Some people are always on time. But what about the person who is always late. There are lots of negative remarks to say about the tardy person. This person oversleeps and keeps you waiting. This person never clocks in on time and gets written up. They often miss the beginning of a movie and half of the sermon at church. But there is finally some good news about the person who is always late.
It is not such a terrible thing. In fact, according to a new study, there is some positive news about the person who is always late. Research out of Havard Medical School says that people who are always running late are happier. This study says the person who is always late has a sense of calm. They are less worried about minutes and seconds. This person is generally an optimistic person. And this person will live longer than those who worry about arriving exactly on time. This study also finds since the “late” person is so optimistic, they also have less of a chance of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. (“Less of a chance” does not mean “no chance,” being optimistic works wonders on a person’s health but not miracles. Ultimately, the dietary lifestyle plays a major role in determining if a person will develop high blood pressure.)
My mother is the type of person who is habitually late. It’s a problem. If my sisters and I want her to arrive or be ready at a certain time, we have to tell her a time that is at an hour before we actually want her there. When I was in high school, it used to frustrate me. If I needed a ride to a friend’s house, it felt as if I was waiting forever for her to grab her purse, car keys and head out. She always had little things to take care of first.
As I sat slumped on the sofa, she would say, “Okay, let me put this load of clothes in the dryer. Please check on your little sister, see if she needs a snack. I need to use the bathroom real quick….”
Her excuse was that she could not help it because she operated on “Indian time.” Or I guess to be politically correct, “Native American time.” This is a stereotype that refers to Native people being tardy for everything. Perhaps because in the pre-Colombus time period, tribal people did not use a clock or watch to stay on schedule. Who knows. But that was her excuse and still is to this day. Although, I do not remember any of my aunts or uncles being late for any event.
Now that I am an adult, her tardiness does not drive me as crazy as it used it. It is part of her personality. Her taking forever to do a task is expected and accepted. My sisters and I now adjust our schedules around her expected behavior. We know that no matter what Mom is going to run late. If we are meeting for breakfast at a restaurant, Mom will arrive after everyone’s food is served. It is just the way it is. She doesn’t purposely miscalculate how it takes to drive across town. I think she does not realize how long it takes to do little things. She is always apologetic. But one thing for sure, Mom is always happy and joyful. She brights up a room and is the life of the party. When she finally arrives, she gets everyone in a good mood. She radiates with positive energy. So maybe there is something to this study.
People who run late are happier. In a way, they are free and not chained to a schedule. Their employer may not like this.