When I was younger, I remember getting so peeved about tardiness. If you were two minutes late and didn’t give me a courtesy call, I would think you had no respect for others, no concept of time, and no likkle brawtupsy (home-grown manners).
I hated waiting on people, waiting in lines, waiting on anything. Maybe I felt that time was off the essence, and that I had stuff to do . . . all the time . . . which wasn’t always the case. But something as inconsequential as being late used to set me off.
I lost friends because of my impatience; business opportunities fell by the wayside because of my intolerance for lateness.
The worse thing about this disdain is that there is this thing called ‘Jamaican time’. This means you should add anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes to the time that a Jamaican told you if they were meeting you somewhere. So, if a bredda tell you seh him ago meet you at Half-Way-Tree at 3 o’clock, given the traffic, and the area, just consider that you’re not going to see him until something to 4pm. Is just so Jamaicans roll. And that used to tick me off!
Don’t ask me what changed though. Maybe I grew up, maybe I just learnt to accept the fact that in Jamaica, people will always be late.
As I got older I realized there is nothing I can do to change anyone’s concept of time, I can only change my reaction to the situation. As such, I always make sure I have a book on my phone worth reading wherever I go. No matter how long I have to wait, I would always be preoccupied with reading that I really don’t notice the time. And that little change helped me tremendously.
As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to get annoyed now when I go somewhere with the intention of reading in the first half an hour that I’m there, but instead, I get through faster than initially thought, or the person is actually on time. Funny how it works, isn’t it?
This week’s writing challenge asks to explore what age means to me, and to me, getting older means Accepting the things I cannot change, Changing the things I can, and Knowing the difference.