Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where Did My Summer Go?

I remember daydreaming, on a glorious June day, about a time in the summer when I would be free. Free of report cards, meetings, lesson to read, to lounge and sip cool beverages, and to find awesome last-minute travel deals with Hubbs.

Alas, 'twas not meant to be. It's now a week and a half from the time I start back at school, and so far our summer has consisted of traveling to Calgary, then Edmonton, then hosting my lovely sis and bro-in-law and cutie pie nephew (and a quick jaunt to Seattle), and back to Edmonton. What's left is another quick jaunt to Seattle and a third trip to E-town.

This is not what I had in mind when I was thinking about summer 2011. I really wanted to read a bunch of young adult books, plus finish other assigned readings. I wanted to go to the beach, and to the art gallery, and to food cart/stands for lunch dates with Hubbs. I wanted to take a spontaneous last-minute tropical holiday, walk through the flower gardens of the various Van parks, and check out the PNE and the aquarium. I wanted to have a selfishly indulgent summer.

Instead, I've been going non-stop, and doing laundry in between travels. And though I recognize that it is a blessing to be able to afford flying back and forth to see family so often, I have to admit that I wish I had one more month of summer just so that I could have some "off time" to myself. When I'm traveling, it just isn't the same.

*sigh* Maybe next year, things will be different. Maybe summer 2012 can be my lazy, hang-out-in-Van summer. I can always dream.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rant: "Chinese Time" or Constant Tardiness


(In the interest of full disclosure, this used to be me. I used to be chronically late for everything from dinners to small group to you name it. However, I am a repentant and reformed person, redeemed from my lateness by Truth.)

So lately I've been really bugged by people who are always late. You know what I mean, right? You set a time to meet, and then you're left waiting for 30+ minutes before they show. These folks have developed such a reputation for being late that you automatically assume it, and are never pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I know of several people in my life who fit this description, and to be honest, I find it incredibly rude, disrespectful, and dishonest, which means it isn't Biblical.

Matthew 5:37 instructs us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. I think that can be summarized as, "Say what you mean, and mean what you say." Be truthful and walk with integrity. If you agree to meet someone at 6:00, show up at 6:00. Otherwise, make alternate arrangements so that you can show up on time at 6:45. Don't say one thing and do another; don't disrespect those with whom you're meeting by making them wait a long time, since their time is also valuable and should not be wasted because of your own inability to make your time commitments.

Sure, I understand the concept of grace, and yes, I think that anytime travel is required, there is some measure of grace that should be extended because nobody can predict traffic patterns, road closures, and construction work entirely. I am happy to extend 15 minutes of grace and would expect others to be equally patient with me if I end up having to detour several times because of some random parade being held downtown.

However, I'm not talking about an occasional bout of lateness. I'm talking about the people who predictably, constantly show up super late, and attribute their tardiness to "Chinese time" or some other lame-arse excuse that is frankly inexcusable. Hubbs and I are almost tempted at times to tell certain people to meet us 30-45 minutes earlier than the actual time we want to meet them since we're so certain (as in 90%) that they will be 30-45 minutes late.

So what does your punctuality say about you? Do your words and your actions match, or do you constantly show a disregard for others' time? Check your heart, people, and your watches too. And show up on time.