I never had a good relationship with time. All my friends know this – and some acquaintances too. They learned the hard way, waiting for me in some corner of the city on a cold winter day. I can just see them all nodding emphatically to this.
I don’t know why, but I rarely seem to be good at calculating the time it will take me to finish a project, or getting from A to B, or even correctly guessing someone’s age (this is also time-related for me).
This trait of mine has produced a lot of confusion, unnecessary sweating and awkward moments. I can still remember the day I planed to meet a friend for a coffee at the city center at 18:30. “I’ll need half an hour to get there!” Right. The date was soon rescheduled for 19:00, then 19:30 and eventually for 20:00! My friend E., is also time-challenged like me, so she was more than happy to accommodate me, but we still ended up discussing our “problem” for the better part of our evening. It was extreme, even by our painfully low standards…
Then there was this other time when a female colleague at work asked me with a big happy smile: “How old do you think I am?” (I know, that’s a classic trick question, aimed at trapping the person asked).
I was so happy to answer her question: “Oh, are you kidding me? You’re very young, hardly 38!”
“I’m 31.” Bam! I just wanted to die. My new year’s resolution is to never, ever answer this question truthfully again. “Well…you know…it’s because you exude authority…” (that was my lame effort to fix what cannot be fixed!).
My time-management problem also appears every time I take on a project. Every year I write a city guide for my hometown, Athens. I’m supposed to complete this within a month, which is really pushing it, since the sheer volume of the work would actually require at least two more weeks of preparation. Two weeks I don’t have. The first time I took on the project, I requested one more week to complete it, which was granted, since the magazine who commissioned it needed more time on their part to secure more advertising.
The next year, the same thing happened. I thought it was a coincidence but when on the third year I realized I would have the same issue, I decided to start working one week ahead of the commission, just to make sure I would cover this elusive extra week I always seemed to need.
Is the universe conspiring against me making my watch tick slower?