First of all – my apologies to those of you for whom it’s now Tuesday. I’d love to be able to say that my glamorous, busy life has made me late for this blog, but the truth is that I forgot that it was my turn this month.
And secondly, I’d like to ask for a huge round of applause (cheering encouraged, and those of you with hats may throw them in the air) for the lovely and outrageously talented Scarlet Wilson. Last month, Scarlet announced on her blog post that she’s been nominated twice for the RoNA Rose Award, and she’ll be attending the Awards Ceremony tomorrow. Her two nominations are for ‘West Wing to Maternity Wing’ and ‘Her Christmas Eve Diamond’. Have a wonderful time, Scarlet!
But on to my topic for this blog. Why, oh why, can’t I be early for once in my life? I hate keeping people waiting, and so I try really hard not to be late, which means I usually turn up bang on time. But if there’s a train to be caught, I often find myself hurrying for it, instead of ambling along the platform, with plenty of time to choose my seat. If I’m expected for a meal at seven, then I’ll turn up at seven. On the dot. Not one moment earlier.
And in truth, I’d like to be early for things. Spend a little time waiting around, instead of arriving just in time. But somehow, however early I start out, I never quite manage it.
Sometimes it’s the grand transport conspiracy. Trains which stop before they’re meant to. Buses which decide to hang around for a while at the stop to ‘regulate the service’. Sometimes it’s entirely my own fault – getting off the bus / train at the wrong stop, or parking in the wrong car park will do it every time. Getting lost, which I do quite a lot because I have very little sense of direction, is a regular culprit. Or even finding that I’m so early that I can just nip into the coffee shop on the way, and then taking longer than I’d thought to work my way through one of those blueberry muffins that look so nice.
I’m the same with my deadlines. I’m never late, but I’m never early either. If I try to send a manuscript off a few days before my deadline, I’m sure to find something that can be changed or improved. There just seems to be something about the eleventh hour which concentrates my mind.
But I get there in the end. Sometimes a little breathless and flustered, and always grateful to anyone who arrives after I do. And I am working on it. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to Be Early. As this blog testifies, it hasn’t been an unqualified success, but it’s a work in progress. And there’s something so nice about not deciding that I can fit just one more little job in before I leave home, and sauntering in somewhere ten minutes early.
So what about you? Are you an early bird, a just-on-timer or fashionably late? And do you think that early or late are sometimes not so much a matter of how difficult it’s been to get somewhere, but just a state of mind? And you early birds – any tips for me?
P.S. I’m thrilled to say that my fourth book ‘The Rebel and Miss Jones’ is available this month as an e-book in the US. And they’ve given me such a lovely cover!