A pink taxi

A pink taxi

April 22, 2011

Why I am Never Late...Well Almost Never!

Expulsion from school was the threat the priests made to late comers at the Jesuit boarding school I attended during high school. We were to respect a serious curfew on the Wednesday afternoons we were given to go into downtown Geneva, as well as on Friday and Saturday evenings. 9pm was the latest we could be out, which clearly kept most of us 16 year olds out of trouble.Often, you could see us running  to catch the public buses but in general, the simple threat (which I doubt they would have applied) trained us to respect one Swiss value: to always to be on time.

My parents had already  raised us to value our time and other people's time. They  themselves were always punctual, whether for important events like going to the airport or getting us out the door for school or less important meetings, likethose with friends). We were told that making people wait is rude and disrespectful. They are without a doubt completely right.

For that reason, I always plan my time in such a way as to arrive a few minutes ahead for all of my appointments. When I schedule my days, and overstuff them with activities, I try to ensure that there is enough travel time between the meetings and the classes. The back of my car is prepared for the required equipment and changes of clothing. My siblings and I grew up in a similar way, rushing from ballet to karate, and often switching outfits in the car. Today,  my daughter dons her bathing suit under her golf attire, so we can save time and make it to both activities. While it is simple to shower and change at Club Stretc or at the golf club, I sometimes resort to changing, like Wonder Woman, from street clothes to evening wear at the Emirates Towers restrooms. 

My main priority is to be punctual for school. I despise pushing my kids at the last minute through the school gate. Instead, we have our morning traditions, which starts with a very early rise, a rapid breakfast and getting to school as early as possible. My older ones mingle with the early birds and I sit on the wall with my youngest, watching the latecomers rushing to park their cars.

Recently however, my husband complained about my tardiness to some art events, claiming that I overschedule myself with bikram classes or my son's swim practice. While he is right, he forgets that sometimes even Wonder Woman can have a lapse and not arrive just on time for everything....


  1. The value of respecting time was instilled in each of us siblings, and as you write, it can certainly be attributed to our parents respect of others and the exactness of swiss watches.
    Being punctual is an art, especially when you are juggling busy lives, and often need to rely on unreliable factors, such as delayed subways or traffic patterns. I was once late to pick up my eldest son from school, a week into his first year there, and because I had not yet mastered the timing, I found myself running through avenues from my subway stop, in a panic. Luckily, he was happily waiting with his two teachers and he wasn't as shaken as I was.

    Once you master time, you are much more in control. I love getting to my spinning class 15 mins before hand, so that I can change shoes, settle on the bike, warm up without the stress of rushing. Life can be so much less stressful if you plan it well, and although not everything goes as expected, it's much better to minimize anxiety.

    I try not to overschedule my life too much either because you find yourself with little quality time. It's one thing to be efficient with time and another thing to feel drained because you haven't had the opportunity to do all the things you wanted to do because you were so rushed. So take a deep breath and prioritize is what I can advise.

    I love you wonder woman!

  2. Time is definitely money,and as my toddler grandson once told me:show me the money!I have friends and relatives whom I love,who can never be on time,it is just their way of life.My favorite sister in law who has all the best intentions in the world,wants to be in several places at the same time.I always tease her,but that doesnot change the fact that you can be in one place at one time.I tell her handsome brother who is always late to come to an appointment at an hour in advance,so that he can make it on time,but he got the trick and went back to his old habbit.

  3. No matter how hard I try (sometimes), I can't be late. I always show up everywhere 10 minutes early. The art is to show up "on time."

  4. It is so hard for so many people to be on time. Especially in this part of the word. Now more than ever, after having a child, I value time. I cherish every minute i have with my child but more so, I value the me time that is so precious. Can get very annoying when I have to wait around for late people even though it never really bothered me before...