When I think about being late to something, my mind instantly pictures the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland; with his big wide eyes glaring at his pocket-watch, panicking, informing you that he’s late, late for a very important date!
I think that’s why I can relate to him because when it comes to being late, I panic too even if I’m simply late by five minutes.
I don’t sprout two white furry ears, wear a pocket-watch or a waistcoat whenever I’m late. But when I panic, I do display a few tell tale signs that friends of mine have come to notice, and kindly pointed out to me.
One of my telltale signs is that I fidget. I can’t sit still, I have to be doing something whether that’s make another cup of tea, wave my arms around in a useless manner or aimlessly wonder around in the hopes of taking my mind off being late.
But if I’m sitting down on a bus or train that’s running late, and I can’t get up out of my seat and wonder around, I tend to fidget in other ways. I either fiddle with bag, my clothes or my phone. I constantly check if I’ve brought everything I needed or rearrange my bag; I fiddle with my clothes by making sure I look neat and tidy, making sure my stomach is covered by my top, or checking the time and messages on my phone before floating between different apps.
Of course another gesture would be me constantly bombarding my friends or family that we’re going to be late, much like the White Rabbit muttering about his own lateness; which is usually followed with them replying that everything will be fine, and to give them their credit – it usually is.
It’s almost like these signs are symptoms of a complex; as if the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s tale has lifted himself from the pages of the book and the film reels to run past me and play a game of tag when it comes to this panic of lateness. I suppose in a way, that’s almost the case.
I know I should ignore the mutterings of a fictional character and stop exhibiting the same panic he does. Instead, focus on the calming mantra of friends and family that everything will be okay.
After all, with all the times I have arrived late, I haven’t been met with the Queen of Hearts wanting my head! I’ve been met with an understanding smile to my apologies.
I suppose that’s why I need to learn that it’s okay to be late every once in a while.
Running slightly late,