Writer’s Workshop: Late – A Memoir

Hi, there! One of the prompts for Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop this week was to write a post inspired by the word: late. We all run late from time to time, but I am an over-achiever! In fact, I feel almost overqualified to write a post on this topic. But here we are, and the post is, as you probably guessed, a bit late.

Mama’s Losin’ It

If I ever wrote a memoir, I think I should probably title it Late, as “late” is a recurring theme for me. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to be running just a bit behind on everything. If I am on time for a few things, or get caught up on a few things, I’m inevitably late for something else, and fall behind in other areas. Sadly, this has been the case for most of my adult life. Don’t get me wrong – I am an adult with responsibilities who would not be able to take care of those responsibilities if I constantly ran late, all the time, for all the things. But it still happens often enough that I need to improve my routine.

The mere word usually puts a knot in my stomach – things like late for work, late for appointments, late assignments, late paying bills, waiting too late on medical testing, being young and single and not quite mature and definitely not ready for a child and having a late period – all those things? Super stress-inducing! Late is generally not good. Late has consequences, potentially life-altering ones, which are also generally not good.

Judge Judy wants you to be on time!

According to an article published on Forbes.com, “Five Minutes Early is On Time; On Time is Late; Late is Unacceptable.” Now, I don’t read Forbes magazine, and as someone who hangs a bit to the left (politically speaking), I only refer to their online articles occasionally when I’m trying to learn a bit more about money management – another area in which I will probably never have it truly “together”, but I digress. I have adopted the title of this article as a mantra and wholeheartedly strive to become a more punctual person. I realize everyone’s time is important and being late is disrespectful.

Just about the only times late is good are when speaking of staying up late and sleeping late, two pastimes I in which I regularly indulge, and…

….that actually explains so much. Late nights lead to late mornings lead to late starts lead to late for work, school, etc. Now I see how and why the cycle continues.

(Okay. Maybe my entire memoir shouldn’t be called Late. I am getting a lot better with punctuality, after all. And I also have a ton of unrelated awkwardness to share. But I can definitely use it to title a chapter!)


Header Image Credit: Some eCards
Judge Judy Gif Credit: Giphy.com


  • Thank you for your post. When I lived in Arizona, I heard a speaker talk about cultural differences regarding time. In the Mexican culture, time is fluid and people take care of the business that is in front of them. In our cultural, everything is structured to a fault. Susan

    For the record, I would buy a book titled Late!

    • Here is the definition of time I was talking about above: Some cultures are traditionally monochronic. In such a culture, time is thought of as being linear. People are expected to do one thing at a time, and they will not tolerate lateness or interruptions. In polychronic cultures, time is thought of as being cyclical.Aug 28, 2011

      • Interesting! I know that time really isn’t concrete (other than the rotation of the earth around the sun, etc), but rather how we perceive it. I like the idea of time having more fluidity and forgiveness for running behind, but I’m also a fan of structure and routine, so the two war with one another, and I’m generally rushed.

        Now I want to look more into the polychronic cultures’ perception and utilization of time!

  • Good article on late. I totally disagree with Forbes. Everyone has their own rules about “late.” I think being exactly “on time” to the minute is perfectly okay. If it’s a party occasion, like at someone’s house, I prefer being” tastefully late,” (which is between 5 and 15 minutes) just so I”m not the first one there. I like to be 2nd or 3rd.

    • In social situations, I think it’s absolutely fine to be fashionably late – professional ones, probably not. I try my best to get to work “on time” (or 5 minutes early, as I’m allowed to clock in 5 minutes early and it’s slightly more money!), and for appointments I do my very best to be on time – no matter the appointment, I am rarely seen at the appointed time. As for Forbes? It was just an article I found interesting enough to try to aspire to….not so much because I think it’s a new rule or anything, but more to keep me from feeling rushed all the time.

  • In my industry, I’m on the other side of the late-coin with hair clients who constantly breeze through the door, fashionably late. Or so they think.

    But, heaven forbid the next ones in line who have to wait because of the late train who came before them. Over my shoulder I can feel daggers from the cold, hard stare when people have to wait. Oh, the drama!

    Hey, we all push the time limits now and then and it can be stressful, especially when our intention was to keep it all together and be as on time as possible. Like my last flight on JetBlue. I was on a roll and got to the airport two hours early, breezed through check-in and sat down to relax by the gate area. Go me!! Seven and a half hours later, my flight finally departed. Talk about late!!

    As far as how Forbes feels? Meh. Just meh.

    Remember the old idiom, better late than never? I heard that from the agent when I boarded my last flight.

    I was not amused.

  • Yeah, I get that the Forbes article is in no way a replacement for common sense and courtesy, but I felt it was good for me to aspire to just to be sure I’m getting where I need to go on time, and will have extra if I need it! I always do my level best to make appointments on time – I know how frustrating it is to be on time for an appointment and have to wait because someone else was running behind. But it happens.

    And as for the flight – SEVEN HOURS? Oh my goodness. I would have probably been raising hell by then….in my head. I guess you can’t really do that in the airport or on a plane without being escorted out by security.

  • This is my life and I hate it too! I vow to change!!…later….maybe…no REALLY!

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