired by a phone conversation that I had today and my crazy little brother, Daniel.  Nicknames: Danimal, Nanul.  Any other tips?  Any other thoughts?  Any other perspectives?  Do share...Until then, expect me 5-10 minutes after the set time we're suppose to meet.  On a good day.

1 comment:

  1. I am married to Mr. Chronically late...set your clocks 10 minutes ahead or casually mention to John that it might be a good idea if he does it without you knowing it. Kids drag you down, make them pull their own weight (kidding), but having things prepped the night before does help...from sippy cups to bag. I used to just keep a diaper bag/kid bag in the car with all the stuff I needed and just walked out with cups.I would update it seasonally or as often as I used stuff out of it. Enjoy, soon you will be late because one of them is a foot dragger. My money is on Fern.